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Store News: Fresh by Brookshire's

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Last May, we told you to “stay tuned” about Fresh by Brookshire’s, the first new concept food store built by the Brookshire Grocery Company of Tyler, Texas. As the great Midwestern radio legend Paul Harvey would say, here’s... the rest of the story.

Brookshire’s has more than 150 stores in several states, operating four banners. Most of the are either full-service Brookshire’s Food Stores or the warehouse-style Super 1 Foods. A second set of stores is more specialized: Olé Foods focuses on Hispanic consumers, while the Aldi-like ALPS is described as an Always Low Price Store.

fresh_map.jpgThe newest member of the Brookshire family falls into the latter group. Fresh is a first for Brookshire, and represents a radical departure for the company on several levels (Click on image to get an idea of the footprint). The emphasis on fresh foods is obviously the top priority, from produce, through to meat and seafood, and on to bakery. There are lots of self-service bars – olive, taco and produce, as well as concierges inside the main entrances for those valuing a higher-touch environment.

The store has a wellness section unlike any other in the chain. The department is overseen by a healthy living manager who has certifications in nutritional counseling, natural foods, and even aromatherapy. All the products carried in the section have all-natural ingredients, with no chemical bases or synthetic fragrances.

The department also merchandises multi-vitamins, homeopathic remedies and dietary supplements. Bulk foods are also found in healthy living. According to officials, the store has approximately 200 different bulk items including organic whole grains, oats, quinoa, wheat, rice, beans and lentils. Also offered in bulk are organic teas, sugars, maple syrup, honey, spices and sea salts. Nut grinders are available for freshly ground almond, cashew, peanut and sesame butter, too.

The 55,000-square-foot structure itself is different from any other in the company. The LEED-qualified store was constructed in a sustainable manner (70% of the construction waste was due to be collected for recycling); and designed with an eye towards the future. The site includes space reserved for an electric vehicle charging station.

And the design team that drew up the plans for the Fresh store are bringing environmental conservation right through the doors: One of the more cutting-edge design elements includes a “prominently located cistern [that will] will serve as a design detail as well as a way to capture the roof drainage for the irrigation system.”

Who says going green can’t be stylish? As the industry gets heavy into Earth Week, we’re reminded of how sustainability can be made to work for us, too.

[Photo credit: Brookshire Grocery Company]

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