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Organic and natural food retailer Earth Fare has opened its first store in the Tampa, Fla., market. The Seminole, Fla., location is the fourth in the Sunshine State for the Asheville, N.C.-based chain, and the 38th overall.
To mark the occasion, at a ribbon-cutting attended last week by Earth Fare President and CEO Frank Scorpiniti; Seminole Mayor Leslie Waters and other community representatives, Earth Fare presented a check for $4,000 to Edible Peace Patch Project, a St. Petersburg, Fla.-based nonprofit dedicated to developing community-oriented food systems and creating nutritional education programs.
This past summer, the grocer held a local vendor fair to search for the area’s best local products for the new location, interviewing dozens of local artisans and growers before selecting more than 40 products. The company also forms local community advisory boards comprising health-and-wellness experts, residents and community leaders to help tailor the in-store experience to the specific area.
“We’re here to make healthy food accessible to everyone, everywhere, and we realize that each community we serve will have different wants and needs,” said Scorpiniti. “Our local vendor fair and community advisory board establish an open dialogue with the Seminole community, so that we can exceed expectations and keep the conversation going.”
Scorpiniti added that the Seminole location is just the first of several that Earth Fare will open in the Tampa Bay area over the next few years, each one providing about 100 new jobs.
Earth Fare operates locations across nine Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest states.