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Grocery shopping options bloom

With the opening of the Save Mart store Friday in place of Albertsons, shoppers in western Nevada County have more options across the grocery spectrum.

In the organic foods grocery business, the BriarPatch Community Market celebrates its new store this weekend. BriarPatch, also in Grass Valley, opened May 30.

BriarPatch offers natural and organic products, while Save Mart aims for budget-minded traditional shoppers.



In addition, with the Safeway Lifestyles store in Glenbrook Basin offering high-end groceries, as well as more leeway for more local farmers to reach roadside customers, the options for area shoppers appear to be expanding.

But on Friday, not all shoppers left entirely satisfied with the new offerings.




“I think that they’ve lowered some prices, but I’ve also seen that they’ve raised some prices, too,” shopper Kathy Adasiewicz said of Save Mart.

Alexis Tjoa disagreed.

“The prices are lower, and now I don’t have to go down the hill so much,” she said. “I love it for things like cleaning supplies.”

“It’s bright, cheerful and the prices are wonderful,” Debby Wiederhold added.

BriarPatch vs. Trader Joe’s

Meanwhile, BriarPatch’s grand opening features a raffle to raise money for charities, organic food samples, live music and children’s activities.

Save Mart, a family owned business based in Modesto, bought 132 Northern California Albertsons stores seven months ago with the promise of offering lower prices on thousands of items. It gives western Nevada County residents an alternative both to discount-priced Grocery Outlet in Grass Valley area and to going “down the hill.”

The new BriarPatch is three times the size of the former store and includes a fresh fish and meat counter, fresh produce, wine and a deli.

It is the first certified “green” commercial building in the area, sparking interest among conventional builders, and is located at 290 Sierra College Drive in Grass Valley.

“I love it,” BriarPatch customer Dorothy Wheeler said. “I used to occasionally shop at Trader Joe’s, but since this store opened, I feel like I want to come here. It’s really helping me to change my eating habits.”

“It’s awesome,” said Graham Hayes, with his 10-month old daughter on his back. “I’m starting a community supported kitchen and it’s great having a store that has all the ingredients we need. It’s (the store) tying together a lot of the pieces of the community. This store is helping us build our local economy.”

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Editor Jeff Pelline contributed to this story. To contact Staff Writer Lindsey Croft, e-mail lindseyc@theunion.com or call 477-4247.


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