Luxury organic supermarket Erewhon is opening its next store in Glendale

Erewhon is bringing its famous smoothies and organic kale salads to Glendale, with the city announcing Tuesday that it will be home to the luxury grocer's 11th location.

The new store is expected to open in 18 months and will be located at the site of the former Virgil's Hardware Home Center at 520 N. Glendale Ave. Erewhon purchased the building in March for $12.4 million, according to real estate data provider CoStar.

The ultra-trendy Los Angeles-based chain has been eyeing Glendale since 2021, when it told The Times it was exploring locations in the city as part of an expansion plan that takes Erewhon into many of the region's most affluent areas brought: Beverly Hills, Calabasas and Venice among them.

Erewhon's Studio City store, opening in 2021.

(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

Erewhon plans to use 18,000 square feet of the vacant building's 24,000 square feet and rent the additional space to “complementary tenants” after a renovation. Like the other stores, which each have their own cafe, the Glendale location will have outdoor seating.

“We can't wait to rejuvenate an iconic community landmark and contribute to Glendale's distinctive fabric,” Erewhon Chief Executive Tony Antoci said in a press release, saying the luxury chain chose the location “because of its historic roots and strategic position in the San Fernando Valley.” He and his wife Josephine bought the company in 2011.

Erewhon was founded in 1966 by Japanese immigrants Michio and Aveline Kushi – pioneers of the macrobiotic natural food movement – ​​who, with the help of their young children, began selling imported organic goods such as brown rice and soy sauce from their home in Boston.

Erewhon grew to three stores and a distribution facility on the East Coast, and in 1969 the company opened an LA location on Beverly Boulevard.

The Kushis sold the company in the 1970s. By the time Antocis acquired the brand in 2011, it had dwindled to a single shabby location next to the Grove, filled with bulk bins of unique grains and nuts.

The couple wanted to reinvigorate the brand with a modern look and high-quality, on-trend merchandise, hand-picked by Josephine, Erewhon's president and chief trendsetter.

Erewhon quickly grew to a cult following, fueled by frequent A-list sightings – the Kardashians, the Biebers and the Beckhams are regulars – and an army of social media-savvy lifestyle influencers.

Josephine Antoci, co-owner and president of Erewhon, at the Santa Monica grocery store last year.

Josephine Antoci, co-owner and president of Erewhon, at the luxury supermarket in Santa Monica last year.

(Christina House/Los Angeles Times)

Founded in 1932, Virgil's had a long history in Glendale. While it was technically a hardware store, it also sold eggs and vintage doorknobs before closing in 2019.

“Erewhon is proud to occupy this historic site, which brings back so many memories for local residents,” Josephine said in a statement.

Erewhon last opened a store in Pasadena in September.

Times staff writer Roger Vincent contributed to this report.

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