Auburn, CA– BriarPatch Food Co-op is inching closer to opening its long-awaited second store at 2505 Bell Road in Auburn.  The new target date is August 2023.   

Welcome to the Auburn Patch

“We are resolving the final issues that have held up our construction and are beginning the last phase of this exciting initiative to bring high quality organic and local foods to Auburn and Placer County,” said Chris Maher, General Manager.  

International supply chain issues nearly ground renovations to a halt last Fall 2022, when critical parts needed for the store’s main electrical panel became impossible to come by.  

Now in its 47th year, the cooperative with strong roots in Grass Valley will begin accepting applications for key support team positions for its yet-to-open Auburn store beginning late May and early June of 2023.   

The new store will have approximately 100 positions, both part-time and full-time. The Co-op offers health benefits to full-time employees benefits such as store discounts are available to both full-time and part-time employees.  

“BriarPatch is an amazing place to work. We have a kind and caring management team who focus on creating and supporting individual employee growth and learning. Change comes from the inside out and we are working for positive change in our communities every day,” said LeeAnne Haglund, Director of Human Resources.   

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 interior of the state-of-the-art new store is adorned in colorful décor and there is a hand-painted mural on the patio wall in the former garden space. Shoppers will enjoy an award-winning deli and hot bar, sustainable meat & seafood department, 99% organic produce department, expanded wine and craft brew and cocktail selections, a gourmet cheese island, plant-based paradise, non-packaged bulk food & herbs and more.   

For extra convenience, shoppers can choose to use self-checkout registers or curbside pickup with dedicated parking near the store entrance. An in-store demo area will allow for tastings and recipe promos and the outdoor patio and dining area is sure to become a hub for gatherings. Community members and area organizations can also reserve the community room for meetings, classes and other special events.  

Interior Designer Gabby Rosi and Blend Design out of Portland were instrumental in the overall look and feel of the project. Some of their past design projects include Whole Foods in Sunnyvale and Alameda and the Tillamook Creamery in Oregon.   

Commitment to Community & Sustainability  

With a commitment to give back and support the community, BriarPatch gives back hundreds of thousands to local nonprofits and social and environmental causes each year through programs like Round Up at the Register and Apples for Gardens.    

BriarPatch works with 16 nonprofit neighbors like Placer Land Trust as part of its community volunteer program known as PatchWorks. Since the program began in 2020, volunteers have worked over 20,000 hours valued at over $600,000 in labor hours helping the community clean up rivers and trails, take care of at-risk animals, feed people in-need and more. Every month, volunteers earn discounts at the store for their contribution.  

BriarPatch recently attracted media attention for being a proud supporter of the “Know Overdose” campaign in Nevada County and has trained 50 employees in the use of Narcan, the life-saving opioid overdose reversal medication. The Co-op is a site where people can pick up Narcan for free, no questions asked. Plans for a similar program are in the works for the new Auburn location.   

BriarPatch is committed to putting environmental values into practice in all its operations as part of its 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 refrigeration system is a transcritical C02 natural refrigeration system that emits a fraction of the greenhouse gasses of traditional HFC coolers; only 2 percent of U.S. grocery stores currently use this technology.  

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.   

The Co-op’s annual sales now top $36 million and more than 10,000 people are member-owners. 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.  

BriarPatch Food Co-op is a neighborly grocery store serving up local, high quality, healthy food and supporting our Sierra Foothills community since 1976. Learn more at