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Sprouts Market open in Culver City

  • j
  • Jase Jun 28, 2010 04:59 PM

Opened up Wed 6/23. This is in the old Circuit City location on Sepulveda near Jefferson. We dropped in this weekend. Agree with past observations that it seems like a cross of TJ's, Henry's and Whole Foods. Prices are definitely a lot better than WH. Larger produce selection than TJ's. Layout and feel is patterned after Henry's.

We picked up several of their opening specials. Got a few different kinds of sausages since we heard good things about it. Got a few different loaves of bread, some produce. Also some candy from the bulk bins.

It's hard to make a judgment on the store since it still had the new car smell and there was a ton of staff. Everyone was very friendly. All the stock looked fresh and full. Prices seem reasonable. But we liked the first impression enough that we'll drop in a few more times and see how they hold up.

We usually do the bulk of our fruit and produce shopping at the Sunday Mar Vista farmer's market and don't see that changing much. But we'll use Sprouts as a comparison for our meats. The prices, quality and variety in the cases seem decent. The cheesecase had a fair selection and pricing. But I didn't like the looks of the different kinds of blue cheeses they had. I was going to pick up a couple of different varieties of blues but everything I saw was of poor quality.

Didn't get a chance to cook the sausages due to a change in plans so those are going into the freezer for later review. But we did get to try the candies since that's easy snacking, haha! We got some of their chocolate malted balls and the chocolate covered spun honeycomb. The malt balls were okay, ratio of chocolate to malt was off, too much chocolate and not enough malt balls. Also the chocolate was only okay. However, we really liked the chocolate covered spun honeycomb. I'm a big fan of Violet Crumble and these were a better version. Even better, it was dark and not milk chocolate.

It's an interesting addition to the neighborhood and I'll be curious to see how they hold up as they settle into a regular routine.

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  1. I started shopping at Henry's and then Sprouts in San Diego back in 2002 and was immediately hooked! On the corner of El Camino Real and Encinitas Blvd. I had a Henry's, TJ's and 99 Cent Only store. Talk about heaven!!!

    Now I live in the vast "foodie wasteland" of Fort Worth. The only saving grace is that I have a Sprouts in Southlake, about 25 minutes from home. In California I always got the freshest produce and fish, and their sausage is really good. I like their hot Italian chicken sausage and stock up when it is on sale for $2.99/lb. All of the bulk nuts and grains are really fresh.

    Sprouts is much more reasonable than Whole Foods and the quality is just as good here. The only other option I have here is Central Market which is really expensive an the selection is still limited.

    Enjoy Sprouts!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Barbara76137

      Thumbs down. Lower quality than Whole Foods...preservatives, etc in their food. Outrageous prices on most items and the occasional steal like 20 cent limes.

    2. Added place link for Sprouts in Culver City.

      -----
      Sprouts Farmers Market
      5660 S Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230

      1 Reply
      1. re: Servorg

        Sprouts will be opening new locations in Pasadena, Valencia and Thousand Oaks in the very near future.

      2. i now have a freezer full of julie's organic ice cream pops and sandwiches.
        thank you sprouts.

        1. Sprouts is great - IMO it falls somewhere between Henry's and Wild Oats (before Whole Foods bought them). i'm not crazy about their dairy selection, and i wish they sold fresh, sliced-to-order deli meats, but they have terrific produce deals sometimes, and their employees are always friendly and helpful. their bulk selection is really unbelievable - fortunately for me i only buy bulk items out of those wall-mounted gravity-assisted containers, so i manage to exercise restraint and resist the siren song of all those bins at Sprouts :)

          1. LOVE this place- I've been going to the one in T.O. It's the best for Gluten Free items! Even saw GF hamburger and hot dog buns there today! Fabulous $$'s on fresh fruit and veges too.
            My sister turned me on to this place about 10 years ago where she lives in Glendale AZ. So excited to see it come to L.A. Was part of the Henry's family but, branched off and is now independent from Henry's.

            1. I was SO looking forward to it opening... but for me, sadly it was a let down...

              They carry a good selection of high quality items, but it's not great. In fact, I like the selection at Pavillions up the street better since they offer Brogueres milk. They also don't stock my favorite kind of canned tomato... bizzare...

              I also was thinking I'd be in bulk bin heaven. Meh... Henry's offers much greater selection (Bulk doggie biscuits!)

              Mostly though, I was excited about new lunch options since it's so close to work. It feel flat there too... the sandwich offerings are pedestrian and it doesn't have a real 'deli'. The prepackaged stuff was YAWN!

