’A perfect opportunity’: BriarPatch Food Co-op expects to open Auburn location mid-2022 | TheUnion.com
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’A perfect opportunity’: BriarPatch Food Co-op expects to open Auburn location mid-2022

BriarPatch Food Co-op marketing manager Rebecca Torpie said that, for the co-op, the former Kmart site in Auburn is “a perfect opportunity.”

The co-op, which currently operates a storefront in Grass Valley, announced Thursday it had signed a lease to the space and would be opening a second location there.

In a release, BriarPatch board members described the decision as motivated by three main factors: desire to increase community impact, improvement of the local food system, and success as a business.



According to Torpie, although other locations were considered, Auburn had been identified as a front runner through several years of market research.

“Finding the perfect site, in an area we knew from our market research would work well for us, was kind of a timing situation,” said Torpie on the urgency the co-op felt to secure this space.



According to Torpie, even within a preferred city, the particular location was a good fit for BriarPatch.

“Finding a grocery store-sized building in our area, and down the corridor, is a pretty challenging thing to do,” she said.

She said the Rock Creek Plaza shopping center, which also includes a United Parcel Service store, pharmacy, and several other retailers, would also result in “great synergy” with the BriarPatch store.

The release last week states BriarPatch expects to open the second location at the 2845 Bell Road center in mid-2022.

Torpie said they estimate much of the time until then will be spent on “getting ready the infrastructure necessary for a grocery store.” This will include expansion of plumbing, HVAC systems, and “so much refrigeration and electricity” BriarPatch will need, which Kmart did not.

Once these elements are done, said Torpie, the “fun stuff” surrounding design of customer experience can begin. While they will aim to keep brand consistency between the two stores, they will also want the new store to “incorporate Auburn and its spirit” as Torpie said the Grass Valley location does with Nevada County.

Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at vpenate@theunion.com.


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