And that Whole Foods was a good 20-minute drive from where I live in Midtown. But over the past few years, another health food chain has begun moving in, and we've finally got options! Sprouts officially opened its new East Memphis store today!
Sprouts has opened two other locations in the Memphis area over the past couple years, but both are in the suburbs (Lakeland and Germantown), which are a ridiculously long drive for groceries to anyone who lives in the city center. This new East Memphis location is STILL pretty far from Midtown and downtown (it's about a block from the aforementioned Whole Foods), but it's much closer than those suburban locations.
My friend Susan and I were invited to a VIP preview party and cooking demo at Sprouts yesterday, before they were officially open to the public. We arrived a little early and browsed around the store. Sprouts has a fantastic produce section, and their prices on fresh veggies and fruits are much cheaper than the competition. I also love how their produce is the centerpiece of the store and not just relegated to a corner like in most grocery stores.
There's a raw foods section.
And pretty impressive bakery. The fresh-baked loaves were calling my name.
And of course, they carry a wide selection of vegan products — plant meats, frozen meals, vegan cheeses, etc. Sprouts carries lots of products that I can't find anywhere else (more on that at the end of this post). A store rep even told me yesterday that they've got a number of vegan prepared food options available in the deli.
Our friends Justin Fox Burks and Amy Lawrence — authors of The Chubby Vegetarian Cookbook and The Southern Vegetarian Cookbook (as well as The Chubby Vegetarian blog) — were leading the demo.
Here are my vegan samples. The pizza was so tasty. They demo-ed a quick crust that I'll be making at home for sure. And the kale caesar had grilled artichokes that were out of this world!
Susan and I didn't have a ton of time to shop after the demo. But I did manage to grab a few products that I've not seen anywhere else around here. I've been wanting to try the Evolve protein drinks forever, and they stock them at Sprouts! They also had the elusive Lenny & Larry's Birthday Cake Protein Cookie, which I've not been able to find in town. Plus, I found some Cookie + Protein vegan chocolate chip cookies in the bakery, and the Vega One Protein + Snack Bars in the very impressive bar aisle. Plus, some shelf-stable jackfruit in a box! WHAT?!
I didn't mean to buy almost only protein supplements, but well, y'all know I get excited about protein!
Anyway, I'm so stoked to have this Sprouts within driving distance of my house. This will be my new one-stop shop for groceries! Now if only Sprouts would open a location in Midtown ...