green dr martens shoes Earth Fare supermarket opens first store in Fairfax
Fairfax County residents now have a new option for grocery shopping after the North Carolina based chain Earth Fare officially opened its first location in the area on Jan. 10.
Located in the Kamp Washington complex on Lee Highway, the 20,000 square foot grocery store held a ribbon cutting ceremony and gave away $500 gift cards to the first 100 shoppers who got in line early Wednesday morning.
Earth Fare is far from the only grocery store chain to promote itself by advertising the freshness and healthiness of its food, but its sheer commitment to that philosophy might be enough to distinguish it from similar outlets like Whole Foods or MOM’S Organic Market.
“What’s really unique about Earth Fare is, while we have the cleanest assortment in North America, we still have a full shop assortment,” Earth Fare president and CEO Frank Scorpiniti said.
The Fairfax location is Earth Fare’s 45th store overall and its first in Northern Virginia.
The state’s first store opened in Roanoke in November.
According to Scorpiniti, the Kamp Washington Shopping Mall stood out as an ideal location for the chain’s first Fairfax County site because of its position at the busy intersection of Lee Highway and Fairfax Boulevard as well as the sizable amount of surface parking.
To get acquainted with Fairfax County and better understand the surrounding neighborhood, Earth Fare brought together 12 people from the local community for a community advisory board that met several times in the months leading up to the store’s grand opening.
The community advisory board helped guide Earth Fare’s selection of dairy choices, grass fed options, local farms, and fresh seafood, according to a Dec. 28 press release on the Fairfax store’s impending opening.
The company also invited local vendors to a fair where they could meet the store’s local team, led by manager Roman Diaz, and introduce their products.
When it opened on Wednesday, Earth Fare Fairfax featured products from 30 local vendors on its shelves, more than at any other store, according to Earth Fare spokesperson Laurie Aker. Brau Brewing Company.
“We’re very proud to get in touch with the community, and then we go look for the products being made in the community,” Scorpiniti said. “That helps create healthier communities not only in what people eat, but economics as well.”
Scorpiniti, who joined Earth Fare in 2014 after working in the pharmaceutical industry, says that the company’s ultimate goal is to make it easier for people to eat healthily.
“It may look like we’re selling groceries, [which] we are, but we’re really in the healthcare business,” Scorpiniti said.
Earth Fare pledges that all of its food is completely free of added hormones, antibiotics, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, bleached or bromated flour,
and artificial fats, trans fats, colors, and flavors.
In fact, if a customer or employee finds a product that violates that pledge, the company will investigate and give person who discovered the issue $50 if they are proven correct. The policy is known as the “boot list,” since the offending products are then removed from shelves.
While this has been Earth Fare’s “food philosophy” since its founding, the company recently launched a new branding campaign called Live Longer with Earth Fare aimed at encouraging people to be aware of what they are putting in their bodies.
The campaign was inspired by reports that the life expectancy for Americans at birth has been declining, according to Aker. life expectancies went down in 2015 for the first time since 1993 due to rising fatalities from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, drug overdoses, accidents, and other conditions, according to an article on the report by The Washington Post. for two consecutive years
While the CDC’s report attributes the decline from 2015 to unintentional injuries, Alzheimer’s disease, and suicides, with the ongoing opioid drug epidemic as a major factor, heart disease still emerged as the leading cause of death for Americans in 2016.
“Live Longer with Earth Fare was a direct response to this crisis,” Aker said. “It’s aimed at empowering Americans to take back their own health through their food choices. Live Longer with Earth Fare is a rallying cry for Americans to choose only the cleanest, healthiest foods.”
Cost and convenience are frequently cited as challenges to healthy eating for many people, since it seems cheaper and easier to get fast food from a drive thru than it is to cook a meal at home or eat at a sit down restaurant.
However, Scorpiniti says that it is a misconception that eating healthy, organic food is a luxury not everyone can afford, and some research backs up his assertion.
According to the independent nonprofit Consumer Reports, a study conducted by Ohio State University and published in the Journal of Consumer Research in March found that people tend to assume more expensive products are healthier, even though in reality, price does not necessarily correlate with nutritional value.
Still, in an effort to make its products accessible, Earth Fare recently introduced a Clean Food Security program that provides premade meals that can feed a family of four for an average of $2.50 per person each night.
A Clean Food Security meal planner advertises dinners ranging from a Tuesday family pasta night for $9.99 to chicken thighs with a stir fried produce mix and organic rice for $6.48 on Sundays.
“We think that clean food should be available to anybody or any family no matter what their budget is,” Scorpiniti said.