LONGMONT -- While most people had Tuesday off, Longmont's newest grocery store was a beehive of activity on New Year's Day, with the employees of Sprouts Farmers Market gearing up for Wednesday's opening.
As of Monday there was still a lot of work to be done, including filling the shelves with a lot of the products that wouldn't be stocked until just before the 7 a.m. opening.
"The nonperishable side is done first," store manager Bill Falconer said. "The perishable stuff you want to do at the last minute. We want to get the freshest product on the shelf."
Sprouts' new 29,000-square-foot store is in the former Borders Bookstore space at 1101 S. Hover St. Sprouts will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The company's president and CEO, Doug Sanders, said its opening has been a long time coming.
"We've been working on getting to Longmont for several years," he said. "We were working on Longmont and Sunflower was working on Longmont, and we both kind of coveted that Longmont space."
It was actually Boulder-based Sunflower Farmers Market that announced, in April, plans for a Longmont store. But at the time Sunflower was merging with Phoenix-based Sprouts, and it was already known that after the two companies merged, all Sunflowers stores would become Sprouts. That merger was finalized in May.
About 85 people work at the Longmont store which, like all Sprouts stores, has incorporated some of the touches from Sunflower and California-based Henry's Farmers Market, which merged with Sprouts in 2011.
"They've always had a great floral department," Sprouts spokeswoman Lindsay Windler said Monday as she gave a walk-through of the new store. "Boar's Head (meats) is something that we also adapted from Sunflower."
Sprouts has an in-house bakery and meat department, and a that prepares sandwiches and other dishes to go. A full fifth of the store is dedicated to fresh produce, Windler said.
Sanders, the CEO, said that's one of the things that sets his company apart from other grocery stores.
"We position ourselves as a value in natural and organic foods," he said. "Being a farmers market concept, we lead with fresh produce. We'll compete on price with anybody in town."