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East County Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009 8 years ago

Three stores to open on Main

by: Pam McTeer

LAKEWOOD RANCH — The long-anticipated arrival of Lakewood Ranch Main Street’s anchor tenant is just around the corner.

Good Earth Natural Foods, an organic and natural grocer, will open Sept. 4 in the space formerly occupied by Morton’s Gourmet Deli. Big Olaf Creamery and Yoder’s Amish Shoppe is slated to open Sept. 3.

“It’s a key component that we’ve been without on Main Street, and that key component is to have our anchor grocer open for business,” said Brian Kennelly, president of Lakewood Ranch Commercial Realty.

Kennelly said both businesses will be critical for bringing reoccurring traffic to the retail center.
Additionally, Katy Rose Oilery will open across from Lakewood Ranch Cinemas on Sept. 4.

Lakewood Ranch Commercial Realty has been pushing to open all three stores in time for Music on Main Sept. 4.

“We were awful happy getting them signed and we’re even more pleased to have them open their doors,” Kennelly said.

Good Earth Natural Foods
Bradenton-based Good Earth Natural Foods will be opening its largest store yet with 12,700 square feet of retail space filled with organic and natural foods, vitamins and supplements, fresh organic produce and natural deli meats and fresh-baked muffins and breads, among other items.

Much of the store’s second level will be used as classroom space to offer nutrition, cooking and raw food classes, as well as nutritional blood analysis and possibly yoga or Pilates classes. The space may also be available to community groups who wish to use it, co-owner Mark Egan said.

“We’re excited about the whole process,” Egan said.

The store, more than twice the size of any of the other three locations, also will offer food service to customers.

The initial menu will include sandwiches and rollups, salads, a salad bar, at least four types of soup, in addition to smoothies, a juice bar and natural deli meats and cheeses.

Store Chef and Food Service Manager Glori Chartier said the food service may expand to offer pizza and other options, but she will look to customers to determine what foods the store offers.

“We’re going to be taking suggestions and we’ll take it from there,” she said. “It’s (the customers’) store. They’re the ones who are going to support us.”

Food service products will be organic or natural, meaning they contain no hormones or pesticides, Chartier said.

Good Earth will be occupying the entire space formerly occupied by Morton’s Gourmet Deli, although it originally had planned to use just a portion of it.

Store hours will be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m., Sunday. The store’s number will be 907-3073.

Big Olaf
These days, Dennis Yoder is much like a kid in a candy store.

The founder of the original Big Olaf Creamery on Siesta Key is bringing his special brand of sweets to Lakewood Ranch Main Street starting Sept. 3.

Big Olaf Creamery and Yoder’s Amish Shoppe will offer 28 to 32 flavors of ice cream, frozen yogurt and Italian ice, as well as Amish bakery goods, Amish jams, jellies and relishes, Amish meats and cheeses, snack foods and high quality chocolates.

“I think it will be the most unusual ice cream parlor around,” Yoder said with a chuckle.

Amish bakery goods will be kept in stock, but customers also can place orders to ensure freshness. Orders will be received within two days, Yoder said.

Additionally, the shop will offer house specials each week, including pie a la mode, cake a la mode and brownie a la mode.

“We will have a pie and the cake of the week that will be used for that special,” Yoder said.

Yoder and his wife Nancy will be on site to tend to customers and train new employees.

“We believe in hands-on owner management,” Dennis Yoder said.

Initially, store hours will be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sundays. The store’s phone number will be 907-0151.

Katy Rose Oilery
Located in the space formerly occupied by Lakewood Ranch Booksellers, Katy Rose Oilery will offer high quality extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world.

“You’re going to be able to go through and taste anything I have in the shop,” said Don Whitson-Schmidt, who owns the store with his wife Gale. “Once you taste it (and you order it), we bottle it. You know exactly what you are getting.”

Guests will be able to sample and choose from 20 types of olive oil, 10 balsamic vinegars and a handful of white balsamic vinegars from across the world. Oils and vinegars come in different varieties, including flavors such as black currant, pomegranate and garlic, among others.

“Everybody thinks olive oils are the same, but you’ll be surprised by how different they taste,” Don Whitson-Schmidt said. “People almost sip the (17-year-old) balsamic vinegar because it’s so good.”

While the products could be used for cooking, Don Whitson-Schmidt said they are best used for dipping or for adding flavor to cooked meats and other foods.

The store also will carry olive oil-based soaps and lotions, pastas and sauces imported from Italy, crackers, peanut brittle made from chardonnay, dipping spices, and other Mediterranean-themed and olive oil themed items.

Store hours will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m., Sunday. For information, call 907-0306 or visit

Contact Pam McTeer at [email protected].

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