Mrs. O had some work to do at one of the Claremont colleges Monday and Tuesday, and public transportation being what it is - or rather isn't - I drove her there and back both days. Hadn't been out there in a few years, and was surprised to see a nice-looking grocery store, called Sprouts, at Foothill and Mountain, so yesterday morning I dropped in.
I have a vague recollection of reading about the various chains and their brands, including this one, but don't remember what its affiliations are. I must say, though, that whoever it is is doing a good job on this one. It seemed at first acquaintance to be a Henry's clone - same look, same layout, same kind of stuff in general - but after spending some time there, and not a whole lot of money, it was apparent that this store is what Henry's would be if it were really as good as they claim to be. The produce was all very good, very fresh, and priced for the most part well under Ralphs', and the fresh meat and fish appeared to be of Whole Foods quality at supermarket rates, or better; some large and beautiful fillets of Alaskan cod were offered at $4.79/lb, undercutting Vons' usual sale price of $5 and offering much prettier fish. I was just going to get a few token items that were on my list anyway, but wound up getting in addition some fresh Polish sausage and lamb chops, some gorgeous radishes, plus some store-brand crackers and canned goods, all for around ten bucks less than I'd expect from a Ralphs trip. The cleanliness of the place, the nice layout, and the open friendliness of the people there were all icing on the cake. And when I picked up Mrs. O in the evening of course she had to go see it too, so they got a bit more of our money.
That is too far from Pasadena to make it a regular grocery stop, but we do go out that way often enough to include it in the journey, and certainly will. We checked online and that is the nearest location to us, though we do get to Orange and to Culver City every so often as well. I'd like to get some feedback from anyone else who's gone to any of these, too.