The Alfalfa’s name conjures up fond memories of delicious discoveries, a community gathering place and a local store that was steeped in values. For those who were around the Denver/Boulder area in the early 1980s and 1990s, Alfalfa’s was a cherished store that stood for something – better food, pure and simple – in an era of rapid consolidation and corporatization in the food retail industry.
Alfalfa’s became part of that consolidation in the mid-1990s when it merged with Wild Oats during the unprecedented hey days of growth in the natural and organic products market. Now, more than 25 years after our first store opened its doors at the corner of Broadway and Arapahoe in Boulder, we’re back at that same location. And we’re back with the same passion our founders had when Alfalfa’s was just a glimmer in their eyes.
It all started in the early 1980s when founders Mark Retzloff, Hass Hassan and Lyle Davis conjured up the idea of Alfalfa’s. This new store concept was based on a simple vision and goal: provide wholesome food – organic whenever possible – to customers with a healthy dose of friendly and knowledgeable customer service.
Over the years, we became known as THE PLACE for great food, great service and great community. The people of Boulder raved about the selection of fresh, local organic produce, the taste bud tingling homemade deli items, a cheese selection that was unparalleled and a butcher that set the standard for high-quality, hormone-free beef.
It was in those formative years that the Alfalfa’s vision extended beyond the four walls of the store and embraced the idea of community involvement. We wanted to give back to the community that supported us, and we knew the people of Boulder were clamoring for more than just another market. We had fun giving back with live music in our store serving as the backdrop for a variety of events that became more popular than the store itself – parking lot dog washes, pancake breakfasts, food bank drives and events that encouraged Boulderites to rally around important food causes, like dolphin safe tuna. In fact, the legend of Alfalfa’s lives on in the song “I wanna work at Alfalfa’s” by Boulder-bred band, Leftover Salmon.
Today, our modern-day Alfalfa’s promotes the same sense of community, thrill of discovery and trust in a set of product standards that focus on local, organic, GMO-free, and – of course – great tasting food.