It’s not a long move but it’s a big one.
Nutter’s Bulk & Natural Foods is leaving its longtime home on the north side of Gaetz Avenue Crossing in favour of new space on the south side of the same 5250 22nd St. shopping centre. Those premises became vacant with the closure of Coast Wholesale Appliances’ Red Deer store in March.
“We’ve been looking to expand for several years with our landlord,” said Donald Cranston, president of the Medicine Hat-based bulk and speciality foods company.
With some 9,200 square feet at its new site, the Red Deer Nutter’s will more than double its space, he said.
“This will be our largest store in the Nutter’s system.”
That system currently consists of 24 stores across Western Canada and into Nebraska.
The additional room will enable Nutter’s to make a number of changes, including opening up the layout of its store. There will be new departments and products, said Cranston, with organic produce, an expanded organic and natural dairy case, and a large section for natural meat products like free-range chickens, beef and pork.
“We’re dramatically increasing our frozen food presentation so that we can add more offerings of frozen organic, natural and gluten-free products,” said Cranston. “We’re adding to our bulk food presentation as well.”
There are also plans to include two health practitioner offices at the new store, he said, with a herbalist and a naturopathic physician among the possibilities.
Cranston said similar arrangements have been made at other Nutter’s stores, and these have worked well.
Founded in Medicine Hat in 1982, Nutter’s opened a store in Red Deer the following year. It’s been at its current location for nearly 20, said Cranston.
“Red Deer has been one of our top stores for many, many years,” he said.
The move to the new outlet is expected to occur in mid-November.
Cranston downplayed the significance of competitor Bulk Barn Foods operating near Nutter’s new location.
“They just happened to be there and that’s the space we wanted,” he said.
“Competition is healthy.”