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Natural Grocers opened with a bang in Klamath Falls Wednesday. According to a store employee, the store gave away its 100 prize bags filled with kitchen supplies in just about five minutes and the store at 2800 S. Sixth St. in the Jefferson Square shopping mall was packed, despite harsh winter weather.

Natural Grocers is a Colorado-based health food chain store known for selling only organic and GMO-free produce, pasture-based dairy and antibiotic and hormone-free meats. The store carries a large variety of dietary supplements as well as household items, pet supplies, body care products and books and will also soon carry beer and wine.

“We really are a nutritionally focused grocery store, unique in that way. That’s our No. 1 founding principle,” said Cat Collins, regional manager for the health coach position.

On Tuesday, the store held a private pre-opening event in which it gave merchandise samples, and food catered by Leap of Taste. Each attendee also got a $5 gift card to the store.

“Those are our recipes, Natural Grocers recipes put together by a local caterer,” Collins said of the hors d’oevres, which included bite-sized black bean burgers, cabbage and beat salad, tiny pies and more.

“We have a nutritional health coach educator in all of our locations,” Collins said. “We provide complimentary, one-on-one coaching services and we do free educational classes.”

Natural Grocers has several free classes planned in the near future, including a “Resolution Reset Day” on Friday, “Bacteria, friend or foe?” on Saturday and “Digestion 101” on Feb 15.

“We do group education for different organizations,” Collins said. “It could be anybody that wants to invite us in for some education.”

Customers said the store brought a new option for grocery shopping in Klamath Falls.

“Klamath Falls is much different than where we’re from, up in the Portland area,” said Adrianne Accuardia, who is going to school in Klamath Falls.

“Mostly I’m here because this is her favorite store, so I’m out here risking it [the winter weather] for her,” Accuardia said of her friend, who attended the pre-opening event with her.

For more information about Natural Grocers, visit naturalgrocers.com, or call 541-887-4470.

— H&N photographer Kira McClary contributed to this story.