Louisville, Ky. (WDRB News) -- The Earth Fare grocery chain out of Asheville, North Carolina, is opening its 28th store nationwide at the Summit shopping complex in Eastern Jefferson County.
There was a big turnout on the first day of business at the new store that was once occupied by an Old Navy store.
Earth Fare says it prides itself in a strict food philosophy that bans unhealthy ingredients.
The company's CEO says it brings something unique to the Louisville area.
"You have Whole Foods here, you have Fresh Market," explains the chief executive officer of Earth Fare, Jack Murphy in Louisville for the opening of his store, "one of the things that separates us is our food philosophy; I think we are the only store in the country that doesn't carry any products with high fructose corn syrup in it."
Some health experts believe that ingredient has led to a obesity epidemic in this country.
But, of course, healthy foods are more expensive for consumers, many of whom are on a very tight budget in these challenging economic times.
But Murphy adds, "I think people will be surprised that our pricing, expect for our meat is not as much a premium as you might think; and yea it probably costs a little bit more to shop here, but it is a commitment to better health, and how much is your health really worth."
Shoppers on Wednesday say they don't mind paying a little bit more.
"You have to pay a premium for food that you want," says shopper Iris Truitt, "I thought it was a pretty good deal and not that much outside what you would expect."
Amy Pooler agrees, "Lot of good groceries, lot of good sales, coupons which are nice, I thought the prices were comparable to Kroger and Whole Foods and anywhere else."
Earth Fare is the latest health foods grocery chain to come to town.
But locally owned Rainbow Blossom, which is celebrating 35 years in business, believes there is room for everyone.
"We have change our model to meet the competition," says Summer Auerbach, the chief operating officer for Rainbow Blossom, "but we take a little pride in laying the ground for the awareness about eating healthy and having these stores come to town."
While the Louisville Earth Fare is the company's first store in Kentucky, the company is looking at the possibility of a second location in Lexington.