              Haven't had a chance to pick up any of their sausages because we're on sausage overload here (yes. again...). But soon be back soon to try them out and hopefully find more reason to go...

              --Dommy!

              13 Replies
              1. re: Dommy

                i agree about the deli disappointment, Dommy, Sprouts & Henry's used to be owned by the same company & they're similarly lacking in that department. we're also in agreement about the dairy - meh.

                one of the good things about Sprouts, though, is that they're still owned by a smaller independent company - Boney's - if you'd prefer to support the little guys in favor of larger corporations. even Henry's has sold out at this point - they're now owned by Smart & Final.

                1. re: Dommy

                  Which Henry's do you like locally, Dommy? The only two I've been to are in Los Alamitos and Fullerton = too far from frequent visits.

                  1. re: ElissaInPlaya

                    Yeah, the one I've been to is even further away, Chino Hills... But since they follow the same model, that is why I was comparing the two.

                    --Dommy!

                    1. re: ElissaInPlaya

                      ElissaInPlaya and Dommy, there is a Henry's Farmers Market in Woodland Hills in the Warner Plaza Shopping Center on Ventura Blvd:

                      Henry's Farmers Market
                      21821 Ventura Blvd
                      (Btwn Canoga Ave and Topanga Canyon Blvd)
                      Woodland Hills, CA 91364
                      (818) 887-6473

                      1. re: ElissaInPlaya

                        Per their website http://www.henrysmarkets.com/html/
                        Henry's has a location at 820 N. Western Ave in San Pedro.

                        Sprouts also has a location in Torrance.

                        -----
                        Henry's Marketplace
                        820 N Western Ave, San Pedro, CA 90732

                        1. re: DiveFan

                          that's a schlep from Playa del Rey - a good 30 minutes even without heavy traffic. definitely not worth the trip.

                      2. re: Dommy

                        +1 on Dommy!'s assessment. We went last thursday, and it was expectedly zoo-o-rama. The general area has been in need of something like this, but I think for those who live further west or further north, there are plenty of duplicate options. The prices are good, the selection in general can be hit & miss, but harder-to-find items like Bragg's Amino Acids can be found here (for when I'm cooking for my vegan sister).

                        The quality of their bulk items that I picked up were so-so. I usually don't shop for bulk items often but I picked up some pine nuts in the bulk section and those were so-so. The ones at TJ's and Costco are actually much better and for far less. The candies were the same.

                        I too was hoping for more umph! from the deli section - both service and food - but no such luck. I think what few deli-type places there are around this whole area are safe for now. Sprouts could have capitalized on this notion by reducing the amount of frozen and refrigerated they have along most of the wall space in this store, but my guess is they have some formulaic marketing scheme for both their deli as well as their refrigerated goods that wouldn't allow for this.

                        All in all, I can see this being an easy one-stop place for some items I'd normally pick up at TJ's, Whole Foods, Bristol Farms and Costco, but it won't replace any of these options for me.

                        1. re: bulavinaka

                          The Sprouts that will at some point open in Pasadena is also an old Circuit City location, actually a fairly unhandy one - it's tucked into a hard-to-get-to back corner at the intersection of Rosemead and Colorado, behind a Mongolian BBQ place. I'm still looking forward to it. After the bloom wore off from my first acquaintance with the one in Claremont, I still enjoyed the differences between it and all my other regulars. That's the only place I've ever seen jalapeño CHEDDAR, can you believe that? And the meats and fish, though a tad pricey, are very good. Their cheap navel oranges, though, were of worse quality than the even cheaper ones in the SGV Asian markets, and I learned to be very careful about looking closely at leafy greens for signs of rot.

                          I did love the great attitude of the staff, though, and their willingness to open up additional registers when things got busy without being told to.

                          1. re: bulavinaka

                            Yeah, the parking lot is WAY too small for a grocery store (especially at lunch with the bank and shakeys...) And the carpool parking... HA! I ended up parking across the street at the mall and just walking over.. :/

                            --Dommy!

                            1. re: Dommy

                              Haven't been yet. Want to go. Heard it's great.

                              1. re: Dommy

                                Agree. I was able to find parking, but the lot is way too small.

                                Also agree on the deli section. I was hoping to pick something quick up for dinner, but didn't see anything appetizing.

                            2. re: Dommy

                              Reviving this thread after a few visits there myself.

