Thursday, May 24, 2012

Walking the aisles at Natural Grocers

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Natural Grocers is open in Overland Park.
  • Natural Grocers is open in Overland Park.
If you ever needed proof that humans are creatures of habit, just attempt to take your regular shopping list to a new grocery store. It's like entering those parts of Olathe where your GPS doesn't work - you spend a lot of time navigating the same strip thinking, haven't I been here before?

I took a swing through Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage (7401 W. 91st St.) last night - the Colorado-based grocery chain that opened in the shadow of the Overland Park Whole Foods in April. Here are the results of one man's meanderings.

-The best comparison for the store is likely Wild Oats before it was purchased by Whole Foods. Picture a bigger iteration of the former Wild Oats on Main Street.

-The produce section is well curated with a farmers-market selection of greens (chard, kale) and rainbow carrots right now. The produce on sale is something you should take home and eat for dinner that night.

-If you're burned out on the frozen-meal options at Trader Joe's, there's an abundance of organic and vegetarian options that range from high-end burritos to a collection of Indian dishes.

-The meat is grass-fed and hormone-free. It's also all pre-cut and pre-packaged in the refrigerated and frozen food aisle. Natural Grocers stocks ostrich, bison and quail for those who eat game. Schenker Family Farms of Kansas has a few items in the freezer section, and its meat is worth the premium.

-Fully, a third of the store is vitamins. For those who partake, it's a huge selection. For those who don't, you can skip the right section of the store.

- Major brands don't live here, but organic and small-scale producers still produce all the basics: cereal, peanut butter and potato chips.

Natural Grocers is open from 8:56 a.m. to 8:04 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 9:56 a.m. to 6:06 p.m. Sunday.

Anyone else had the chance to shop at Natural Grocers?

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