Asheville, NC—In February 2020, Earth Fare announced that had begun inventory liquidation sales at all of its stores. In March, plans for a comeback were in the works as group of local investors made plans revive several stores. Now, under the new leadership, the Earth Fare comeback is in full swing, first with the opening of Westgate Earth Fare to serve Asheville residents, followed by openings in Boone, NC, and Roanoke, VA, plus plans to open Athens, Summerville, Charleston, Columbia, and Rock Hill.
An announcement from Earth Fare following the opening of the Asheville location acknowledged that many in the Asheville community were heartbroken to lose the store served them since 1975. A local businessman—Dennis Hulsing, President and CEO of Hulsing Enterprises, LLC—counted himself among the loyal of Earth Fare patrons, the release says, and decided to take action, purchasing the company out of bankruptcy in March 2020.
Hulsing, who had no previous ties to Earth Fare, is committed to preserving the best aspects of Earth Fare’s legacy, according to the release. He is working with Randy Talley, Earth Fare Founder, and Mike Cianciarulo, President of the original Earth Fare, in the revitalization of the brand. Talley now serves as the company’s Chief Sustainability
Officer, and all three are equally committed to completely overhauling the business practices that failed the previous Earth Fare investment group.
Also joining the team: David Isinghood as Chief Operating Officer. Isinghood previously worked at Whole Foods Market. “Our guests will recognize many friendly faces as we’ve hired previous Earth Fare team members back,” said Isinghood in the release. “We are committed to taking care of our team members by treating them with respect and giving them a voice in our business.”
The vision and dream that grew with the store back in 1975 is alive and well, the announcement adds. Earth Fare’s mission remains the same: to improve lives by making healthy food available to everyone, focusing on organic fruits, vegetables, and responsibly sourced meat and seafood, without the “bad stuff” like meat raised with antibiotics and artificial hormones as well as artificial ingredients that are on Earth Fare’s “Boot List.”
Looking to the future, Hulsing intends to continue to grow the stores throughout the southeast region, the release says, and to keep the headquarters in Asheville.
Grocery Dive also reported that there are plans to open a new store with a refreshed design in Christiansburg, VA, in 2021.