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Sprouts grand opening draws large crowd at 7 a.m. Wednesday

By: Steve Archer, Reporter
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A crowd began forming early Wednesday morning at the Lincoln Crossing Marketplace for the grand opening of Lincoln’s newest grocery store, Sprouts Farmers Market.

More than 100 customers were in line by 7 a.m. Wednesday to be the first to see the new 30,000-square-foot store. Several civic and business leaders were also there for the ribbon-cutting event.

Lincoln resident Kristin Farley, among the first 20 in line, said she was up early to save money. The first 200 shoppers received a 20-percent-off coupon for the store.

“I came early to get the 20 percent off coupon,” Farley said. “I’m also excited to check out the new store.”

Darlene Perez, also of Lincoln, said she likes to shop locally.

“I want to support our community,” Perez said. “It’s great we have a new store in town.”

Mike and Wilma Tope, Lincoln Hills residents, were also at the store early to save money.

“We like Sprouts,” Wilma Tope said. “Also, we’re seniors and we don’t have a lot of activities.”

Michelle Horton, Sprouts Farmers Market’s regional director, said she has opened 10 stores in the last four years and Wednesday’s opening was the largest turnout of all of them. Wednesday’s opening was her first as regional director.

“We’ve opened a lot of stores in our region and this is the most supportive group and biggest crowd yet,” Horton said. “This is a fabulous community. Lincoln really turned out.”

Sprouts Farmers Market chose Lincoln because it is an “up-and-coming area,” according to Horton.

“Roseville has been a very successful store and this is kind of an offshoot of Roseville,” Horton said. “We’re spreading out in the Sacramento area and bringing healthy living.”

Shawn Tillman, the city of Lincoln’s economic development manager, said Sprouts is the “best thing that could happen” for the viability of the Lincoln Crossing Marketplace. Tillman said the downtown area of Lincoln generates the largest percentage of sales tax in the city but that might soon change.

“The second largest sales-tax generator is Lincoln Crossing Marketplace,” Tillman said. “With Ulta and Sprouts, this is likely to be the largest sales tax generator.”

Tillman added that the shopping center has seen some changes, such as T.J. Maxx moving to a nearby storefront, that have benefitted the location. Sprouts moved into the former T.J. Maxx location and that lured Ulta to the former Filco location, according to Tillman.

“The idea that prominent, national brands are making a commitment to Lincoln is significant,” Tillman said. “Those companies make thoughtful, long-term decisions.”

Mike Miller, the city’s Economic Development Committee chairman, said Sprouts opening is fantastic.

“We continue to see diverse shopping opportunities for the residents of Lincoln,” Miller said. “Also, there is a synergy here that provides opportunities for other businesses and benefits surrounding businesses. My guess is we will see some of the vacant storefronts here filled soon.”

Lincoln Mayor Stan Nader said Lincoln’s west side had been a grocery desert until Target added groceries to their store.

“It’s nice to see a long line of people waiting to get in,” Nader said. “It shows there has been some anticipation for this opening. I like the look of the store and I understand that 90 percent of the employees are Lincoln residents, many of whom are Lincoln Crossing residents.”