As Mrs. Green's Natural Market prepared to open its doors in New Canaan Friday, it was all hands on deck.
On Thursday, corporate and store employees alike bustled around the store, making the final arrangements for today's opening in the supermarket's newest location at 2 Pine St., formerly home to the town's post office. Marketing officers and managers roamed the aisles, stacking shelves and checking inventory along with some of the store's 60 new, locally hired staff members. The store's official ribbon-cutting came in perfect step with the onset of spring and the rush of fresh produce to shelves.
"It's starting to be berry season," Curt Avallone, chief marketing officer at Mrs. Green's, said. "Better to give your kids strawberries than Oreos."
Drawing on a 20-year legacy in Connecticut, Mrs. Green's touts its credentials as a scrupulously health-conscious market, with the tagline "Good food, good for you, good for the earth." It sets itself apart from competitors like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's by offering exclusively organic products, unlike the mix of organic and conventionally grown food often found in other supermarkets, Avallone said. In a town already stocked with two grocery purveyors, the Food Emporium and Walter Stewart's Market, Mrs. Green's hopes to draw in customers, families in particular, who are savvy about eating healthfully. The store will employ nutritionists and coaches who will be on call to dispense free advice to customers.
"We think there's room for all of them (the supermarkets)," Tucker Murphy, executive director of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, said. "What it will really do is keep people shopping in New Canaan and certainly that's a good thing."
Mrs. Green's has existing locations in Stamford, Fairfield and Wilton. In adding New Canaan to this list, the store has found a strong market, said Devon Fleming, a lifestyle consultant working with Mrs. Green's.
"This area is very health-conscious and wants to support local products, to buy sustainably," Fleming said. "New Canaan customers, particularly moms, want and demand the best ingredients."
In keeping with its slogan as a neighborhood store, Mrs. Green's stocks a number of Fairfield County-made products, forging partnerships with vendors like Mamacats Q Tea from Wilton, Gourganics organic salsa from Fairfield, and Oats Granola from Westport.
"Something we look for is area recognition," Tori Quaranta, assistant buyer at Mrs. Green's, said.
The approximately 10,000 square foot store carries over 200 varieties of organic food in stock on any given day, Avallone said. The prepared food section of the store, offering a salad bar, pizzeria, sandwich counter and coffee bar, is intended to lure commuters stopping on their way to the train station across the street. With the buzz around the store's opening, Fleming, a longtime New Canaan resident, anticipates a new rush of recognition for other businesses on Pine Street.Read Full Article
"Pine Street is a little hidden gem," Fleming said. "This is a great location. It's great for the town and it's great for the customers."