Organic grocery store moves in across the street


Jessica Merritt

Sprout’s Farmers Market is an organic grocery store under construction across from Free State. “We believe everyone deserves access to healthy choices and we aim to inspire healthy living for all”, says Victoria Fernandez, a Sprout’s Public Relations Representative. The store will have it’s opening on July 1st at seven am.

Senior Andrea Coleman goes out to eat for lunch almost every day, frequenting Starbucks, Subway and Chipotle.  Meanwhile, junior Christina Craig brings her organic lunch from home. While both students have different eating habits, both are interested in the new natural grocery store being built across the street.
“Sprouts is the grocery shopping experience that makes healthy living easy and affordable,” said Victoria Fernandez, Sprouts public relations representative. “We offer a wide selection of healthy products, including high-quality produce, at affordable prices.”

Sprouts will open for business July 1, everyday from 7 a.m to 10 p.m.

Next school year, with Sprouts directly across the street from Free State, students will be able to purchase grab-and-go lunches and ready-made sandwiches in the deli.

Additionally, Sprouts has approximately 100 job openings for which students can apply. Applications are available at 

According to Fernandez, the store’s goal  is to educate the community on the benefits of eating organic and healthy.

“We believe everyone deserves access to healthy choices, and we aim to inspire healthy living for all,” Fernandez said. “People come to Sprouts to get more than healthy food. They come to get education and inspiration to help them make healthier choices.”

Nancy O’Conner, director of education and outreach for The Merc Co-op, questions whether whether Sprouts will be a favorable addition to the town’s selection of natural foods.

“I mean, it sure is close to Free State, and if students go into Sprouts and explore what they have, it may have a positive impact,” O’Conner said.  “But having said that, it takes more than just opening a store and calling it natural.”

The Merc is a locally owned co-op, meaning there is only one Merc, while Sprouts is a natural food store corporation with over 40 stores across the nation.

“[The Merc is] 41 years old this year,” O’Connor said. “We have a huge commitment to our community through education and outreach … It takes a long time to build those type of relationships. When a corporation comes in outside from another state, they don’t know Lawrence like we know Lawrence.”