Amid the persistent din of Whole Foods chatter, another natural-foods store quietly zipped into the Boise market and set up shop. Natural Grocers, a 52-store chain based out of Denver, is set to open a 24,000-square-foot location in Boise at 1195 N. Milwaukee St.
"If you look at it from a demographic standpoint, [Boise] has fairly similar demographics to Denver, and we do pretty well in Denver," said Kemper Isely, Natural Grocers co-president. "And you go up there and you see the real successful co-op up there. There's not a lot of other natural-food stores. I know Whole Foods is coming at the end of this year. ... I think there's quite a bit of room for us to help expand the market for natural foods."
The family owned grocery and vitamin store specializes in natural and organic products. Though it will offer produce and prepared foods from local vendors, it won't have its own prepared foods or meat counter.
"We're pretty particular about what we sell in our stores. In our produce department, you'll only find organic produce. The meats that we sell are naturally raised, which means that they're raised without added hormones or antibiotics and in non-confined feedlot situations," said Isely. "And then we don't allow artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or artificial sugars in the products we sell in our stores."
Natural Grocers will also feature free nutritional coaching and a community gathering room with a demo kitchen and meeting space. The bag-free store--no paper or plastic--plans to open shop on Tuesday, Feb. 28. For more info, visit naturalgrocers.com.
Speaking of no preservatives, antibiotics or growth hormones, Double XL Ranch will soon be slinging its local Berkshire pork and Wagyu beef from a mobile food truck. Double XL Ranch owner Dan Gianuzzi has teamed up with Eddy and Geedes Sparks of Urban Rustic Gourmet to open a local foods/fusion truck called Curbside Bistro.
"We're going to try to use all local products," Gianuzzi said, adding he has plans to work with Rice Family Farms and Rustic Gourmet.
"It's basically going to be a fusion menu. ... We're going to do dumplings and we're going to do pork belly and Kobe beef burgers, but everything with a twist."
Gianuzzi will finalize his menu while waiting for the truck to be painted. He hopes Curbside Bistro will be up and running by Thursday, March 1, but said April 1 is a more realistic goal.
He hopes to be downtown Monday through Friday and do the bar scene on the weekends from 9 p.m. to 1 or 2 a.m. He also plans to do the circuit of special events and farmers markets.