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New Organic Grocer in Augusta Area


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The organic food market in Augusta could become more competitive.


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Earth Fare, the Asheville, N.C.-based natural and organic grocer, has signed a lease to fill the former Winn-Dixie store at the Shoppes at Furys Ferry plaza at the corner of Baston and Furys Ferry roads.

"We think Augusta's a growing area," said Jim St. Charles, Earth Fare Inc.'s vice president of real estate and construction. "We think it's a very vibrant city."

The store, similar to The Fresh Market on Washington Road, is tentatively expected to open the 35,000-square-foot location in late July or early August, he said.

The new store is expected to create about 130 full-time and part-time jobs, ranging from cashiers and butchers to cheese experts and management-level positions, said Troy DeGroff, Earth Fare's director of sales and marketing.

Mr. St. Charles said Augusta has the right demographic for the stores, which typically attract the health-conscious, those with dietary needs or customers seeking high-quality foods.

Mr. DeGroff said pay scales vary by experience and market but are usually above minimum wage.

Charles Dunstan, an associate at Augusta-based Dunstan Inc., a partial owner of the shopping center, said facade improvements are planned at the site.

He said the lease would be signed Wednesday but declined to disclose terms, saying only that, "They made a pretty big commitment to Augusta."

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