Work continues at the site of a planned Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage in downtown Steamboat Springs. The store has scheduled its Steamboat Springs opening for Sept. 14.

Photo by John F. Russell

Work continues at the site of a planned Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage in downtown Steamboat Springs. The store has scheduled its Steamboat Springs opening for Sept. 14.

Natural Grocers opens in Steamboat on Sept. 14

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Editor's note: The new Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage will include one certified nutritional health coach. That information has been corrected below.

The new Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage store will open Sept. 14 in downtown Steamboat Springs, a company spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday.

“We will have our grand opening week Sept. 14 to 22,” Nancy Flynn said. “There will be a lot of nice opportunities for people to get familiar with the store and definitely a lot of food sampling.”

Natural Grocers has spent the summer remodeling the 12,000-square-foot building at 355 Lincoln Ave. that formerly housed David Chase Rugs & Furniture at the stoplight at Lincoln Avenue and Third Street.

A Montrose developer, VCI Steamboat LLC, paid $3 million in June for the property, which includes an existing parking lot.

Flynn confirmed Wednesday that the new store will include a community room complete with a demonstration kitchen where classes will be held. The new store also will offer free Wi-Fi.

Flynn said the staff of the new Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage would include a certified nutritional health coach available to consult at length with customers who have specific health goals.

Flynn added that the company was able to hire a number of local people to staff the store. In addition, some existing employees and managers will be in Steamboat to open the store, including Executive Vice President Liz Isley. A couple of key employees who have had extended tenures with Natural Grocers, and also have close ties to Steamboat, also are coming to the new store, including one who has relocated here, Flynn said.

The news that Natural Grocers is opening in Steamboat comes about six weeks after the company went public July 25 with an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock was trading for a little more than $21 on Wednesday under the symbol NGVC.

Previously, the regional chain of 54 Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage stores has been privately held by a Golden couple that are descendants of the founders.

Documents on file with the SEC reflect that Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage has prospered through the national economic crisis. The company reported net sales of $159.7 million in the first three months of this year, up 26 percent from the same period in 2011. For the fiscal year that ended in September 2011, sales were $264.5 million, a 16 percent increase from the previous 12 months.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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