A conceptual rendering of the Earth Fare store coming to the Woodlands Square shopping center in Oldsmar. Company officials recently announced a Fall 2017 grand opening for the 24,000 store, which specializes in healthy and organic foods. (Credit: City of Oldsmar)
Earth Fare, a North Carolina based grocery chain specializing in organic and natural foods, officially announced a Fall 2017 grand opening for its newest Florida location earlier this week.
Located adjacent to Bealls in the redeveloped Woodlands Square plaza in Oldsmar, the 24,000-square-foot store is expected to be a magnet attraction for the revamped Tampa Road shopping center.
“We are thrilled to have Earth Fare as one of the centerpiece tenants in this redevelopment,” Brian Maloney, managing director of retail for property developer RAM Realty, said in a press release.
The Woodlands Square Shopping Center, which is currently undergoing a major redevelopment, is located at the intersection of Tampa and Curlew roads in Oldsmar.
“We have received overwhelming support from the City of Oldsmar each step of the process and the residents will soon have new shopping, dining and entertainment options. All of this continues our commitment to making the places where we do business better.”
This will be the second Earth Fare store in the Tampa Bay area, following the opening of a location in Seminole in September 2016. Earth Fare currently operates 41 stores in nine states, including several in Florida.
Founded in 1975 in Asheville, Earth Fare “has distinguished itself as a leader in the health foods industry by developing a unique Food Philosophy that informs every product offered in the store,” according to the press materials.
“This Food Philosophy ensures that all products sold are free of high fructose corn syrup, artificial fats and trans-fats, artificial colors, artificial preservatives, artificial sweeteners, bleached or bromated flour, and are never administered antibiotics or growth hormones.”
The company made headlines earlier this year by challenging Americans to take back their health through their food choices and “Live Longer With Earth Fare.”
A rendering of the type of signage that will be utilized at the redeveloped Woodlands Square Shopping Center. (Credit: City of Oldsmar.)
The new Oldsmar store will reportedly feature an Heirloom Organic Juice Bar, featuring 100 percent organic coffees, smoothies and juices; a kitchen offering fresh, ready-to-go meal solutions, including a pizza station, salad bar, a sandwich counter and packaged meals to-go; and an indoor/outdoor, 80-seat café with free Wi-Fi.
“At Earth Fare, we believe the better you eat, the longer you live,” CEO Frank Scorpiniti said in the release. “Americans deserve a store where they can find all of the products they need to help their families lead longer, healthier lives, and we are looking forward to bringing our mission of providing healthy food for everyone to the Oldsmar community.”
Following the official announcement Mayor Doug Bevis met with Earth Fare officials as part of their efforts to integrate the company into the community, and he came away impressed.
Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis.
“They’re very community involved,” Bevis told Oldsmar Connect by phone this week. “They met with representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club. They want to be involved with the Woman’s Club. They’re big on educating people about the benefits of healthy eating. I think it’s another good (business) partner for Oldsmar.”
In addition to Earth Fare, Woodlands Square will feature a mix of new and existing businesses; a remodeled AMC theater; exterior façade improvements; a reconfigured parking lot; and a new pathway to improve connectivity with nearby Canal Park.
“I think (Earth Fare) really goes good with the movie theater and PetSmart and some of the other stores in the plaza,” Bevis said.
“I think the grocery business is a growing market and I think this is a good alternative to what’s out there.”
A Google Maps screenshot of the Woodlands Square Shopping Center, located at the intersection of Tampa and Curlew Roads in Oldsmar. The new, 24,000-sq.ft. Earth Fare store will be located next to Bealls, in the space formerly occupied by Office Depot, when it opens in Fall 2017.
Bevis also praised the dedication and commitment to revitalizing the plaza, which he believes says a lot about the area.
“I think for that plaza, it’s nice that somebody’s giving it a shot in the arm,” he said of Woodlands Square, which was built in the mid-80s and suffered from a mix of outdated tenants and a convoluted parking lot.
“It speaks a lot for that plaza and for the area.”