Posted on 29 September 2009.
Tracy Wolff and Daughter
Green Fields Market, a new grocery store offering a generous variety of natural organic products, freshly made breads, sushi and other products, had its soft opening at the Shops at Stone Oak, 19239 Stone Oak Parkway.
While the store is new, co-proprietors Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff and wife Tracy are seasoned hands at the grocery business. He co-founded Sun Harvest Farms nearly three decades ago. The San Antonio chain was sold about nine years ago, said Tracy Wolff.
Wolff said that after the Sun Harvest chain was sold, she and her husband didn’t expect to be back in the grocery business again, but the two of them were obviously enjoying the last-minute bustle in the store Monday. Not only were they opening the next day, but a preview opening would be later that afternoon.
“Just building this store has been fun,” said Tracy Wolff, as she walked us around the store to show us the offerings.
Partners in the venture are Tom and Billie Turner. But employees from Sun Harvest stores also are partners, in a sense. They encouraged the Wolffs to get back into the business – and many are now employees of Green Fields. Tracy Wolff is president of the company. Orlando Mendez is director of operations, Marc Nourani is general counsel, Dianna Ontiveroz is accountant and Sandra Feldtmose is advertising and community relations manager.
The produce department was furnished with custom-made wood display tables. These are set a little closer to the ground than those in usual supermarkets, and were filled with everything from tiny Key limes to mangoes, lettuces, melons and vine-ripened tomatoes.
Nearby, flanking one wall, 500 different items in bins were ready to go, from grains, flaked coconut, flours and cereals to chocolates and Haribo gummy candies. Green Fields is also developing and marketing its own brand of items, especially vitamins and nutritional supplements, which Wolff said contain less filler.
“We have so people tell us that some of our products have only been available to them from online,” said Wolff. Organic baby food (and doggie treats) as well as a large selection of gluten-free items, skin care products and other harder-to-find offerings are available.
These include handmade soaps as well as interesting products such as the small, fragrant bars of Ayurvedic soap produced in India, Chandrika. Wolff also pointed out a tall stack of Borba Water, nutritionally supplemented for skin balance, in Lychee Fruit, Pomegranate and Acai flavors.
At the other end of the store are the fresh baked goods, deli, wine (including Texas wines) and beer selection and fresh seafood. A full-service meat market, with a Green Fields label for all-natural Texas-raised beef, includes the ultra-tender, naturally produced Akaushi beef.
“Our concept of fast food is for people to come by and pick up sushi,” said Wolff. Along with the sushi bar producing fresh food daily, are other healthful “fast” food, such as packaged salads, vegetable snacks and more.
“We’re using products from as many local companies as we can,” said Wolff. When the ribbon is cut at the grand opening, a listing of these suppliers will be prominently displayed in the store.
Stores are planned for at least two more locations, but the sites have not yet been named, Nelson Wolff said.
The grand opening at Green Fields is Oct. 6; doors open at 7 a.m. Free groceries in reusable totes will be offered to the first 250 customers who make a purchase. The ribbon cutting is at 10 a.m. Free totes will be handed out throughout the day, as long as supplies last. There will be giveaways and food samples throughout the store, as well as Green Fields Market gift card drawings. The store will be open until 9 p.m.