We have a new grocery store here in Madison! Sprouts Farmers Market officially opened their doors to the public March 18th. I had the opportunity to meet up with Caitlin (an employee of Sprouts) and she was nice enough to show me around. I have to say, I was pretty impressed!
Sprouts has everything you would expect a grocery store to have but with a little twist. Normally, if you were to purchase “healthy” foods at a grocery store you would try to stay around the perimeter of the store (produce, meat, dairy) and stay out of the center (pasta, chips, pre-made frozen products). The middle of the Sprouts store is FULL of fresh produce and bulk bin items (nuts, dried fruit, trail mixes). They do carry some processed foods but that department is very small compared to the rest of the store.
Sprouts also has a “try before you buy” policy, so if you ever want to taste something before you purchase it they will make sure it happens. The meat department seasons and cases their own sausage in house, they provide seasonally local produce, they have a wide variety of meat (conventional all the way to organic grass finished), huge selection of dairy products along side their produce. They carry about half organic, half conventionally grown produce but I was really pleased with how easy it was to distinguish between the two.
Green & Community-Minded
As I we walked around, Caitlin talked a little about some of the unique features in the Madison store. The lights are powered by solar panels on the roof, and there are many skylights to provide as much natural light as possible. Sprouts also works with local food banks and donates any imperfect produce to be used as they see fit instead of throwing it in the dumpster!
One more way Sprouts has put together to give back to the community is their “Shop Night Program”. If you are a non-profit organization or school, they will allow you to come in, decorate the store and then invite as many people in as you can for a 3 hour period to shop. Five percent of all sales during that 3 hour period will go straight to the non-profit or school!
Sprouts Specialty Foods
Sprouts has a wonderful assortment of foods that fit any dietary restrictions. With so many allergies and diet preferences common now a days for kids this store is set up ideally with those accommodations in mind. You actually don’t even have to read the labels to find products that are gluten free. There were tags on the majority of products communicating anything “special” about that product. I was really surprised at how easy it was to navigate the different products and find ones that I was interested in purchasing just by using their “tag” system!
The “vitamin” department ALWAYS has someone staffed for questions and there is a computer conveniently located designated for look up. It can be used by customers as well as Sprouts staff. Again, the tags were very helpful as I browsed through the different products.
How to Save at Sprouts
There are a few different ways to “save” at Sprouts. First off, 1/3 of the entire store is on promotion/sale at any point in time. Their ads begin AND end on Wednesday… That leads me right in to the next way! Every Wednesday is “Double Ad Wednesday” so double the products are on promotion at the same time! Sprouts also accepts manufacturer coupons, and has a coupon page on their website.
Is it Family-Friendly To Shop at Sprouts?
Overall I found this store to be very kid-friendly! There are bright colorful murals on the walls, the isles were plenty wide enough for 2 carts (or in my case to park it in the middle of the isle so my kids can’t grab stuff off of the shelves!) cookies at the bakery, samples to taste while strolling around and changing tables in BOTH the men’s and women’s bathrooms! They don’t carry some of the major name brand baby care products but brands such as Honest Company, Seventh Generation, Natty, Beech Nut, Earth’s Best as well as their own store brand Sprouts can be found on their shelves. The space is light and bright, and the shelving is lower profile than most big box stores.
NOTE (updated 3/29/15): Sprouts does have plenty of shopping carts, but they aren’t as roomy as carts in other grocery stores. This is important because older toddlers won’t necessarily be able to fit – the leg openings in the seated part of the buggy are smaller than usual. It might make shopping with more than one small child challenging.
I was really impressed with the variety of products as well as the prices for some of the items. From what I hear, there are some killer deals to be found on seasonal produce. I can’t wait to go back and browse a bit more. It is a beautiful store and I am really excited that there is now a “health minded” grocery store in the Madison area!
Sprouts Farmers Market Details
Jenni McCarty is a wife, mom of four, l'il bit granola, jean-wearer, iced coffee drinker, home schooler, more than just a little obsessed with photography, frustrated organizer (see “mom of four”) yet ironically logical, Pinterest addict and Facebook follower, sufferer of ADCD (attention deficit crafters disorder), displaced Alaskan. She opened Jenni M Photography in 2012 and she really enjoys blogging about her personal family adventures whenever she has a chance.