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A Whole Lotta Whole Foods

Sarah, Zac, and I joined the perky Karen Lukin, media and communications rep for Whole Foods, for a tour of the new Lakewood store, due to open its doors Monday morning. Jump for pics and details.

The store, which inhabits the former Minyard space, is slightly bigger than the Highland Park location but doesn’t feel as cavernous. It’s going to be LEED certified (just don’t know which designation yet) and has 47 skylights, parking designated for hybrid and eco-friendly vehicles, bike racks, and lights in the frozen foods cases that dim when customers are not passing through. The company has been very sensitive to the Lakewood community, and there is even a huge timeline in the produce section that ties in Whole Foods to the city. (The Greenville store, by the way, has been around for 23 years and was the oldest existing Whole Foods left.) On to the foodstuffs. There are more than 600 items in produce, with about half organic. The bulk items are located nearby and include nozzles with which you can fill plastic containers full of olive oil, agave nectar, maple syrup, and honey. The cheese counter will have more than 400 selections, and the meat counter will feature quail, buffalo, veal, and lamb in addition to the staples. A nifty feature: there are screens attached to the meat scales, and they will display shots of dishes containing your meat of purchase. You can ask the butcher to print out the recipes for those meals, complete with all the ingredients you’ll need to prepare them as well as wine and beer pairings. Very cool. The beauty and cosmetics section feels much more like a department store, and there’s a whole section of cleanses (of the colon blow variety). Boozers will find 800 kinds of wine and 40 feet of refrigerated beers and ales (conveniently located directly across from the salty snacks: chips, popcorn, nuts, pretzels). The prepared foods section will have all the usual suspects, but there is a sandwich bar, which will include cleverly named offerings that reference the neighborhood. The coffee bar will open at 7 each morning (the store itself gets rolling at 8 a.m.) and will allow early birds entry to the cafe seating area, which has free wi-fi. Another technological plus: the Dyson Airblade hand dryer in the bathrooms. Just go and see for yourself.

4 comments on “A Whole Lotta Whole Foods

  1. I was able to get invited to their VIP tours this morning for the neighborhood associations, and the transformation of that dreary old dirty Minyard’s building is unbelievable! I will be there on Monday when they open.

  2. the richardson store is 21 years old and is still up and operating. its got the same feel greenville had its a neighborhood store. check it out @ coit and beltline