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Whole Foods Market® revs up to open in Motor City

World’s largest natural and organic grocer brings fresh, healthy, affordable options and community gathering place to Detroit

DETROIT (June 5, 2013) Whole Foods Market opens a 21,506-square-foot store today in Detroit at the intersection of John R. Street and Mack Avenue.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow will join company leaders in presenting the highly anticipated store to the community at an 8:30 a.m. bread-breaking ceremony. Doors open at 9 a.m.

“I can’t describe the pride and joy I feel when I look at this store and think of how the community has come together to make it happen. I’ve been giving advance tours to curious residents and talking with our team members, and on both sides people are supercharged with excitement,” said Larry Austin, store team leader. “So, come on in, Detroit! We’re here to satisfy and delight you with fresh, healthy and affordable food. Tell us what you think and contribute to our community giving days – we even invite you to help decide the types of donations we’re going to make.” 

Whole Foods Market has teamed up with local schools and arts groups to offer a full day of outdoor performances today as shoppers explore a myriad of natural, organic and local options inside. The entertainment lineup includes the Detroit School of Arts Youth Jazz Ensemble, Nanaou Djiapo African Drum & Dance, DJ John Jammin Collins, the Spain Middle School Choir, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra String Quartet, and Ballet Folklorico. The interactive experience also includes videos from Dark Rye, Whole Foods Market’s online magazine whose June issue is dedicated to the Motor City, and free rides to the store from the Detroit Bus Company. A full schedule of opening day activities is available on the store website:

As part of Whole Foods Market’s commitment to community partnerships, the Detroit store is working with three local charities on opening day: the Coalition on Temporary Shelter (COTS), which provides support to Detroit’s homeless; Sisters Acquiring Financial Empowerment  (SAFE), which helps victims of domestic violence; and Gleaners Community Food Bank, an organization that brings food to the hungry in southeast Michigan. Upon checkout, shoppers can vote to determine the type of donation each charity will receive. One will earn 5 percent of the five Michigan stores’ profits on a future date, one will benefit from the “one dime at a time” program from all five Michigan stores from July through September, and one will receive a donation of $250.

Whole Foods Market in Detroit

Whole Foods Market is dedicated to providing communities across the nation with fresh, healthy, natural and organic food. The company has been looking to open a store in Detroit for several years, an interest spurred by growth in urban farming, food artisans and local producers.

“The opening of the first Whole Foods Market in Detroit is a game changer for our city,” said Bing.  “Not only does it offer central-city residents more choices and more convenience for grocery shopping, it also proves that Detroit is an attractive destination for national retailers. I appreciate the fact that the leaders of Whole Foods involved the entire community in the planning and execution of this development. This is a true community partnership, and we’re proud to welcome Whole Foods Market to Detroit.”

As part of its commitment to the Detroit community, Whole Foods Market is supporting Eastern Market’s renovation of Shed 5. Residents will be able to provide ongoing feedback regarding the store as well.

“We’ve worked toward this day for nearly five years. We’re inspired by what Detroiters are doing for this great city,” said Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market. “They are our partners, our neighbors, our team members, and our friends. We couldn’t be prouder or happier to be part of the mix.”

Inside the store

Whole Foods Market Detroit is designed with local elements.

“This store celebrates this city, its rich history and its talented, community-minded residents,” said Austin. “We’ve incorporated reclaimed wood and signs into the design and invited local artists to contribute murals. We want all our shoppers to feel at home – welcome 100 percent of the time – and we want them to understand how much it means to us to serve them with a store in Motown.”

Local design elements

The new store features décor elements, including:

Shoppers will also find local art near the store’s Community Room; Detroit’s own Elysia Vandenbussche created a tile mural replica of the city of Detroit, which calls attention to community issues like access to affordable food. The exterior of the store features four large murals by local artists Jerome Ferretti, Katherine Larson, Tylonn J. Sawyer and Mathew Sharum, who were selected from more than 100 entrants by a panel of 10 Detroiters.

Green design elements

Green store design elements include:

Product mix

Inside the store, shoppers will find high quality natural and organic items, including the company’s private label, 365 Everyday Value™. In addition, the store brings Detroit’s best local products to shoppers, including:

Additional highlights include:

Store Information
Whole Foods Market Detroit
115 Mack Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201
Tel. (313) 576-5300
Hours: 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Sun.
Store Team Leader: Larry Austin

*Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in raising pork, poultry, goat, veal and bison.

Related Images

Detroit store opening crowd

Larry Austin, store team leader, Whole Foods Market Detroit

Exterior murals at Whole Foods Market Detroit

Whole Foods Market Detroit


Walter Robb

Co-Chief Executive Officer

With a long and varied entrepreneurial history in natural foods ranging from retailer to farmer to consultant, Walter Robb, co-CEO, joined Whole Foods Market in 1991.

Michael Bashaw

President – Midwest Region

Michael Bashaw’s career with Whole Foods Market started 20 years ago as a Bread and Circus Team Member in the North Atlantic Region.