As a recent health boom has reached many residence of Sarasota county, organic markets have popped up all over town. The new strip mall built by Benderson Development Co. called Pelican Plaza, is no exception. This strip holds the classic Pine View student hang-out, Starbucks and contains other stories such as Ulta and Petco. Now a new, healthy, organic, grocery store, Sprouts Farmers Market has become a new addition to this trend.
Sprouts Farmers Market can be related to the more familiar chain called Whole Foods; they both contain organic and health oriented foods that are hard to find in traditional grocery stores. Upon walking in, the store feels bright, clean, and fresh, which are the exact same feelings the foods produce. The employees are cheerful and knowledgeable of their products, which is a necessity in an organic grocery store for there are often strange or difficult to find goods. The employees are eager to talk about recipes or ingredients, and are a great source for newcomer’s questions.
The store features an olive bar, fresh sushi, a juice bar, a salad bar and a sandwich bar. In comparison to the local grocery store chain Publix, the salad bar is a diverse and refreshing option to the typical prepackaged salads offered at Publix. Sprouts’ sushi also tastes fresher, especially the rice. There is also a fresh baked goods section. There are many fresh and flavorful breads sold, ranging from classic loafs to the more unique, such as a cheese jalapeno muffin. Some are sold in individual portions and others in loaves. The dried fruit and nut section is very large and prices are quite reasonable. They are organized in barrels and the customer can choose the amount of each that they want.
All of these pre-prepared foods allow for easy, healthy lunch option for students. For those staying on campus for a club after school hours, school lunch is not the most appetizing. A quick ten minute drive to Sprouts would provide a healthy and delicious lunch. Eleventh-grader Arooj Khan said, “I am excited that Sprouts has opened because it is a new option for a quick bite in places other than Gulf Gate and or the mall before Speech and Debate. The store is a great addition and I really love that it came to Sarasota.”
A common complaint towards stores that specialize in fresh, organic products is the price. The prices at Sprouts run similar to any of organic store, meaning slightly more expensive than a typical grocery store, such as Publix or Walmart. However, Sprouts puts a lot of their items on sale for prices that are comparable or better than other stores.
Despite the organic aura the store puts off, there is no need to be a health fanatic to shop there. Even for those who know nothing or care little about healthy or organic products, Sprouts is still a great grocery store to shop at. Sprouts is not going to replace a daily or weekly grocery store because it mainly stocks specialty goods that are not needed on a daily basis, but it is a great addition. The store will be a much needed supplement to the areas’ existing grocery stores, for it allows for easy access to healthy goods, while maintaining food quality.