Sunflower Market to build in Grand Junction

Sunflower Farmers Market, a Boulder-based natural and organic grocery store, will open a new location in Grand Junction next year, company officials announced Friday.

The 28,000-square-foot store will be located at the southwest corner of Independent Avenue and Bogart Lane, joining Hobby Lobby and Sonic in the Rimrock Crossing Shopping Center. Construction is expected to begin in February, and a grand opening is slated for September or October 2012, said Sage Horner, vice president of merchandising and marketing for Sunflower.

“We really do look forward to becoming an important member of the Grand Junction community,” he said.

Sunflower had been considering opening a store in Grand Junction for two to three years and, like many businesses, has had to work through a tough economy, Horner said. Company officials believe the store will fit a currently unfilled niche in the Grand Valley.

“Our real mission is to provide healthy foods at value pricing,” he said. “We think we fit very nicely between some of the more premium-priced natural, organic retailers that exist and, on the other side, what we refer to as the conventional grocery stores.”

Sunflower will compete with traditional supermarkets like Albertsons, City Market, Safeway and Walmart and natural and organic retailers Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage and Horn O’Plenty Health Foods. The store will be about half the size of the City Market that opened at 24 and Patterson roads last year.

Horner said Sunflower features more than 100 organic produce items year-round, all-natural meats, a large bulk-item selection and a wide array of natural health and wellness products. The Grand Junction store will be Sunflower’s first in Colorado with an accompanying liquor department featuring beer and wine.

Sunflower also offers a special savings promotion known as “Double Ad Wednesday,” where the past week’s and current week’s sale fliers overlap, doubling the number of items on sale.

Horner said the grocer expects to hire 75 to 90 employees for its grand opening.

Founded in 2002, Sunflower operates 35 stores in eight states. The Grand Junction store will be Sunflower’s first on the Western Slope.


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