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The new Lakewood Ranch Earth Fare

Imagine a place where you could buy groceries for your family of four for $10 a night, but also a store committed to selling food free from harmful ingredients. Rest easy: Earth Fare, a grocery store chain based in Asheville, North Carolina, last week opened its 46th location in Lakewood Ranch.

I stopped by recently to get a tour of the new store and chat with CEO Frank Scorpiniti. He says Earth Fare's goal is to help shoppers make healthier choices by selling fresh, organic produce, meat and seafood, and prepared products that don't include unhealthy ingredients. Stamped on the wall you'll find a list of every ingredient banned by the store—from artificial sweeteners to added hormones.

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A colorful produce section

Scorpiniti explains that Earth Fare is unique because it is a "philosophy-driven business," dedicated to helping communities make healthier choices. "We are committed to providing individuals with the cleanest and healthiest assortment, at exceptional prices," he says.

Earth Fare has carefully curated an affordable selection of non-GMO, organic and sustainable products. Aside from groceries, you'll also find an organic café and juice bar. The café features organic coffee and a large selection of made-to-order juices and smoothies. Earth Fare also has a colorful salad bar, hot foods bar, pizza station, sandwich counter and packaged meals to go.

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The juice bar offers organic coffee and a large selection of made-to-order juices and smoothies

The fresh produce section features a broad assortment of fruits and vegetables, and the seafood counter is also impressive, offering fresh options daily, as well as more than 100 varieties of fish that can be custom ordered. Earth Fare guarantees that all of their seafood is 100 percent traceable and sustainably sourced.

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Earth Fare offers more than 200 natural and organic bulk foods

The meat counter features fresh, never-frozen, antibiotic- and hormone-free options raised on GMO-free open pastures. Similarly, in the dairy section, you'll find a wide variety of domestic and imported cheeses. And for those who don't consume dairy, there's plenty of specialty milks—think goat, almond and hemp, just to name a few.

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Earth Fare's cheese choices

Other Earth Fare offerings include an expansive selection of local craft beer, organic wines, more than 200 natural and organic bulk foods and scratch-made artisan breads and baked goods. There's also a wellness and beauty department that's staffed by knowledgable employees.

Welcome to Lakewood Ranch, Earth Fare.

Earth Fare is located at 11525 E. State Road 70, Lakewood Ranch, and is open 7 a.m.–11 p.m. daily. Call (941) 739-1148 or visit the website for more info.

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