Moving ahead with its expansion, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Inc. plans to open its fifth Portland-area store and 11th in Oregon on April 18.
The specialty grocer serves up a mix of national brands and locally produced items in a small, neighborhood market format. They offer 100% organic produce; naturally raised meats (no antibiotics or growth promoters); 100% free-range eggs; 100% pasture-based dairy; GMO-free, prepackaged bulk products; and groceries not containing any artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservative.
The new stores will carry Portland-area and Oregon favorites such as Pok Pok, Brazi Bites, Fire on the Mountain, Skout Backcountry and Red Duck, as well as offer a nutritional health coach and free nutrition education classes.
In its 2018 fiscal year, Natural Grocers plans to open eight to 10 new stores and complete three or four relocations.
The publicly held company said in its fiscal 2017 year-end report that it has 11 signed leases for stores slated to open in fiscal 2018 and beyond in Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Oregon and Texas. Since the start of calendar 2018, the retailer has opened stores in Keller and North Fort Worth, Texas, and in Warrenton and Portland, Ore.
Natural Grocers opened 14 new stores and relocated two stores in fiscal 2017, compared with 23 new stores, four relocations and one remodel in fiscal 2016.
Currently, the chain operates 145 stores in 19 states. Stores range from 5,000 to 16,000 selling square feet, with new stores averaging about 11,000 square feet. The sales mix is approximately 67% grocery, 22% dietary supplements and 11% body care, pet care and other products, according to the company.