Natural Grocers Jazzed to Make Louisiana Debut

Lafayette unit brings new offerings and curb appeal to competitive market

Natural Grocers of Lakewood, Colo., will open its first Louisiana store in Lafayette on Oct. 9. The new store will feature the grocer’s signature combination of organic and natural groceries, body care products and dietary supplements, along with science-based nutrition education programs to help customers make informed health and nutrition choices.

“We want to provide access to the highest-quality natural and organic products, at [our] always affordable prices, to Lafayette residents,” said Natural Grocers co-President Kemper Isely.

But while the interior of the store will reflect Natural Grocers’ commitment to well-priced natural and organic offerings, the exterior is a decided departure from its traditional look. Located at 1925 Kaliste Saloom Road in what was formerly The Chandelier Room—a ritzy venue for weddings, corporate events and Mardi Gras balls—the Lafayette store lends a new kind of curb appeal for the grocer.

The growing area is also well-established with competitors. The Fresh Market, Whole Foods Market, Rouses Market and local upscale grocer Champagne’s Market are all just minutes away.

According to the Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA), residential development, government improvements and university and private business have propelled area commercial construction activity to more than $281 million last fiscal year.

When it comes to retail spending, the area draws healthy traffic from a combination of locals, neighboring towns and tourists. LEDA reports that more than 20% of retail spending in Lafayette Parish is from shoppers who live outside of the Parish’s borders. The population in Lafayette’s trade market is more than 600,000 people, and more than 1 million tourists visit the area every year, notes LEDA.

Family-run Natural Grocers, which was built on the premise that consumers should have access to affordable, high-quality foods and dietary supplements, is banking on this formula resonating with locals and visitors alike.

It’s set to open its doors in Lafayette brimming with products such as 100% organic produce; meat humanely raised without antibiotics, hormones or other growth promoters; 100% free-range eggs; 100% pasture-based dairy; GMO-free prepackaged bulk products; and groceries that don't contain any artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives.

As part of its opening day festivities, Natural Grocers will host a sweepstakes in which nine customers will win Natural Grocers gift cards ranging in value from $10 to $100 per week for six months. The first 100 customers will receive free gift bags containing an oven mitt, utensils, a breakfast recipe and all the ingredients to make the recipe.

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Inc. is an expanding specialty retailer of organic and natural groceries. Founded in 1955, Natural Grocers has more than 3,500 employees and operates 153 stores in 19 states.



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