A merger of Henry’s and Sprouts specialty markets announced this week will not impact plans to open a new store this summer in the heart of La Cañada Flintridge, according to the company.
Henry’s Farmers Market was weeks from breaking ground on converting the former Sport Chalet location on Foothill Boulevard into a modern food mart, and those plans for a June or July opening are expected to continue — only under the name Sprouts.
“I don’t anticipate any broad changes, other than the name on the outside being different. It absolutely will move forward, and it should be a great store,” said Joe Dobrow, vice president and chief marketer for Sprouts Farmers Market.
City officials and members of the local business community have long anticipated that Henry’s, now Sprouts, will improve La Cañada Flintridge’s commercial corridor and make the Town Center area more attractive to pedestrians.
In order to improve traffic flow to and from the store, officials have also ordered the widening of Beulah Drive to add a left-turn lane onto Foothill Boulevard.
Community Development Director Robert Stanley said City Hall and the store’s development team were already making final adjustments to construction plans.
Sprouts’ Dobrow said the chain will also continue plans to develop seven other stores in California under the Sprouts name, including locations in Granada Hills, Westlake Village and Costa Mesa.
“Going in, the desire and intent is to keep all of the [Sprouts and Henry’s] stores open. We will probably add about 750 new jobs this year, most of those in California,” said Dobrow.
With the merger and new store openings, Sprouts is expected to grow to 108 stores in California, Arizona, Colorado and Texas, he said.
The merger of Henry’s and Sprouts came after the private equity group Apollo Management, owner of Henry’s and Smart and Final stores, purchased Sprouts and decided to group the two specialty markets under one larger company expected to generate more than $1 billion in annual revenue.
Henry’s markets were named after Henry Boney, a San Diego grocer whose son Stan Boney is Sprouts’ chairman of the board and grandson Shon Boney is Sprouts’ CEO.
The Boney family had operated Henry’s until 1999, when the stores were bought by Wild Oats Markets. Wild Oats was later purchased by Whole Foods Market, which in 2007 sold Henry’s to Smart & Final.
Stan and Shon Boney, meanwhile, started the Sprouts chain in 2002 with a store in Chandler, Ariz.