EUGENE, Ore -- In two months, demolition will begin at the half-century old Red Lion Hotel location to make room for a new Natural Grocers store.
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage hopes to offer what other supermarkets don’t – a store completely devoid of products containing artificial ingredients, trans-fats and high-fructose corn syrup.
Even with their unique business approach, some residents wonder whether another grocery store can survive competition already established in the area.
“With Grocery Outlet and Albertson’s right there, and Safeway just down the street, and Trader Joes across the street, I think it’s a little excessive,” said Caitlin Moore.
Lisa Moeller disagrees, saying that if Natural Grocers is affordable the community could benefit.
“If it's a low cost grocery store for organic foods, I think it's awesome because so many of the people that can't afford organic foods are having to buy foods that aren't very good quality and not good for them,” said Moeller.
The Eugene location would make for the Colorado-based company's sixth store in Oregon. Officials said they hope to open by September of 2014.
Natural Grocers started in 1955, and co-president Kemper Isley says the same principles continue at their stores today.
“They couldn't find affordable products for themselves to buy, so they said from the very beginning that they were going to start a business where products would be affordable for everyone,” said Isley.
Aside from food, Natural Grocers offers free services like nutritional coaching. It hopes these things set it apart from competitors.