Wild Oats' Capers Opens Fourth Vancouver Store

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, Canada -- Wild Oats-owned natural and organic food retailer Capers Community Markets yesterday opened its fourth and largest location in Vancouver, the banner's first new store in 11 years.

"Our executives have been focusing much of their time on strategy, and slowed down their openings over the past few years," Wild Oats spokesperson Sonja Tuitele told Progressive Grocer. "At one point we didn't open any stores at all for months. Now we have a new prototype store."

The new unit might presage a flurry of activity for the grocer. "We are thrilled to open our fourth and largest Vancouver store, which is our first new store in 11 years, and will initiate a period of expansion for Capers," said Kurstin Leith, director of operations for Capers Community Markets. "Our new beautifully designed store will bring the people of Vancouver a way of shopping that is a vibrant experience of the senses, as well as all the longstanding benefits that shoppers have come to trust from Capers -- no added trans fats, harmful ingredients, the highest quality healthy, and great tasting food. Food lovers will find what they are looking for with ease in the functional layout, as well as experience the sights and smells of chefs and bakers actively preparing recipes in our open state-of-the-art Capers kitchens."

Capers opened its first store in West Vancouver more than 20 years ago. The operator has been instrumental in laying the foundation for the growth of the organic and natural foods industry in the area. Throughout the years, Capers has been committed to supporting and nurturing sustainable agriculture, local artisans, and small producers -- and will strengthen its support of this priority as it continues to grow.

Based on extensive customer research, the new 20,000 square foot store, designed by Vancouver's Smart Design, will offer customers a design that was developed to be fun, friendly, and educational. The Cambie store is Capers' newest generation of store styles, featuring:

-- A large prepared foods center for healthy, ready-to-go meals
-- A produce section with fresh, local, and organic fruits and vegetables
-- Aisles of specialty sauces and oils and packaged everyday groceries
-- An upstairs natural living area with vitamins, supplements, natural body care products, and an extensive complimentary wellness brochure library
-- Indoor and outdoor seating
-- Coffee bar featuring organic fair trade certified coffee and teas, complemented by organic milk choices and organic fair trade sugar
-- Organic juice bar featuring fresh juices, wheatgrass shots, and smoothies

Capers Cambie store shoppers will also benefit from new specialty items, including an organic olive bar, roasted chickens, local artisan and imported cheeses staffed by cheese connoisseurs, ready to BBQ natural meats and poultry.

In celebration of the new Cambie store, which will have 130 employees, Capers donated $10,000 to the Macdonald Elementary Schoolyard Greening Project, to benefit neighborhood families and the Kidsafe Project Society, which uses the playground to provide a nurturing safe haven for at-risk, inner-city children.

Capers has four stores in the Greater Vancouver cities of Kitsilano, Robson, West Vancouver, and now Cambie.
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