RGV Shouts for Sprouts

Sprouts Farmers Market unveils its glorious new location in McAllen

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Beautiful organic produce
Beautiful organic produce

I moved to the Rio Grande Valley from Tennessee a bit over a year ago, and one of the major differences I’ve faced is the lack of variety in grocery stores.  I’ve been used to several choices in grocers, ranging from Kroger and Publix to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s to locally owned specialized stores. Here, you pretty much have two options: H-E-B or Wal-Mart. And while those two stores have their own merits, going to the same old place every week can really dull your shopping experience. The old Sprouts store was there, of course, but the location and cramped size left a lot to be desired. We’ve been long overdue for a brand new, easily accessible quality food market to make McAllen its home.

Find fresh flowers for the special people in your life at good prices
Find fresh flowers for the special people in your life at good prices

Behold! Sprouts heard the cry of the city’s health conscious and foodie population, and announced they would build a new, larger store at 5800 N. 10th St. (in the Las Tiendas plaza). The Grand Opening took place on August 31st, and the eager residents of McAllen came to the store in droves.

 

 

Heaps of watermelons and fresh potted plants greet you at the entrance to the new Sprouts store
Heaps of watermelons and citrus greet you at the entrance to the new Sprouts store

 

New additions include an expanded butcher shop and fresh seafood selection, and a deli featuring sliced Boar’s Head products and hot food options (great for a busy weeknight). Also new and notable: a fresh juice bar and an organic coffee bar.

Order deli sandwiches, fresh juices, or organic coffee
Order deli sandwiches, fresh juices, or organic coffee
Find the finest cuts of meat here, including a larger selection of grass-fed beef
Find the finest cuts of meat here, including a larger selection of grass-fed beef

My favorite part of Sprouts has always been the fresh produce. And the new McAllen location has the square footage to make that section truly standout. Among the “normal” produce items, you will find more specialized farmer’s market-type fare like exotic melons, rainbow carrots, baby broccoli – even a wider variety of something simple, like apples.

Kiwano melons? What are these intriguing horned fruits?!
Kiwano melons? What are these intriguing horned fruits?!

 

What I’m truly excited about is the stock of uncommon tomatoes like beefsteak and other heirloom varieties, which, by the way, are perfect for this delicious tomato pie.  And, of course, being a Tennessee gal, I was elated to spy some green tomatoes in the pile of heirlooms, something I haven’t even come across in McAllen’s weekly farmer’s markets. Come on over for some fried green tomatoes, y’all!

Heirloom tomatoes! (I bought all the green ones, sorry everybody)
Heirloom tomatoes! (I bought all the green ones, sorry everybody)

As with most health food stores, the prices are a bit higher than grocers who sell the bargain items. You’re definitely not going to find 2/$1 macaroni and cheese at Sprouts, but at least with the slightly higher price tag comes a guarantee of quality, whole ingredients. Plus, if you’re really concerned with price points, Sprouts does offer a free mobile app that contains information on weekly specials and (more importantly) digital coupons to help you find the best deals the store has to offer.

Excellent selection of wines and imported/domestic beers
Excellent selection of wines and imported/domestic beers
An assortment of teas fit for Queen Elizabeth
An assortment of teas fit for Queen Elizabeth

Also I think it is worth noting that Sprouts as a corporation actively contributes directly to the local community. Our new Sprouts store participates in the company’s Food Rescue Program, donating edible unsold (but not marketable) groceries to relief agencies in the Rio Grande Valley. The excess or damaged fresh produce that would otherwise go to waste is distributed to those in need – we’re talking about millions of pounds of food donated by all Sprouts locations each year that help feed countless impoverished people. Read more about the Food Rescue Program and Sprouts’ other community involvement here.

Sprouts is your go-to store for hard-to-find pantry items, like this balsamic fig butter
Sprouts is your go-to store for hard-to-find pantry items, like this balsamic fig butter

To celebrate the grand opening of the new McAllen store, Sprouts is offering a few promotions this weekend. According to the Sprouts website, you can expect these deals:

Saturday, September 3 – 200 Sandwich Booklet Giveaway: The first 200 customers to make a purchase will receive a coupon booklet for 5 FREE SANDWICHES.

Sunday, September 4 – 15 Is Your Lucky Number: Upon checkout, every 15th shopper will receive a coupon for $5 off a $15 purchase to use toward their next Sprouts purchase.

Crowd peruse the produce section
Crowd peruse the produce section
Customers choose from a wide assortment of meats and cheeses at the deli counter
Customers choose from a wide assortment of meats and cheeses at the deli counter

One last note: Andie turned me on to the Nummy Sour Worms sold at Sprouts, and we agree they represent everything that is right in the world.

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