4/30/2013 5:10:00 PM MaMa Jean's opens east-side store
Eric Olson, Geoff Pickle and Brian Brown
Natural foods retailer MaMa Jean’s Natural Market has opened its third Springfield store in the former Furniture Broker building on East Sunshine Street.
Co-owners Diana Hicks and Susie Farbin opened the east-side store on April 25. The two purchased the site, 3530 E. Sunshine St., for an undisclosed amount in November from IDK LLC, which is operated by Furniture Broker manager Kerry Wilson. Hicks has said the company got a good deal on the 1-acre property, which was appraised for $1.1 million in 2012, according to Greene County assessor records.
Three-year employee Austin Hartley was promoted to store manager and manages roughly 50, a combination of new hires and transfers of seasoned staff members, he said.
With 15,000 square feet of retail space, the Sunshine store is the largest of the three, but Hartley said each is uniquely designed. He said products are duplicated across the stores, with a continued emphasis on organic foods, household, health and beauty items, and supplements.
“During the next couple of months or so, we’ll start looking at new items to bring in,” Hartley added.
Roughly 9,000 square feet of the Sunshine Street property is be devoted to warehouse and offices. MaMa Jean’s hired Missouri Supermarket Builders as general contractor for the remodeling project, with design work by Butler, Rosenbury & Partners Inc.
The new shop adds to a store portfolio that includes an 11,000-square-foot location at 1727 S. Campbell Ave. and a 13,500-square-foot store at 1110 E. Republic Road.
In the December Springfield Business Journal story "MaMa Jean's nabs east-side site," Hicks said she expects MaMa Jean’s sales to dip 20 percent at the first two locations during the third store’s first year of operations.
After opening MaMa Jean’s second location, in the Green Circle Shopping Center, the owners experienced a similar dip at their original 1727 S. Campbell Ave. store but have since rebounded, she said, declining to disclose company revenues. In 2009, the year after adding the south-side store, MaMa Jean’s recorded $7.75 million on three-year growth of 109 percent to rank No. 3 in SBJ's Dynamic Dozen fast-growth awards.