Sprouts Opens Produce Distribution Center to Quadruple Local Selection

Sprouts Farmers Market distribution center team member at work. Image courtesy of Sprouts Farmers Market.

Phoenix, AZ—Last year, Sprouts Farmers Market announced its goal to drive efficiencies across its network of fresh distribution centers by locating them within 250 miles of the stores they serve. This week, the grocer announced the opening of a new distribution center in Aurora, which is its first center in Colorado and its sixth across the country. Sprouts said in a press release that its network of distribution centers, direct grower relationships, and enhanced quality controls make it possible to offer the freshest, highest-quality produce at a great value. The aim with the new center: to quadruple local selection over time.

Some highlights:

  • The facility, which was built for Sprouts, is 135,000 SF.
  • It includes 55°F and 34°F storage and fruit ripening rooms.
  • It services 45 of the chain’s more than 360 stores, including all locations in Colorado, five stores in Utah, and eight in New Mexico.
  • Sprouts is partnering with Penske Logistics as its third-party logistics provider for the center and dedicated transportation fleet, which created 70 new full-time jobs in the market.

“As we grow our footprint, we will strategically place new stores and distribution centers closer together to maximize our owned fresh product network,” said Chief Fresh Merchandising Officer Scott Neal, in the release. “This will better serve our customers who are looking to Sprouts for the best quality and value in fresh and organic produce. The location of our Aurora facility, combined with features such as ripening rooms for bananas and avocados, two of our top-selling produce items, will immediately provide our stores with an expanded selection of affordable organics.”

Joe Hurley, Sprouts’ Senior Vice President of Supply Chain, added, “With a distribution center in Colorado, our truck routes are shorter and allow us to cross fewer state borders, enabling us to partner with our local and regional farmers with more synergy. We’re looking forward to engaging with our community of local vendors further to better serve our neighbors and customers.”

Another bright spot: The Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation presented Denver Urban Gardens (DUG) with a $25,000 donation and a John Deere Gator to increase farming capacity at the DeLaney Community Farm, a refugee-led community farm located in Aurora. Sprouts said the funding will be used to install a hoop tunnel greenhouse that will allow for year-round growing and seedling germination at the farm, and ongoing farmer training. Support of the Foundation has helped DeLaney Farm produced more than 65,000 pounds of fresh produce since 2019 to support underserved Aurora communities and helped train 10 full-time immigrant and refugee farmers, Sprouts shared, adding that the company’s ongoing investment in DUG has resulted in 10 community gardens throughout metro Denver, producing over 600,000 pounds of food yearly, and 31 Youth-Led Farm Stands, which provide families with critically needed access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

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Looking ahead: Sprouts plans to open a seventh distribution center in Florida this summer to expand local produce offerings and guarantee freshness across stores in the state. Sprouts also operates distribution centers in Colton and Union City, CA; Glendale, AZ; Wilmer, TX; and Atlanta, GA.