Natural Grocers opens Tuesday

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Denton’s newest grocery store, Natural Grocers, will open at 8:56 a.m. Tuesday.

Manager Bryan Kirkham calls the store’s unusual hours a “customer service thing.”

The store, at 110 W. University Drive, will be open from 8:56 a.m. to 7:04 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 9:56 a.m. to 7:06 p.m. Sunday.

It’s frustrating for a customer to arrive early or late and not be allowed in, he said.

Not to mention, the hours provide a great conversation starter, he said.

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage is a specialty retailer of natural and organic groceries. It offers certified organic produce, a variety of gluten-free items, fresh meat, pet foods and dietary supplements.

Liz Isely, executive vice president for the retailer, said a company committee reviews the labels of each item before it’s sold in stores. And, she said, there is a list of why certain items aren’t carried.

The Denton location is the Lakewood, Colo.-based retailer’s 64th store. It has 12 Texas stores, three of them in Dallas. Natural Grocers also operates in Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming.

A picture of founder Margaret Isely hangs in the entrance to the store. Isely founded the store in 1955 with her husband, Philip, selling whole-grain bread and vitamin supplements.

A portion of the 21,200-square-foot Denton location — which was previously a furniture store — is set aside for a community room, where people can enjoy free coffee and Wi-Fi.

Kirkham said this is one of the largest stores Natural Grocers has opened. Most stores are between 11,000 and 12,000 square feet, he said.

The Denton store will employ 30 to 32 staff members.

The store sells bulk items, such as spices and nuts, that are packaged at a distribution center in Colorado.

The store also offers cooking demonstrations and has a health coach on hand to answer customers’ questions.

It is a bag-free store. Instead of plastic or paper bags, the store uses recycled boxes for customers’ groceries.

Liz Isely, the founder’s daughter-in-law, said Denton is the type of community where Natural Grocers does well. She was in town to set up the store.

“We think it’s a good community, a healthy community,” she said at the store’s ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday.

Isely said the store aims to have more than just good products.

“It’s important to have great customer service,” she said.

RACHEL MEHLHAFF can be reached at 940-566-6889. Her e-mail address is rmehlhaff@dentonrc.com .

ON THE WEB

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage: www.naturalgrocers.com/store-locations/denton


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