A new natural foods store has sort of opened in Chico. New Earth Market, on the northwest corner of East Avenue and Cohasset Road, is calling this open their "soft open."
"What that means is, we're still testing our systems and getting everything up to speed," Kevin Cotter, a co-owner of the store, said. "We have a few parts of the store that aren't operational yet, like our Mexican bar. We're still working on that."
The store is all natural and organic. They are strict on those points, too. In fact, they have a list of 100 banned ingredients that they will not allow on any ingredient list in the shop.
In addition to groceries, they also have a coffee bar, deli, beer and wine cellar and indoor and outdoor seating to enjoy it all.
"It's not a store for any particular person," Cotter explained. "I think our society is understanding the connection between health and wellness in our diet."
Right next door to New Earth Market is Laura's Wig and Beauty Supply. Employees there said they are excited for new neighbors and the foot traffic a new store can bring.
"We were ready for something new," Lila Rich, a stylist, said. "We were ready for the shopping center to kind of get revamped and get a new face."
Rich said they are hopeful that the new store and its new face will attract new customers for them.
The one negative, aside from construction, has been parking these first few days. She expects that will work itself out over time.
"I think this end of town has been forgotten about for a while," Rich said. "It's just bringing in some new stuff so that there's actually stuff to do on the north end of town."
The New Earth Market has hired about 70 employees throughout the course of this launch. They may hire more as they get into the full-swing of business.
The store is now open, but the grand opening will be sometime in May.