|Earth Fare: Coming soon to Franklin Road in Roanoke.|
Ukrops overestimated the interest in its particular brand and seems to have underestimated the value of being open on Sundays, which it is not. Aldi's came in promising WalMart-style low prices, but my experience has been less than pleasant. Aldi's is so often out of the basics that I drive past it on the way to Kroger now. Frankly, I have not found its prices, especially for fresh veggies and meat, to be anything special.
Earth Fare's specialty is healthy food, a real novelty in these parts (unless you include Fresh Market, which will be less than half a mile away, and the Roanoke Valley Natural Foods Co-operative, about two miles away). It avoids high fructose corn syrup, artificial ingredients, growth hormones and antibiotics.
The store will be a modest 24,000 square feet (a typical Kroger is about 50,000) and will have an 80-seat cafe on premises.
For many Roanokers, this is a welcome addition to the food competition. For others, it's not in the 'hood and won't be a player.