HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


Sprouts in Pasadena Aug. 4

Got a flyer in yesterday's Star-News proclaiming that Affordable Freshness is finally coming to our benighted burg. I like Sprouts, as I've mentioned, but they're hardly going to be filling an aching need. Whole Foods has not been oppressively pricey lately, Ralphs' produce continues to be cheap and good, and TJ and Fresh & Easy can beat everyone up on such necessities as wine and bread. Then there's that back-in-the-corner location, the old Circuit City spot backing up to the World Market at Colorado and Rosemead, that can be a pig to get in and out of if there's any traffic at all. Mrs. O remembers that CC store as having no windows, too - I think she might be wrong about that but I'll go look soon enough. Anyway, if all my favorite grocery stores are about to embark on a major food fight, it should be fun for a while...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. my advice:
    if you are a fan of julia's organic ice cream, it is likely that the sprouts will have an 'opening special' on this stuff.
    they will run out.
    they will issue rain checks.

    last night, i filled my last rain check for 9 packages of the julia's organic ice cream sandwiches--$2.99 at sprouts opening special price, normally $5.99 at ralphs

    1. The CHPEAST groceries (I'm talking fresh produce, meat and seafood) will be found at your local Ranch 99. What I spend on a weeks worth of food is probably < 1/2 of what I'd spend on a weeks worth of food on say, Ralphs. I go to Ralphs to buy my unhealthy junk food which is always on sale there for whatever reason. =)

      But I always go to Sprouts for my organic, locally grown, blah blah blah groceries.

      1. Hey Will - I think T is correct, no windows.

        1. Then your choice of Ralphs must be one of their Fresh Fare operations, but if not, you are very fortunate, as we have one of each here in Sherman Oaks, and the qualitative differences are huge. Won't buy produce at the non-Fresh Fare store, and it is not even particularly cheap either.

          3 Replies
          1. re: carter

            My primary Ralphs is the big one on North Lake in Pasadena; they have produce that the more obviously upscale one on West Colorado doesn't, including Belgian endive that's better and cheaper than TJ's 3-packs. I buy little but bulk stuff there, and like their bananas and oranges better than anyone else's. YMMV...

            1. re: Will Owen

              The Lake store does have good bananas and oranges, Their avocados for some reason are frequently over ripe.

              1. re: mc michael

                Yes, they are, but that means I can always find one ready to use.

                I think all three of the Pasadena stores are Fresh Fare - all have a large section of organic offerings, and plenty of "conventional" stuff that's quite good. This is of course not counting the little one up Lake in Altadena.

          2. i used to go to sprouts in phoenix where my mom used to live and love it! they always have great deals on produce. one time i believe they had organic oranges for like.$.19 a /lb or something like that. excited for sprouts. thanks for sharing news will owen!

            1. finally made it sprouts this week and it's exactly the way i remember it, part ralph's meets whole foods meets trader joe's. i was in a rush so i could peruse the aisles very carefully but got a cute little pineapple for a dollar and two mangoes for a dollar. not a big organic section but met my needs. i think i'll be doing more shopping there as i found items i have to make two trips for (whole foods and trader joes) in one place. yay!

              1. I have heard good things about their sausage selection, but I have no idea how to cook raw sausage. Does anyone have any suggestions and also which ones are the best?

                1 Reply
                1. re: FrankZ

                  I've just gotten the kielbasa, and while it was nicely seasoned it was much too lean. I can understand that from a health standpoint, but sausage is not health food and should not be made as such.

                  Cooking raw sausage can be complex or simple. The simple way is to throw it onto a grill or into a grill pan and brown it nicely, then lower the heat and cook it, turning now and then, until it's cooked through. Complex involves simmering or steaming, mostly to get the fat out, and these (as noted) have no fat to spare.

                2. I've never been to a Sprouts, but from what I've read they seem to be essentially the same as Henry's. Any appreciable differences? The Henry's in Monrovia is a lot closer for me than the Sprouts in Pasadena.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: JohnS43

                    I went to Sprouts today and it's almost indistinguishable from Henry's. Even the signage is similar. I think Henry's is a little larger with a more interesting selection of items. Sprouts does not have wine and beer yet.

                    1. re: JohnS43

                      I believe that it is different members of the same family that own both. They split due to a difference of opinion on how to grow the business IIRC. They should be mostly the same.

                      1. re: AAQjr

                        > I believe that it is different members of the same family that own both.

                        Short version: most of Henry's was sold by the Boney family to Wild Oats in 1999. One of Henry Boney's sons started Sprout's in 2002.

                        Long version: the history seems to be rather torturous. For the morbidly curious, this blogger has put together a well-researched summary:


                        1. re: Peripatetic

                          "For the morbidly curious ...."

                          You must be a W. C. Fields fan. ;-)

                    2. I don't think I could survive in Fort Worth, TX without Sprouts. I have an Albertson's and Kroger's walking distance from me yet I will drive 25 minutes to the Sprouts in Southlake. My veggies and fruit are ten times fresher and cheaper, and the freshmade chicken sausage (I don't eat pork or beef) is wonderful and really cheap when I buy it on sale and stock my freezer. I love the bulk foods and watch all the sales so I stock up regularly. Here in TX Sprouts is much better and cheaper than anything else.

                      1. Update from your friendly neighborhood horse's, ummm, mouth: made two trips to Pasadena Sprouts, scored very nicely both times. Some things they just don't have - no Jumbo eggs, for some reason, and (as noted elsewhere) no Adult Beverages. That's okay, there's plenty of all that stuff elsewhere in that neighborhood. I managed to get makings for a nice big meatloaf, cauliflower and mashed-potatoes meal, plus a bunch of other necessities such as butter and that lovely jalapeƱo cheddar cheese, and spent a total of under $20. Getting into the lot is not the problem I'd feared; there is an opening in the wall on Rosemead, and turning in off Colorado is no problem either. Getting out is less fun, especially if you're behind a line of cars waiting to turn LEFT onto Colorado.

                        The store is nice and big and airy, and having just the one relatively small group of windows on the east wall is no big deal. This place is a welcome addition, I think.

                        1. Went to Sprouts yesterday. The place was open, airy, and not at all crowded. Helpful, friendly staff. Found some interesting options I don't see everywhere, especially in the packaged and frozen food area. I found a very nice kipper for breakfast. But today, when I went to make a salad from the lettuce mix I bought yesterday, I found slimy bits in the middle. Blech. And the heirloom tomatoes, although they smelled pretty good, turns out are actually hard in the middle. So, I'm a little disappointed in my produce pickings. And the produce was NOT cheap. I don't think I'll go back unless I really need a tinned fish.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: khh1138

                            That's the experience my wife and I had at Henry's in Rancho Bernardo about a month ago. We bought the same things that you bought at Sprouts and were disappointed when we got home. Having said that, we love love love our Sprouts in Riverside. It's got the food we like, it's not crowded with the strangely pushy crowd that seems to gravitate towards TJ's. It's like 60 miles closer to us than Bristol Farms.

                            1. re: ITry

                              I'm still really confused because in CA Henry's & Sprouts were much better values as well as quality over the chains. Remember, I lived in CA from 1982 to 2007, so that was quite a time, probably longer than some of us CH's have been alive! I never had a problem with freshness at Henry's or Sprouts.

                              Now we don't want to talk about the Caesar Salad I had for lunch today at a chain restaurant here in Fort Worth. The romaine was way beyond any form of life. I absolutely hate eating out anywhere here!