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Earth Fare in Seminole will reopen under new owners

The organic specialty market that shuttered all its stores last year is making a comeback.
The new Earth Fare grocery store in Seminole when it opened in 2016. The store shuttered last year but will reopen this weekend.
The new Earth Fare grocery store in Seminole when it opened in 2016. The store shuttered last year but will reopen this weekend. [ Times (2016) ]
Published Jan. 20

SEMINOLE — Earth Fare is returning to Tampa Bay as its new owners continue to resurrect stores abandoned following last year’s bankruptcy and liquidation sales.

The Earth Fare in Seminole will have a grand reopening this Saturday at 8 a.m. at Seminole City Center, the shopping plaza announced. The Seminole store will only be the state’s second location. An Earth Fare in Ocala already reopened last year. Others have reopened in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia.

Related: Earth Fare and Lucky’s Market: What happens when two big organic grocers collapse?

The Asheville-based chain, which had been sold off by its founders in 2006, expanded too aggressively and filed for bankruptcy in February, closing all of its 55 locations. Investor Dennis Hulsing, now the chain’s CEO, and Earth Fare’s original founder, Randy Talley, teamed up to start a new grocery group and buy some of the Earth Fare leases that went to auction during bankruptcy proceedings.

The new owners could not be reached for comment, but Earth Fare has nearly two dozen open or soon-to-be open locations on its website.

Hulsing said he “is committed to preserving the best aspects of Earth Fare’s legacy and growing the brand throughout the southeast region,” according to July press release from the new grocery group.