Earth Fare was established in 1975 under the name Dinner for the Earth in Asheville, North Carolina. In 1993, the small operation expanded into a grocery store chain. (Photo: Staff)

Earth Fare’s new Hixson location is opening Wednesday, and leaders said the company’s commitment to the local community will be apparent that day.

The Hixson High School marching band and cheerleaders will be on-site, and the school’s principal will be handing out apples to customers. For every apple he hands out, $1 will be given to the school.

If you go

What: Earth Fare grand opening

When: Wednesday, Nov. 2, 6:45 a.m.

Where:5414 Hixson Pike

Regular store hours: 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

Connecting with the community is one part of what President and CEO Frank Scorpiniti hopes will make the new store successful.

It’s openingin the former Harvest Grocery location at5414 Hixson Pike.Harvest Grocery, which was also a natural foods store but was locally owned, lasted less than a year in that location. Owners said it didn’t draw in enough shoppers to sustain the business.

Scorpiniti talked about the store’s program that allows select local vendors to have products in the store. The community advisory board is another way leaders are working to connect with the area.The board is a group of local residents who provided feedback to store leaders about what they wanted from the new Earth Fare location.

“It’s the fine-tuning that makes it special,”Scorpiniti said.

Mayfly Coffee, Vienna Coffee, Alchemy Spice Co., Barley Bones and Bluff View Bakery are among the 38 area businesses that will have products in the store.

The Hixson store is opening Wednesday. (Photo: Staff)

Many of Earth Fare’s products are certified as organic through the United States Department of Agriculture. (Photo: Staff)

Customers can get some items in bulk. (Photo: Staff)

Earth Fare’s food philosophy means that they don’t sell items with high-fructose corn syrup, antibiotics or similar ingredients. The philosophy is posted around the store. (Photo: Staff)

Earth Fare also has gifts and wellness items. (Photo: Staff)

Earth Fare also allows customers to get samples of the food in the store. For example, a customer could taste a specific kind of cheese before buying it. (Photo: Staff)

The bulk bath salts station allows customers to get a prelabeled container and choose the amount of product they want. (Photo: Staff)