New Earth Market celebrates its first year in Chico

Chico >> It’s been a year since New Earth Market opened, the first grocery in a long time to launch in Chico.

Opening any business is a risk for the owner, but the decision makers behind New Earth had done plenty of research. Some are even longtime residents who know the area — and consumers — well.

For those of us who grew up on Betty Crocker, Nabisco and General Mills, wandering through the aisles at New Earth is quite a shock. Not much looks familiar.

That was exactly what co-owner Kevin Cotter and the team wanted for their store at East Avenue and Cohasset Road.

Not that Cotter’s big on disruption. It’s more about focusing on healthy eating. Already some customers say their habits are changing. Shoppers won’t find some brands, from popular colas to snack food, which is exactly how New Earth should be.

Not that Chico is missing healthy food outlets. S and S Natural Foods and Chico Natural Foods have a deep history here, encouraging healthy choices and good advice.

Even though extensive research was done before moving ahead with an expensive new store, what New Earth is now even surprises Cotter.

“We started out by marrying what we had in Yuba City, with what we thought worked in Chico.” The Yuba City store opened several years ago.

Then Chico’s personality stepped in with new twists. Shoppers like the fermented tea drink kombucha and vegan choices more in here than in Yuba City.

There’s also what Cotter calls “aisle shopping.” It’s big in…

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