Look out, Whole Foods Sebastopol—Santa Rosa’s worker-owned Community Market is planning to open a 10,000-square-foot store just down the street in the Barlow, a retail development in the works off Highway 12. The tentative opening is set for Oct. 1.
Community Market plans to hire about 50 people for the new store. The new store has plans for a deli with pizzas, sandwiches and salads. Because of competition from nearby Whole Foods, the market will also begin selling beer, wine and meat, something the store has never done, says Nica Poznanovich, Community Market’s outreach manager.
Poznanovich relishes the idea of going head-to-head with Whole Foods. “We do something very different than what they do,” she says, citing the store’s stringent product purchasing policies and community donations. “This will provide the community with a choice.”
While standards for meat products are still being worked out, Poznanovich says the meat will be “the highest quality in Sonoma County” with everything either organic, grass-fed or sustainably produced. She’s pushing for an all-local, all sustainably produced selection of wine, too.
The new store will also have a bar on the side of the building which will open onto an outdoor patio. The patio will be adjacent to a stage, fire pit and community space that the market will manage. Also, in order to alleviate traffic congestion in the already vehicle-choked downtown, Poznanovich says the store is exploring the idea of a fleet of bicycles to deliver lunch to nearby businesses. For more, see www.srcommunitymarket.com.