Alfalfa’s raising cash for store in Louisville

BOULDER – Alfalfa’s Market Inc. is raising $3 million to help pay for its new store in Louisville, which is slated to open late next spring, according to Barney Feinblum, vice president of the natural and organic products grocery store.

So far, 30 existing Alfalfa’s investors have bought $1.05 million worth of common stock in the latest fundraising effort, Feinblum said Thursday. Boulder-based Alfalfa’s is held by about 100 shareholders – most of whom live in Colorado, he said. The company plans to wrap up the new fundraising effort by the end of the year, he said.

The Alfalfa’s store in Louisville is under construction at 707 E. South Boulder Road – the site of a former Safeway grocery store. Louisville residents wooed Alfalfa’s executives by sending them cards with alfalfa seeds in them, Feinblum said. The city of Louisville also offered the company a $1 million economic incentive package, he said.

“We received over 500 letters with alfalfa seeds from Louisville residents. That’s’ very encouraging, and we’re very excited to go there,” Feinblum said.

The original Alfalfa’s merged with Wild Oats Markets Inc. in 1996 and subsequently was purchased by Whole Foods Markets Inc. for an estimated $565 million.

Alfalfa’s co-founder Mark Retzloff and other business partners purchased the site of the original Alfalfa’s Market at the southwest corner of Broadway and Arapahoe Avenue in 2010. The store was reopened on Earth Day – April 22, 2011 – and has about 100 employees.

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