Earth Fare is coming to Fort Wayne.
The North Carolina-based grocer specializing in healthy and organic foods has signed a lease to locate in the former Scott's Food store at Coldwater and Dupont roads and could open as soon as April, said John Rogers of Rogers Family Properties, which owns the 62,000-square-foot facility. Earth Fare will occupy about 26,000 square feet, with the remainder of the space remaining available for lease.
The News-Sentinel reported in August that Earth Fare, which was founded in Asheville in 1975 and operates 25 stores, including two in Indiana, was scouting for a Fort Wayne location and had investigated the Scott's store, which closed in 2011as part of a local restructuring by the Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., which owns the Scott's Food chain.
Earth Fare does not sell items containing high-fructose corn syrup, trans fats or artificial preservatives, sweeteners or flavors. Its fresh meats and dairy products are free of antibiotics and synthetic growth hormones. Supermarket News has estimated the company's annual sales at between $250 million and $375 million.
Earth Fare may not be the only healthy-foods store in the immediate area, however.
As The News-Sentinel reported in September, Brian Hench is planning to open “teds market” and café in the Union Chapel Church at Union Chapel and Coldwater roads. The 34-year-old Hench, a Huntertown resident, most recently oversaw the fresh-food department of the Ohio-based Chief Super Market chain, which listed his grandfather, Ted Hench, among its founders.