SPROUTS FARMERS MARKET

Excitement is “growing” for Sprouts Farmers Market, a grocery store chain that’s popular around the country, but is fairly new to New Jersey. The Cliffwood (Aberdeen Twp.) location in Monmouth County is set to open this weekend.

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Sprouts will officially open to the public on Friday, June 7. The ribbon cutting is at 7 am, and the first 100 people to shop at the store will get a “Goodness it’s Free” reusable goodie bag filled with merch and snacks; the first 100 people on Saturday get the goods, too. The first 400 people in line on Friday will also get a free long-stem rose courtesy of Falcon Farms Floral.

There will be tastings, price specials, giveaways, a “Guess the Weight” contest and a 20 percent discount if you sign up for texts (Text DEEN to 777-688) all weekend.

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What’s all the hype about anyway? Sprouts has 400+ stores in 23 states, but the only other two in the Garden State are in southern NJ, in Marlton and Haddon Twp.

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Sprouts, as a brand, considers itself a specialty grocer with better-for-you products, ranging from organic meats and seafood to fresh produce to beauty and wellness products to pet foods and household essentials to alternative options for a range of dietary needs such as gluten-free, dairy-free, low sugar and allergen-friendly. The products have special shelf tags if they are gluten-free, paleo, organic and local.

The produce section is the “bread and butter” of the store, and gives off a farmers market feel. Sprouts works with local farmers in New Jersey like Eastern Fresh Growers in Cedarville, Flain Farms in Vineland and Sunny Valley International – The Jersey Fruit Company in Glassboro and others to source local produce.

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You can get fresh ground coffee, nuts and granola in the Bulk Department. You can bring your own jar to fill – just weigh it before you start. You can also sample spices on hand.

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Try out more items at the New For You Innovation Center, where Sprouts debuts and tests new products. The supermarket is currently featuring Kourtney Kardashian’s Lemme supplement line, Jay Shetty’s Juni sparkling tea drink, and Sprouts’ own cherry festival-themed snacks.

The staff is highly-trained, too; the meat apprentice program educates the butcher on site, and those you meet in the wellness section are knowledgeable about vitamins and supplements.

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Sprouts is also known for its specials, which have gone viral. Wednesday offers $5 sushi made in-house. There’s also a popular $4.99 Sprouts Sandwich, made with turkey and provolone on multigrain bread. Heat & Eat prepackaged meals combine a protein, vegetable and carb. There are 5-10 choices each day that can be easily microwaved.

Although the Aberdeen location won’t sell liquor, there is a small selection of alcohol-free wines.

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Sprouts will also donate unsold items to Fulfill through its Food Rescue Program. The Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation focuses on nutrition education. Grants are available to bring seed-to-table programs into schools.

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If you feel overwhelmed, ask an employee for a tour of the store. Trust us, it’s worth it!

Sprouts Farmers Market is located at 327 Rte. 35 in the Cliffwood section of Aberdeen Twp. Hours are 7 am to 10 pm every day.

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