AUSTIN, Texas (October 20, 2005). Whole Foods Market® (NASDAQ: WFM), the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket, will open its eighth store in Florida on Wednesday, October 26 in Downtown at the Gardens, Palm Beach Gardens' new retail, restaurant and residential development at PGA Boulevard and Alternate A1A. The new store will co-anchor the shopping center, which was created by Menin Development Companies, and it will employ approximately 150 Team Members.

Since 1980, Whole Foods Market has helped pioneer the organic and natural foods movements. Whole Foods Market is known for its high quality standards-all of the foods are free of artificial additives, sweeteners, colorings, preservatives and hydrogenated oils-and its commitment to exceptional customer service resulting in an incomparable shopping experience. The company's skilled buyers search the globe for the finest quality products, food artisans and renowned purveyors of produce, meat, seafood, cheese, coffee and other delicacies.

“Whole Foods Market is committed to providing the community with great-tasting, natural and organic foods in a contemporary, easy-to-shop store that will appeal to everyone from the health-conscious and those with special dietary needs to busy on-the-go people and aspiring gourmets,” said Dean Owens, store team leader. “Our knowledgeable Team Leaders are dedicated to helping our shoppers' desire to enjoy eating and living well.”

The new Palm Beach Gardens store combines the expertise and advantages of a farmer's market, a gourmet store, a grocer of specialty item and everyday staples, an old-fashioned butcher, a fishmonger and a team of chefs making restaurant-quality, global cuisine?all under one roof! The distinctive features of the Palm Beach Gardens store include:

  • A large selection of organically grown fruits and vegetables teeming with vitality, picked at the peak of flavor and freshness, all neatly stacked in the produce department. Whole Foods Market supports local growers by providing a marketplace for their fresh-grown produce. Displays of fresh-cut, ready-to-eat fruits, melons and vegetables offer convenient choices for busy shoppers.
  • A prepared foods department creates time-saving and restaurant-quality meal options prepared by our on-site chefs. An impressive help-yourself food bar features salads, grains, soups, hot and cold options, and an extensive variety of ethnic cuisine. A new line of authentic Indian vegetarian and vegan entrées with delicious sauces and spices is now available on the self- service hot food bar and in the pre-packaged foods section. A wide variety of fresh-baked pizzas are prepared in a brick pizza oven. Nearby, shoppers can order custom-made sandwiches. Customers can eat in the café, on the outdoor patio or take the food to go.
  • Hearth-baked, crusty breads and delectable pastries, bagels, muffins, rolls and cookies are baked fresh throughout the day. Bakery items from top local and national artisan pastry shops are offered as well. In addition, to meet the needs on the increasing number of customers whose diets require gluten-free foods, the Whole Foods Market Gluten Free Bakehouse is creating a wide variety of delicious freshly-baked items, including breads, cookies, scones, biscuits, pizza crusts, whole pies and brownies. Customers can indulge their sweet tooth at a chocolate enrobing station where a variety of sweet and savory foods will be coated with premium quality chocolate.
  • The Whole Foods Market Specialty Department, modeled after European markets, makes it possible for customers to enjoy their favorite flavors of the world-every day! Shoppers will discover nearly every variety of domestic and imported cheeses; a wide variety of olives; fresh pastas and dips; gourmet chocolates; nitrate-free meats and p?tés; a vast selection of wines-including organic options-from around the globe; and an adventurous selection of domestic and imported beers.
  • Bountiful fresh fish and seafood, frozen seafood specialties, a large smoked selection, oven-ready items, steaming-hot chowders and chilled seafood salads are available in the seafood department. Whole Foods Market owns and operates its own fish processing facilities in Gloucester, Mass., Seattle, Wash., and Atlanta, GA., to ensure the catch of the day is quickly shipped to stores for peak freshness.
  • The widest selection of natural meats from animals raised on a 100 percent vegetarian diet, free of steroids, antibiotics and added hormones is available in the meat department. Our experienced meat team is eager to share helpful cooking tips. Along with numerous cuts of beef, pork and poultry, shoppers will also find a wide selection of prepared entrées ready to bake or to grill. A dry-aged beef cooler will be located behind the counter, where steaks and roasts can develop maximum tenderness and flavor.
  • Dairy cases are filled with fresh milk, eggs from cage-free chickens, butter and yogurt, including many organic options. For shoppers seeking alternatives to dairy products, a broad selection of soy- and rice-based milks, cheeses and yogurts are available.
  • Grocery products-from the everyday to the gourmet-fill the aisles and include convenient frozen entrees, pizza and ice cream; bins of bulk dried fruits, nuts, cereals, grains, beans and flour; a grind-your-own nut butter station; cereals; juices, naturals sodas and bottled waters; snacks, including cookies, whole grain crackers and nuts; natural pet foods; and eco-friendly cleaning products for the home.
  • Whole Foods Market's own family of brands offers the highest quality products for every occasion. The 365 Everyday Value™ line is a collection of all-natural pantry staples at great value prices. The 365 Organic Everyday Value™ line is the first all-organic line in North America available at everyday low prices. Whole Kids Organic™ is the country's first organic food product line crafted just for kids. Whole Kitchen™, Whole Catch™ and Whole Treat™ go beyond the basics to offer unique and intriguing products ranging from heat-and-serve appetizers to quick meal solutions to indulgent desserts and sweets. The Authentic Food Artisan™ (AFA) seal designates the finest organic foods from around the world handcrafted in small batches and showcases food and wine artisans' dedication to traditional craftsmanship.
  • Allegro Coffee Company brings the best-tasting and highest quality coffee to Whole Foods Market. Allegro believes in supporting small family farmers using traditional farming methods and harvesting crops by hand at the peak of ripeness-and paying them above the cost of production, protecting against fluctuations in the coffee market. Coffee will be roasted on site and the coffee bar will offer a full menu of hot and cold coffee beverages.
  • The Whole Body™ department is dedicated to pampering, nurturing and caring with personal care items in addition to nutritional supplements and vitamins. Knowledgeable Team Members assist customers one-on-one to help them make informed choices from the wide selection of organic and natural alternatives for common health and beauty care products.
  • The Whole Lifestyle Center's calendar of events will focus on health and wellness through lectures, cooking classes, fitness demonstrations, children's events, and food and wine tastings. Store tours will feature information about health-conscious products and special health needs.

“When our shoppers step into Whole Foods Market, they will be tempted at every turn. From our huge selection of organic fruits and vegetables, the fresh fish and seafood, and the mouthwatering selection of gourmet prepared foods-the aromas and sights will surely delight their senses!” said Owens. “Whole Foods Market prides itself on offering not only the freshest and widest selection of natural and organic foods, but also the tastiest gourmet delights from around the world. And we are thrilled to become a part of the community in Palm Beach Gardens.”