By Raiza Giorgi

Owner Missy Collier stood in the mezzanine and looked down over the new space where New Frontiers is set to open late this month, reflecting over the past two years of hard work.

“We outgrew the current space for New Frontiers 10 years ago, but finding a space for a big retail store is hard to find in the valley. We are so grateful to Josh Richmond and his family for coming to us with this idea of building a new store, and I can hardly stand the wait until it opens,” Collier said.

The natural food store will close its doors on July 22, taking a few days to move to the new location next door. Collier expects to re-open July 26 or 27.

“I remember when we first opened in the valley 21 years ago and people told Jake (Collier’s husband and founding partner) that we wouldn’t last six months. One house application we turned in turned us down because we had our own business,” she recalled.

New Frontiers has become a staple for organic food in the past two decades at its location at the corner of Alamo Pintado Road and Highway 246, in what is now called The Merkantile shopping center. It sells organic produce, meats, holistic supplements and herbal remedies, and its deli is one of the best in the valley under the stewardship of local chef Anne Bunch.

“We can’t wait for our customers to walk in and feel the grandness of the new space and the fact their carts will fit in the aisles — and that there aren’t support beams in the aisles, either,” she laughed.

The new store boasts a bigger customer seating area indoors, a separate coffee/smoothie/juice bar, a separate bakery space from the kitchen, a full-service meat counter, and more in the new 13,000 square feet of retail space. With offices, storage space and loading dock included, the building is 18,000 square feet.

The deli service will be expanded to include sliced meats and cheeses, a pizza oven, and a build-your-own stir-fry service where people can make their choice of ingredients and have them cooked to order in a wok.

“The wok was especially popular in our San Luis store, and we are thrilled to bring that back,” Collier said.

The new store will also have a sushi bar and a hot bar that will have daily themes such as Mexican, Greek, Italian and others. The store is also adding an olive bar and a cheese case.

“I am excited about the meat counter as well, because it will be like the old days when my grandma had her butcher she could order cuts from,” Collier said.

The opening this month will lead to a grand opening in October when New Frontiers celebrates 31 years in operation, 21 of them in the valley.

“We are committed to providing people a healthy living. We don’t advocate for any particular way of eating, just as long as it’s healthy,” Collier said.

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