A representative from Sprouts Farmers Market's media relations department said that a store is coming to Alhambra in the near future.
“I can confirm that Sprouts has executed a lease in Alhambra and will be coming soon,” the representative wrote in an email. He added that an announcement of the “opening date and all other details will be provided at the end of this year.”
The location of the store was not confirmed. In 2014, the Source obtained documents that showed a Sprouts store coming to the new Alhambra Place, which is currently under construction. A spokesperson for the development’s communications firm told the Source that, currently, the only leases they can confirm are for Burlington Coat Factory, Maido, Blaze Pizza, The Habit, Bank of the West, and Clear Sight Optometry.
The 2014 document also showed a Cha for Tea at the Alhambra Place, but the Source was told that there are no indications that the boba store is coming.
For Alhambra, the arrival of a Sprouts is connected to a narrative of supermarkets and shifting demographics. Some residents have lamented that western markets are being replaced by Asian stores; the most recent case being the former Ralphs on Main Street, which is now a 99 Ranch Market. The change has resulted in some racially-charged tension.
“Longtime residents couldn't accept that demographic change had reached their grocery baskets,” wrote reporter Frank Shyong in Monday’s issue of the LA Times. “Immigrants and newcomers complained of xenophobia and racism in the opposition's protests.”
This divide has been evident in the comments section of the Source's articles on supermarkets. “I seriously think they are purposely trying to push out other groups out of Alhambra,” wrote one reader named “Tina,” who said that western markets were increasingly hard to find in Alhambra.
“Alhambra Source reader” responded by writing, “This has nothing to do with Asians vs Whites vs Latinos. It is just about money.”
This sentiment—that the issue is one born of business and money—was shared by some commenters on Shyong’s article. Regarding the departure of the Ralphs on Main Street, a reader named “cycleOn” noted that there’s another Ralphs store on Huntington Drive. “This is about the largest supermarket company in the US, Kroger (the company that owns Ralphs), making a very savvy business decision in choosing not to pay more in rent and consolidating its customer base into two or three other local branches of its market,” wrote cycleOn.