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GENOA, MI -- Brighton Township's loss is Genoa Township's gain this year in the organic food market.

Anthony Gelardi, owner of Simply Fresh Market, has moved his organic food store from its Brighton Township location to 7300 Grand River Ave. in Genoa Township to have more space for his fruits, vegetables and other organic products.

The store, which opened Sept. 8, has 5,100 more square feet than the one in Brighton Township.

"It's amazing," Gelardi said Tuesday. "This space offered what we wanted our brand to feature."

Simply Fresh will have an all-day grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony from noon to 1 p.m. Oct. 1. Bring your appetite if you're going. Local vendors will offer free samples. The store also will have a meet and greet with local farmers.

Organic fruits and vegetables appeal to consumers because they are free of pesticides and herbicides and are not genetically modified. Simply Fresh is one of four organic food stores in the county, one of more than 60 in Michigan and one of at least 2,000 across the country.

Simply Fresh offers a variety organic fruits and vegetables, fresh bread, in-house organic pizza made from scratch, a full and fresh salad bar Mondays through Saturdays, homemade soups and fresh sandwiches.

The store is also stocked with local meats and seafood, including grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chicken, organic lamb, pasture-raised pork and free-range bison. The seafood offerings include walleye, perch, catfish, white fish and wild-caught salmon.

“Tony Gelardi’s dreams have come true with the relocation and expansion of Simply Fresh," said Pam McConeghy, president and CEO of the Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce. " Like a farmer, Tony has nurtured and grown his business — developing it into a world-class market with beautiful organic fruits and vegetables, legumes, condiments, cheeses, meats, gluten-free pastas, healthy drinks such as smoothies, and a swanky deli where chefs prepare the healthiest and tastiest soups and salads.

"The kale and white bean soup that I devoured last night was off the charts," she added. "Simply Fresh is simply a must for those conscious of good eating and great health.”

Gelardi set up shop in the former and now remodeled home of Handi Rental Center, a shuttered party rental store, and a small-engine repair shop. He also owns and operates Simply Grown, an organic apple orchard in Gregory with 70 varieties of apples.

He is pleased with the new location, which features a kitchen that he calls Simply Made near the middle of the store to cook local food for local folks as well as an organic juice and smoothie bar.

Gelardi believes in buying local, reinvesting in local communities and leaving a smaller carbon footprint in the world.

"What Simply Fresh Market really does is provide a healthy lifestyle by providing very fresh, high nutrient-rich local food," he said. "I try to keep as much of the dollars I can within our state."

Simply Fresh is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.

Gelardi is having local fresh turkeys raised for Thanksgiving. To pre-order one, visit www.simplyfreshmarket.com or call 810-360-4292.

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