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Sprouts Farmers Market opens in Santa Barbara’s Eastside

Sprouts Farmers Market
Scott Sheahen / KEYT

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- A new grocery store is open on Santa Barbara’s Eastside.

Sprout’s Farmers Market cut their green ribbon and opened their doors Wednesday morning.

Two dozen shoppers got an early head start getting a first look at the new store on Milpas Street. It was an opening day which came nearly six months into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sprouts Farmers Markets manager, Eric Sustin, said, “It’s a little bit more challenging, but it makes it that much more sweeter, because when you open you know how challenging it was and how difficult it was and we just, we really become a close knit family.”

Shoppers checked out the new produce, Market Corner and meat selection. And they say they’re excited they drive out to Goleta anymore to get to the closest Sprouts.

Santa Barbara shopper, Juliette Verstaen, said, “The produce is so much better, and it lasts longer and tastes better, so. And since we’re vegetarian produce is a really big deal for us.” 

While Ernest Olvera, who lives a couple blocks away added, “Some of the merchandise they have they don’t have at Trader Joe’s. And we like Sprouts products and we’re Sprouts people.”

The grocery store hired 110 new employees to staff the story. Hallie O'Donnell is the head casher. She lost her job during the pandemic when restaurants closed. But said she’s excited to be back working in hospitalities.

“I knew I wanted to work in the front end with guests and everything and be able to interact with them still in kind of a similar way," said O'Donnell. "So I think this was the best way for me to be able to do that.”

Sprouts will be open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m.. And they will follow physical distancing until they’re no longer required.

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Scott Sheahen

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