New Organic Option Opens Doors

By: Deneige Broom Email
By: Deneige Broom Email

Three million dollars in construction costs and more than 100 local hires later, Earth Fare Supermarket is ready for business.

The new location will bring jobs to the area but it's the impact on local growers that really has some people buzzing.

"We really try to give them a place to sell their products at a fair price and give them a chance to really succeed because small businessmen and farmers in particular are really the heart of what this country was started on," said Earth Fare's C.E.O. Jack Murphy.

Earth Fare's advertised goal is to stock shelves with items produced no more than one hundred miles away.

Murphy says they've reached out to farmers and growers in the area but so far, none have jumped on board.

The produce manager says part of the problem for some smaller farms is they can't produce enough product or insurance costs could be too high.

Costs to the consumer could be higher as well since a store spokesperson says organic foods can cost at least 20 percent more than conventional foods.

But some consumers don't mind the higher price.

"Because I don't want to eat pesticides," said Bruce Fromke who buys organic foods. "I would just rather see people growing organic foods, more demand for that and more profit for organic farmers and healthier people."

Earth Fare contracts with about 10 Florida farms with some from North and South Carolina, but they're hoping to add truly local produce.

The Apalachee Parkway location (what used to be Circuit City) is the first in Florida for the North Carolina based company.

It's grand opening is Wednesday, December 15.

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