Feb 25, 2009

Newflower Farmers Market opens in South Austin

There's a new natural foods store in town. Newflower Farmers Market (if you're from Colorado, you might know them there as Sunflower Farmers Market) has opened a 38,000-square-foot store in South Austin at the corner of William Cannon and Manchaca.

This is apparently the first of three or four planned stores for the Austin area. Touting "serious food...silly prices," the mission statement on their web site says they offer the best quality food at the lowest prices in town. While Austin already has Whole Foods and Central Market vying for the gourmet and natural food markets, Newflower is offering some much welcome lower-priced competition.

Sorry for the bad photo, I only had my iPhone with me, but here's the sign in their store explaining their concept.

I shopped there for the first time recently and wanted to share what I found...

Roasted red peppers, 10 oz. jars, 2 for $4 or $2.89 each
New York strip steak, bone-in, $3.97/lb
Boneless lamb steaks, 3/4 lb. for $5.99
Organic baby spinach, 6.5 oz, $1.99
Synergy brand bottled kombucha, 16 oz, $2.99
Odwalla bottled smoothie, $2.50
Small pineapple, 88 cents
Organic mini sweet peppers, $1.99/lb
Hothouse cucumbers, $1.49/lb
Organic Granny Smith apples, $1.49/lb
Organic yams or sweet potatoes, $1.49/lb
Organic Swiss Chard, 2 for $3
Organic grape or cherry tomatoes, 2 for $5
Boneless skinless chicken breast $2.99/lb
Salmon fillets, $5.99/lb
Dried cranberries, $2.99/lb
Sweet Leaf bottled tea, 16 oz., $1.99

Their beef is from Harris Ranch. This is corn-fed, not grass-fed as I prefer to buy at our local Austin farmers market. But if you're going to buy supermarket beef, theirs appears to be of better quality than most. They don't feed any animal proteins to the cows and test for pesticide and antibiotic residue and use higher standards than the FDA, which is an admittedly low bar.

I couldn't find any information about where their fish is sourced. While I'm tempted by the salmon prices, I'd rather pay more for wild than to support farmed salmon.

Newflower had lots of produce available at even lower prices for non-organics but I go organic whenever possible. Newflower says they keep their prices low by having low overhead and buying direct by the truckload. You can read their mission statement online.

I was also impressed with the amount of gluten-free products they offered.

They have a weekly sale flyer that you can access online or have them email to you if you sign up. On Wednesdays, their new and previous week's sales overlap, so you can get double the sales if you shop Wednesday.

Compared to the downtown Whole Foods or either of the Central Market stores, this is a small store. They didn't have everything I would need to make it one-stop shopping and it's a long, long way from my house, so I probably won't be shopping at that store regularly. But if they open one closer to my neighborhood, I'll definitely be a regular. Check it out and let me know what you think!

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