Photos by Justin Fox Burks
So, we were a bit miffed when one of our relatives decided to sneak off to Lakeland alone last month to see the first Sprouts Farmers Market in the area. The original plan was to take us along for the ride! Maybe she wanted to be the first to report back all the mythical tales of the place. Well, a little serendipitous revenge sure is a beautiful thing . . . because the people at Sprouts invited us to preview the new store in Germantown on Tuesday afternoon before the official opening day on Wednesday, July 8. Here’s what we saw.
One of us (the one who finally bought multivitamins yesterday after an agonizing 20 minutes of hand-wringing and comparison shopping at another store) was impressed to see all the choices in the Sprouts aisles. The next thing we noticed is that Sprouts has everything backwards — in a good way! All the produce is displayed in the center of the store, and it takes up a quarter of the floor space. Other more shelf-stable items are located around the outside edges of the store.
Diego Romero was the knowledgeable Sprouts rep who gave us a tour. “It’s easy to start shopping and eating healthy with Sprouts,” he advised. “Just start in the produce section in the middle of the store and work your way out. And don’t be afraid to try something new.”
We were invited to try a few things, and Diego must’ve had us pegged from the start because he took us to grab a sample from the fresh juice bar. So we all raised a small plastic cup of Energize Me, which consisted of pineapple, pear, apple, and ginger. After, we visited for a while with Jody Okamoto from Melissa’s Produce. He immediately offered us a rambutan so fresh and sweet that it made us see the fruit anew. We’re pretty hard to stump, but there were a few things on display that we had never seen before. We tasted a fruit called a tree tomato, or tamarillo. It was like a mix of a tomato and a peach, but super tart.
We were pleased to see an abundance of organic products not only in the produce section but also in the bulk bins. We also spotted some Dave’s Killer Bread, which is a family favorite. Overall, the bakery section doesn’t seem to be the focus here, and it’s relatively small; however, we liked that Sprouts offers no-sugar-added pies and are curious about the pistachio muffins.
You may or may not live in Germantown or pass through there every day, but whatever your scenario is these days, it’ll be worth it to go see the new Sprouts. The ribbon-cutting ceremony is first thing on Wednesday morning, and they’re offering plenty of incentives to be there when the doors open at 7 or stop by this coming weekend. Sprouts is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and if you want our advice on planning your first trip there, just don’t forget to ask around first and see if anybody you know wants to tag along and experience it all with you.
www.sprouts.com; 3150 Village Shops Dr.; 901-259-7020
Amy Lawrence and Justin Fox Burks