A major retail battle is taking form in Santa Rosa.
And it's over Sprouts.
A possible new location for Sprouts Farmers Market, a chain of healthy food stores, in downtown Santa Rosa is upsetting the natural balance of things, where locally-owned businesses have a leg up over chains, according to the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat.
Phoenix-based Sprouts wants to open on Mendocino Avenue in Santa Rosa, about a mile north of Commuity Market, a workers co-op that's been around since 1975. Community Market would likely lose about 10 percent of its business if Sprouts was allowed to open, and that could mean the end of this locally-owned option, the newspaper reported.
The market lost 10 percent of its business when a Whole Foods opened up. Most of the market's 35 workers would lose their jobs if Sprouts sprang up, the newspaper reported.
"They don't have the deep pockets to withstand the loss of market share,” the newspaper quoted Terry Garrett, operations officer for the Sonoma County GoLocal cooperative, as saying.
Sprouts, which has Northern California locations in Sunnyvale and in Roseville, declined to speak to the Press-Democrat.
Rezoning the area to accomodate Sprouts was the subject of a recent city meeting which ended in stalemate. The Planning Commission will revisit the rezoning issue, which must be resolved before any business, Sprouts or otherwise, moves into Santa Rosa on July 14.