After years of searching for the perfect location, Sprouts Farmers Market has announced that its first Ahwatukee Foothills store will sprout up in September of 2012.

"We've been looking for a space in Ahwatukee for years, and just trying to find the right location," Sprouts president Doug Sanders said. "We've had our eye on a couple of different locations down there and, really, just been waiting for the right one to open up. We had availability with a store relocating to a different suite and the landlord reached out to us to see if we wanted that space, so we jumped on that."

The new market will be taking the place of the RoomStore at 48th Street and Ray Road, at 4711 E. Ray Road. It will be the closest location for Ahwatukee residents who would have previously needed to travel to Ray and Dobson roads.

"We were really excited to have the opportunity to get a location there," Sanders said. "It's a pocket of the Valley we really didn't have a location near. We're just excited to fill that void and bring a Sprouts to Ahwatukee."

Sanders said they usually start hiring about six weeks before opening, so residents can begin applying in late July or early August of next year. He expects they have many Ahwatukee residents already working at other locations who will likely want to transfer to the new location, but that new positions will be available.

This is Sprouts' first Arizona location in five years. Their first location opened in 2002 at Ray and Dobson roads. Since then they have become one of Arizona's billion-dollar companies. This store will be the company's 16th store in Arizona.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com

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