                              I agree somewhat with Dommy's disappointment. Pedestrian sandwiches, mundane cheeses and deli meats. The produce can be excellent, or it can be mounds of nature's factory seconds. My advice: buy the fruit you can smell, and eat it that day.

                              So what's good? The bread is fantastic, especially the squaw and whole wheat breads. The fish isn't bad, and reasonably priced. The uncooked chicken bratwurst totally rocks. They sell many Whole Foods brands for much less money. Their deli-counter packaged sides are decent and cheap.

                              My thinking is that they are very aware of TJ's, and don't want to compete with them on the things TJ does so well: cheeses, stuff in jars, etc. A savvy shopper could do well here, but watch out for rot, mold and quality problems. There are terrific bargains here, but I wouldn't completely trust them not to kill me.

                              1. re: BobtheBigPig

                                "My thinking is that they are very aware of TJ's"

                                They should be more aware of the new, upgraded Smart & Final extra! stores, where the grocery selection is much better than before, where more products are now sized for home, not restaurant, consumption, and where the prices are great. Yes, S&F doesn't overwork the "organic" marketing strategy, but they appeal to workaday, as opposed to CH, families and, from what I've seen, are doing a booming business. I know they got mine for at least half our holiday menus last year, as I balanced the cost of a $180 heritage turkey with excellent baking potatoes, fresh spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, meats for the turkey stock, etc.

                                It's your money, but giving it to the Sprouts chain primarily because they're not yet huge -- as someone suggested -- would tend to defeat the market mechanism and is contrary to common sense. Make them earn that dough! Don't forget that the Boney family started Henry's, sold out to an "evil corporation," and may have the same idea in mind with Sprouts, given their choice of explosive growth (now 50 stores and moving fast) over exceptional service and general high quality.

                                Getting back to the main point, I've been going to the Sprouts in Claremont for the last couple of years and think it's a great pit stop when you plan to dine at bathroom-less Donut Man up the road in Glendora and have a long drive afterward.

                            3. Sprouts = Henry's
                              There's really no difference between Sprout's and Henry's. They pretty much carry the same items, just that Henry's is a tad cheaper. They both have huge wellness sections and they both have huge bulk sections as well. Whole Foods would be in a whole other field than Sprouts because they're more organic than the bridge and TJ's is just TJ's. A great store just offering good food.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: joedaark

                                Several old Whole Foods became Sprout's or Henry's.

                              2. Sprouts is as close to being Henry's in both heritage and appearance as you can get -- see previous thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/676444 for a brief discussion. I might eagerly anticipate the arrival of a Sprouts if I lived in a food desert but not in Southern California.

                                Of course, with Bristol Farms stores going out of business and Dean & DeLuca not even willing to engage in business, I could be singing a different tune shortly. Hey, did you hear about that new 7-11 with the great organic Cheetos selection??

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: hnsbmg

                                  Please elaborate on 7-11 with organic Cheetos selection . . . I think I might know Dean & Deluca but explain more please . . .

                                  1. re: apple7blue

                                    Er, I think "hnsbmg" was joking about those organic Cheetos at the 7-11.

                                    (or, at least, I got that impression)

                                    1. re: Tripeler

                                      I guess it went over my head . . . I just did a quick search for organic cheetos and found this . . . http://www.fritolay.com/our-snacks/ch...

                                      1. re: apple7blue

                                        Funny, I had Cheetos after dinner tonight, a bag of their new Korean BBQ flavor which has just been released here in Japan. Interestingly, when I went to their website here I couldn't find mention of it.
                                        http://www.fritolay.co.jp/
                                        But it is surprising to see all the Cheetos products here, including the Olive Oil series (either basil/chicken or carbonara) and the Yakisoba and Horumon.
                                        No organic products yet, though...

                                        1. re: Tripeler

                                          I thought Cheetos were inorganic? ;-D>

                                          1. re: Servorg

                                            Generally, if you can get that fluorescent orange glow without a black light, then they certainly can't be organic. The Korean BBQ Yakiniku ones I had tonight carried a huge list of ingredients, including Korean miso powder and red pepper powder, along with powdered soy sauce and a zillion other things, including three kinds of meat and much more.

                                            1. re: Tripeler

                                              When it comes to food, the difference between organic and inorganic is subjective and often illogical. In Japan, not just for cheetos but also kitkats sodas etceteras, flavors come out in limited runs often and are never seen again. I like the cheese balls from Fritos in Japan, a permanent flavor. They have these cute cheeseball characters to promote them on the bags.