On the Road: Sprouts Farmers Market, Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA—Even if you’ve seen 100 Sprouts Farmers Market stores, you still need to see the one in Philadelphia.

I walked through in early April on a DIY Retail Tour following the PMA Fresh Connections Retail conference, and I was blown away.

How? This is Sprouts Farmers Market. I shop there regularly. How can this one be so exceptional?

This ties in to the discussions we had at Fresh Connections.

Every other Sprouts I’ve seen, from Atlanta to Austin to Phoenix to California, looks almost identical. They’re in strip malls. Sprouts is an opportunist when it comes to redeveloping retail space.

This store, on the other hand, actually looks like a farmers market, thanks to its location in a former rail building. It has a high, open ceiling and reminds me of the produce sheds at the Dallas Farmers Market.

My visit came directly after a walk through a kind of underwhelming (from a produce perspective – I got a fantastic cup of coffee and a croissant) walk through the Reading Terminal Market. That location is all atmosphere, no substance, with a multitude of food halls and only two produce vendors.

This Sprouts is somewhere you could actually shop for groceries and not just a handful of distressed cranberry beans or rejected cauliflower.

Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.