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    Wild Oats to Unveil Latest Prototype in Tampa

    BOULDER, Colo. -- Natural and organic foods chain Wild Oats Markets, Inc. here is gearing up to enter the Tampa, Fla. market with its latest prototype, which offers its signature perishables, an extensive organic and natural product selection, and energy-conserving equipment. The 37,000-square-foot store, located in Walters Crossing at 1548 N. Dale Mabry Highway (Dale Mabry at I-275), above a Target store, will open April 5.

    BOULDER, Colo. -- Natural and organic foods chain Wild Oats Markets, Inc. here is gearing up to enter the Tampa, Fla. market with its latest prototype, which offers its signature perishables, an extensive organic and natural product selection, and energy-conserving equipment. The 37,000-square-foot store, located in Walters Crossing at 1548 N. Dale Mabry Highway (Dale Mabry at I-275), above a Target store, will open April 5.

    Wild Oats will celebrate the opening with a "Preview Party" on April 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. The Preview Party will feature a special appearance, cooking demonstration, and book signing by Tyler Florence, celebrity chef and star of Food Network TV. The evening will be filled with samples, music and entertainment, caricature artists and face painting, raffles, door prizes, and more.

    Said Perry D. Odak, president and c.e.o., in a statement: "Wild Oats is proud to offer the people of Tampa the highest-quality natural, organic, and gourmet products as well as an exciting shopping experience. We look forward to supporting the Tampa community for many years to come."

    Based on extensive customer research, the new store will offer a layout and design that is "fun, friendly, and educational," and represents the new Wild Oats prototype, the retailer said.

    The Tampa Wild Oats grocery aisles are being filled with more than 7,000 products and 2,000 brands of all-natural, organic, and epicurean grocery, dairy, and frozen food items.

    With more than 4,500 square feet of devoted space, the store's produce department will offer more than 200 fresh organic produce items. Additionally, the store will feature a vast selection of fresh fruits and vegetables grown by local and regional farmers. Customers will also discover exotic and hard-to-find produce items, including more than 15 varieties of tropical fruits, 13 types of lettuce, and 14 kinds of fresh tomatoes, from Roma to vine-ripened.

    Staffed by trained butchers, the store's fresh meat and seafood department will feature fresh fish delivered daily and 100 varieties of fresh meat and poultry products. Wild Oats features meat and poultry raised without the use of antibiotics, growth hormones, or feed containing animal byproducts. Customers can dine in (with indoor and outdoor cafe seating) or take out fully prepared, healthy meals from a large selection of salads, sandwiches, entrees, side dishes, pizzas, sushi, and smoothies prepared fresh daily or made to order in the Wild Cafe, and Juice and Java bar.

    The new store will also have a state-of-the-art Holistic Health Center. With information and quality products at the forefront of this department, Wild Oats offers customers an educational and interactive way to shop for quality nutritional vitamins and supplements, as well as luxurious natural and organic body care products. The expansive Holistic Health Center will feature more than 5,000 vitamins, supplements, minerals, and homeopathic remedies.

    The Tampa Wild Oats Natural Marketplace incorporates state-of-the art equipment for optimal energy preservation and conservation. The HVAC and refrigeration systems use electronic controls and programming to minimize energy consumption. The lighting in the store is also controlled by the same electronic system to help reduce electric use.

    As part of the company's mission to promote health and well-being among customers, employees, local communities, and the environment, Wild Oats will host an ongoing schedule of store events that offer customers information and education about living a healthy lifestyle.

    Wild Oats is a nationwide chain of natural and organic foods markets in the United States and Canada. With the addition of the new Tampa store, the company operates 113 natural foods stores in 24 states and British Columbia. The company's markets include Wild Oats Natural Marketplace, Henry's Marketplace, Sun Harvest, and Capers Community Markets.

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