Auburn, CA– BriarPatch Food Co-op is pleased to announce August 10 is the grand opening date for the long-awaited second store at 2505 Bell Road in Auburn.  

“Our ownership and customer base has long extended to the Auburn community. We’re excited to meet this need with a new store that will expand the natural foods market for shoppers and local producers while offering many new and compelling jobs,” said Chris Maher, General Manager.  

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That’s good news for job seekers. BriarPatch is accepting applications now for key support team positions, like Produce Manager.  

Now in its 47th year, the cooperative with strong roots in Grass Valley will have approximately 100 positions, both part-time and full-time at its new Auburn store. The Co-op offers health benefits to employees who work 30 hours or more, and other benefits such as store discounts, 401(k) and profit-sharing bonuses.  

“BriarPatch is so excited to grow our employee community with our new Auburn store. Our beautiful Rock Creek location will not only be a hub for our Auburn shoppers, but an inclusive, equitable workplace for many new employees,” said LeeAnne Haglund, Director of Human Resources.  

“BriarPatch culture values each individual and their contributions to our workplace and we will have a small but mighty contingent of current employees who will sow the seeds of what we do for our new team. We work hard, value accountability and are looking for folks who do, too. Positive impact, fun and a welcoming atmosphere makes BriarPatch a uniquely vibrant workplace,” she continued.  

BriarPatch is a cooperative business model that is owned by the members it serves, but anyone is welcome to shop. Currently BriarPatch has more than 10,000 Owner Members. Owners pay a one-time refundable equity investment that entitles them to special shopping discounts and other perks.  

Sneak peek for shoppers  

Loyal Grass Valley shoppers already know the benefits of shopping locally at The Patch and are excited about expanding the footprint of the store to include both Nevada and Placer Counties.   

Welcome to the Patch

“The produce is always beautiful and delicious. BriarPatch is a fantastic place to feel a sense of community. To all my friends in Auburn, I’m so excited for you that you have a BriarPatch coming,” said long-time Grass Valley shopper-owner Jan Bedayn.   

Numerous tokens of shopper appreciation are being planned for the Grand Opening from special sales, deli tastings, new Owner incentives like branded tote bags and store credits and high value in-store raffles. Shoppers can enter for the chance to win groceries for an entire year (valued at $100 each week).  

Located in 23,000 square feet of the former Kmart building, the new store occupies infrastructure with Old Navy and Harbor Freight Tools in the shopping center that houses Rite Aid and BevMo!   

The colorful and welcoming interior of the new store features a full gourmet deli and hot bar, regenerative meat & seafood department, organic produce department, expanded wine and craft brew and cocktail selections, a gourmet cheese island, sustainable grocery items, vegan-approved plant-based paradise, non-packaged bulk food & herbs and more. Self-checkout and curbside pickup are available for extra convenience.  

An in-store demo area will allow for guest tastings and recipe promos and the outdoor patio and dining area is designed as a communal gathering space. Community members and area organizations can also reserve the community room for meetings, classes and other special events.  

Through the years, BriarPatch has become a trusted household name and source for the highest quality, best variety, ethically sourced selection of products that are thoughtfully curated.   

Products from local brands such as Remedy Coffee, Baker and the Cakemaker, an expanded line of grass-fed meat from SunFed, Local Culture Ferments, Fat and the Moon, Hola! Tortilla, international fair trade leader Equal Exchange along with local honeys, olive oils and salsas will be featured at the Auburn store.   

“We’re excited to expand our work with local producers and give them another opportunity to grow their sales,” said Michelle Peregoy-McHugh, Merchandising Manager.   

Commitment to Community & Sustainability  

BriarPatch supports and gives back hundreds of thousands of dollars to local nonprofits each year through Co-op programs like Round Up at the Register, Apples for Gardens and PatchWorks.   

BriarPatch is committed to putting environmental values into all operations as part of long-term sustainability goals. The Co-op recently became a proud member of Green Chill, a voluntary EPA partnership that works collaboratively with food retailers to reduce refrigerant emissions.  

The new store’s natural refrigeration system will emit a fraction of the greenhouse gases of traditional hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants. Only two percent of U.S. grocery stores currently use this technology.  

“We decided to exceed California’s new standards and install the most climate-friendly option available, a carbon dioxide system. Choosing a refrigerant system with nearly no global warming potential is the most impactful investment we could make towards reducing our carbon emissions,” said Lauren Scott, Sustainability Coordinator.   

The legacy continues  

BriarPatch began as a natural food buyers’ club in 1976 and moved to several locations over the years in Nevada County before building the 20,000-square-foot store on Sierra College Drive in Grass Valley.  

Known for its organic, ethically raised and locally grown food, the cooperative works with local farmers in the Sacramento watershed to pre-plan crops, ensuring consumer needs are met and family farmers thrive. Fresh, locally grown fruits and veggies from Placer County growers such as FogDog Farm and Hillview Farms will be available in the Produce Department.   

“We are production planning with numerous farms that will be supplying both stores, and some that will grow for Auburn exclusively. We’re really looking forward to forging new and growing existing farmer direct relationships,” said David Benson, Grass Valley Produce Manager.   

From L to R: Glenn Dal Porto (Store Operations Manager, Rock Creek Auburn), Sam KoneffKlatt (Food Services Manager, Rock Creek Auburn), Dave Thomas (Facilities Manager) and Mia Narell (Urban Projects Collaborative).
From L to R: Glenn Dal Porto (Store Operations Manager, Rock Creek Auburn), Sam KoneffKlatt (Food Services Manager, Rock Creek Auburn), Dave Thomas (Facilities Manager) and Mia Narell (Urban Projects Collaborative).

The Co-op’s annual sales now top $36 million and more than 10,000 people are Owner-Members. Owner-Members of the Grass Valley store will automatically become members of the new Auburn store and be able to shop in both locations. Customers do not have to be an Owner to shop at The Co-op.  

In the exciting days gearing up for the Grand Opening, community members will be notified of engaging activities like beer tastings and mix and mingles at local establishments to meet vendors and get behind the scenes tours with producers. The gatherings will also offer folks an opportunity to become a Co-op Owner.     

“Our local producers are the heart and soul of our store. They’re what make shopping at BriarPatch a different, more personal experience. Even though you don’t have to be an Owner to shop here, it’s a great way for added discounts and feeling like you’re a part of a family that supports each other economically,” said Rebecca Torpie, Marketing Director.  

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