Sprouts Farmers Market hosted a soft opening for “friends and family” Tuesday, a sneak peek to thank supporters and to help employees prepare for the onslaught of customers when doors officially open Wednesday at 7 a.m.
You can view my photos of the new Sprouts at the Lake Highlands Town Center here.
“It’s good to see it open,” said Alan Baron, who works in the grocery, frozen foods, dairy, beer and wine departments. “We’ve been out in the public inviting people to come out, and they say they’re excited to see us here. The community has been looking forward to having us open, and we know some of them have been coming to our other stores until we could open.”
Based on other openings he’s been to, he thinks Wednesday could get exciting.
“We expect to see lines around the building. It’s crazy, it’s fun. There will be lines at the checkout, and any normal day, that would be bad. That would mean we weren’t taking care of business. But when we’ve got every register running and lines are there, that’s a good sign.”
Store manager Mandel Balderrama agrees.
“We are excited to be in the neighborhood. It’s going to be a great location for us. The community has been waiting since they saw the sign go up. They wanted a grocery store in this area, and we expect big crowds.”
Lake Highlands resident Margo Miller, 59, is one of Sprouts’ newest team members. While I watched, she checked out her first customer, the second person to make a purchase at the store.
“I did okay,” she told me, laughing. “I was nervous.”
“I’ve never worked for a grocery store – I’ve worked lots of places, but not a grocery – and I only live 3 minutes away. I love the food here, and I’m glad it’s so close. The best thing to buy here is produce – any kind of produce – and the meat department here is great. They are nice about cutting special selections and telling me all about it. They are very knowledgeable.”
Miller, who has been training for several weeks, says she’s looking forward to greeting her friends at the register.
“I’m going to be here bright and early tomorrow to see the crush of people. That will be exciting.”
If you’d like to check out Sprouts for yourself, doors open to the public at 7 a.m. Wednesday. A ribbon cutting will take place at 6:50.