April 13, 2011

An Old Boulder Staple Opens Anew; Alfalfa’s Returns.

Photo: Chris Chandler

I wasn’t living in Boulder during Alfalfa’s first incarnation, but I’ll be working there this time around, and couldn’t be more excited. Drop by for a visit in the cheese and specialty foods section, and grow to love it all over again.

Boulderites are rejoicing over the return of Alfalfa’s Market.

A much-loved source of delicious, organic food, the unique grocery store has been sorely missed since its disappearance in 1996. It will re-open on Earth Day, and continue to uphold the high standards that once made it famous among locals. Not only is Alfalfa’s Market hand-sculpted to suit the healthy, conscious consumers of Boulder, it is also owned and operated by eco-responsible, generally awesome people.

Their dedication to stocking non-GMOs and supporting local farmers means that your business will support not only Alfalfa’s, but also responsible methods of food-production.

~Sara Bruskin

We here at elephant journal are proud to share the following press release announcing Alfalfa’s grand opening:

Alfalfa’s to Open its Inaugural Store on Earth Day

April 22nd marks the day Alfalfa’s will re-open its doors to the Boulder community at its original Broadway and Arapahoe location.

BOULDER, Colo. (April 7, 2011) – Alfalfa’s announced today it will officially open its doors to the public at 7:30 a.m. on Earth Day, Friday, April 22, 2011. This marks the return of an iconic chain of organic and natural food stores that were founded in Boulder in 1979 and that were actively involved in their local communities. Alfalfa’s inaugural store will be located at 1651 Broadway at Arapahoe in Boulder, which is where the first Alfalfa’s store got its start.

“Since we received the approval to purchase this store last June, we’ve been working hard to bring the people of Boulder the best the world has to offer in organic and natural foods,” said Mark Retzloff, co-founder and Chairman of Alfalfa’s. “We’ve completely remodeled the store and have hired an all-star team of nearly 200 staff. We can’t wait to open our doors to the public on Earth Day, which is a symbolic day considering Alfalfa’s history and commitment to sustainable agriculture.”

In addition to Mark Retzloff, Barney Feinblum, Hugo van Seenus and Jimmy Searcy—Alfalfa’s founders and long-time pioneers in the organic and natural products community—Alfalfa’s has staffed its store with many familiar faces in the local organic foods scene, including key management:

—Norm Everhart, Vice President of Store Development & Construction, is a seasoned pro who brings 30 years of experience building and designing retail spaces to Alfalfa’s. Norm held senior management-level positions in store design and facilities management at Haggen, SuperValu and Mrs. Gooch’s Natural Food Markets.

—Paul Gingerich, Director of Meat & Seafood, started his career with Alfalfa’s in the early days when they made news by becoming one of the first stores to incorporate meat departments into what had traditionally been vegetarian “health food” stores in the 1980s. Paul, a foremost expert on all-natural meat and seafood, worked up through the stores and became Vice President of Meat & Seafood at Wild Oats Markets, and then went on to run the meat business for Albert’s Organics before coming home to Alfalfa’s.

—Dale Kamibayashi, Director of Purchasing, was the original store director at this Alfalfa’s location in 1983. He stayed on with Alfalfa’s through the Wild Oats merger and, after leaving Wild Oats in 1999, worked for several leading natural and organic foods companies, including Small Planet Foods, Rapunzel and Ceres Organics.

—Stacee McGovern, Director of Marketing, started her 15-year natural foods retail career at Wild Oats. She has since held marketing positions at leading food retail brands, including Noodles & Company and Whole Foods Market.

—Tim Overlie, Store Director, has spent more than 30 years in the natural, organic and specialty foods retail industry. He started with Alfalfa’s in 1983 at the Broadway and Arapahoe store, and continued his career in key operations and buying positions at Wild Oats.  Most recently, he was CEO of Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy.

—JP Patrick, Director of Culinary Services, manages the prepared foods, bakery, coffee and juice bar departments. He comes to Alfalfa’s with more than 15 years of culinary and product development experience. JP is an award-winning chef who has served as director of culinary research and development for leading food service companies, including Udi’s Handcrafted Foods, Noodles & Company, American Blue Ribbon Holdings and Yoshida Foods.

“At Alfalfa’s, service comes first and we believe the quality, knowledge and energy of the people we hire will help make our retail experience distinct and enjoyable for our community,” said Retzloff. “That’s why we’ve taken extra care in bringing in an experienced management staff, and in training our store employees so they are ready to serve and to share their passion when we open our doors on Earth Day. It was this passion and our support of the local community that made Alfalfa’s special before, and will make us special again—32 years after we opened our first store.”

In addition to hiring passionate, experienced people who understand the Boulder organic foods market, Alfalfa’s has made it a priority to work with many Boulder-based companies in the development and construction of its store. This support includes local design firm, CommArts, PEH Architects and general contractor, Deneuve Construction.

About Alfalfa’s

Founded as Pearl Street Market in Boulder, Colorado in 1979, Alfalfa’s Market grew to be one of the nation’s leading-edge natural products retailers throughout the 1980s and 1990s. With 11 stores and an iconic reputation for being a community gathering place filled with an infectious passion for natural and organic foods, Alfalfa’s Market was acquired by Wild Oats Markets in 1996. Now, 15 years after the merger, Mark Retzloff, an original Alfalfa’s founder, Barney Feinblum, Hugo van Seenus and Jimmy Searcy have resurrected the Alfalfa’s name.

Alfalfa’s is a Boulder-owned and operated organic and natural foods market. With a modern store environment, Alfalfa’s has preserved the same passion, adherence to strict product standards and true community market experience that the original Alfalfa’s was known for.  For more information, please visit www.alfalfas.com.

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