This article has been updated with additional information from GreenStar’s marketing manager.
GreenStar Natural Foods Market’s third store is set to open its doors in the heart of Collegetown next Tuesday. The store’s opening — originally scheduled for tomorrow — has been postponed about a week due to construction delays, according to Joe Romano, GreenStar’s marketing manager.
Romano said the store will open in Collegetown to ensure that there is an option for college students, faculty members and local households seeking “healthy and affordable foods.”
“There is not a full service grocery store in this part of town,” he explained. “We know that more and more young people are not only interested in an economical and healthy diet, but that they also share our values of community, sustainability, people and planet.”
Romano also said that the “small-store, local-farmer model” will allow customers to grocery shop more conveniently, especially in a small community like Ithaca.
“Businesses can stay small and actually come to you where you live and work,” he said.
In opening a store whose clientele is largely comprised of budget-tight college students, Romano said that GreenStar can offer customers “highly competitive pricing, great snacks, sandwiches and soups at prices that beat other nearby offerings.”
“We have a basics program with great prices like 99 cents for a can of organic black beans, and even a low income discount called FLOWER that puts Fresh, Local and Organic Within Everyone’s Reach,” he said.
Romano specified that the store is interested in “creating more options” rather than competing with existing markets in Collegetown.
“You won’t have to wait for your food and our mix and match meals will be delicious, interesting, fun and affordable,” he said. “Our store also will have a simple but beautiful dining area designed to be a great place to get away from your dorm, roommates or dining hall for a little while, and we are open until 11.”
Irene Jeon ’17 said that she is “excited” about GreenStar’s opening, “because the only other options we have [in Collegetown] are Jason’s or 7-Eleven.”
She also said she is looking forward to the variety of fresh produce options to be offered in the new store.
However, Jeon raised concerns about the price of products, especially relative to other competitive options available to college students.
“I’m worried about the prices — I would prefer to go to Wegmans [if] the prices are lower,” she said.
Samir Durvasula ’17 also expressed some enthusiasm about the new grocery option, saying he is “really excited about” the new branch opening.
“GreenStar will be really helpful in that it will help bring more natural products, as well as produce to Collegetown,” he said. “Also, the [FLOWER discount program] that GreenStar provides will be really helpful in fighting the food insecurity problem.”
Durvasula said that as a frequent shopper at convenient stores in Collegetown, the new store opening “will be a great addition to Collegetown.”
“Its location in Collegetown is really great, and will be really convenient to get to — it will probably become my primary grocery store,” he said.