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Alternative grocery stores, perhaps encouraged by the success of New Seasons, are popping up all over

RITA A. LEONARD - A new alternative grocery store chain, Natural Grocer, opened a store in June at 3975 S.E. Powell Boulevard.A new alternative grocery store, called simply "Natural Grocers" has opened at 3975 S.E. Powell Boulevard, just east of Chavez Blvd (formerly S.E. 39th), facing the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood, and across the street from Safeway.

Natural Grocers' grand opening took place on Wednesday, June 7, offering what it identifies as "100% natural produce", and plenty of parking. Situated in the former home of the Dept. of Human Services, the office has been remodeled into over 12,000 square feet of bright retail space.

Manager Sarah Spicer remarked to THE BEE, "We promise no artificial ingredients in our products. We have a Health and Beauty section, and a Nutritional Health Coach on our staff. All our supplements go through a rigorous screening evaluation to meet the high standards of the 'Good Manufacturing Practices' logo."

Ryan Amirault, "Director of Social Media" for Natural Grocers, added, "We're really excited about stocking 100% natural products for our customers. We have 100% free-range eggs and organic produce, and all our dairy products are pasteurized. We offer Humm Kombucha (from Bend) on tap, and can fill growlers. This is just our first Portland location. We have another one planned to open at the end of the year." The chain evidently is Colorado-based, with locations all over the western United States; local stores are already open in Happy Valley, Beaverton, Gresham, and Vancouver.

In addition to farm-fresh produce and health items, there are also snacks available. Candy, chips, and snack bars have their own aisle, while frozen food cases offer fish, pizzas, meats, and ready-to-eat meals. Seventeen employees are available to help you find what you need.

Amirault advises, "If you check our website – www.naturalgrocers.com – there's even a list of items that we won't carry. We're open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. till 9 p.m., and Sundays from 9 until 8. Call us with any questions at 503/788-1677. We welcome your visits and your input."

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