(Charlottesville, VA – June 2, 2011) – Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM), the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket and America’s first national certified organic grocer, will celebrate 19 years in Charlottesville, Virginia with the opening of its relocated store on June 7, 2011, at 10:00 a.m.  Located 1797 Hydraulic Road, the new store boasts a lot of features including Cooking Charlottesville, wood fired pizza oven, full service meat department, expanded offerings in seafood and a grocery aisle floor sourced from a University of Virginia gymnasium. 

The 40,000-square-foot store will showcase a variety of venues and products consistent with the Whole Foods Market promise of offering the highest-quality natural and organic products while addressing the needs of the Charlottesville community.  From popular offerings like local wines and beers to the introduction of Cooking Charlottesville department, Whole Foods Market Charlottesville will provide significantly expanded options and an enjoyable shopping experience.  Customers can also take in the scenery and venue with plenty of outdoor and indoor seating.

The unique Cooking Charlottesville program and in-store department combines designated workspaces, cookbooks, cooking tools, demonstrations, and themed, seasonal menus to engage, inspire and educate shoppers about the joy of cooking. The Cooking area features butcher block workspace, and on-site tablet kiosks with specially developed content, recipes and information compiled in partnership with the online social media food hub, Food52, started by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. The website featured in-store at Cooking Charlottesville, has already launched and is available for customers to sign up.  The department also features the Cooking Coach— a Whole Foods Market team member with in-depth culinary knowledge — available to help shoppers bring the passion back into cooking seasonal meals at home. Additionally, the cooking department will include bulk single ingredient items such as a variety of sea salt, over 60 spices, scoop-able peanut butter and more.  

“We were passionate about designing a store for the Charlottesville and area communities that would surpass expectations.  We are excited to share a new and improved store; we have so much more to offer while keeping our local grocer feel” said Sandy Huckstep, Whole Foods Market Charlottesville Marketing Team Leader.  “In addition to providing the wide selection of delicious, natural and organic foods they’ve come to expect from Whole Foods, we’re thrilled to introduce our cooking department, pub, branded Whole Foods Market food truck and of course showing our orange and navy with our University of Virginia aisle.” 

The new store will offer a host of exciting options and specialty departments.  Unique to the Charlottesville location will be the Beer and Wine Pub, an in-store pub perfectly located near the cheese and olive stations, featuring local beers and wines.  Beers will be on tap and rotated regularly and customers can opt to fill reusable half- gallon glass growlers to take some local flavor home.  Also among the different is the not-so-traditional snack aisle that pays homage to University of Virginia – Virginia Cavalier.  Built using the actual school’s old wooden gymnasium floor, with the University of Virginia logo, the aisle is complete with orange and navy blue flags adorning the path way.  

Additionally, customers can jump start their day with a visit to the mobile coffee cart featuring espresso, brewed drinks, expanded local and Whole Trade selections and more.  Another stand out that includes yummy eats is the Whole Foods Market food truck.  From quick bites such as hamburgers and hot dogs to quenching beverages, the food truck parked conveniently outside the store will also travel throughout the surrounding neighborhoods.

The new Charlottesville store also will feature a unique array of venues and offerings including:

  • A multitude of value-conscious grocery items to satisfy families of all sizes: 365 Everyday Value products from organic milk to frozen veggies, thousands of products priced on sale daily, and a bulk and raw section to select just the right amount for meal planning.
  • Prepared Foods section offering wood fired pizza and look for vegetarian offers such as cook to order sweet greens. 
  • Locally sourced produce, Whole TradeTM bananas, mangoes and pineapples and cut organic fruits and veggies.
  • Fresh, high-quality seafood from around the world and certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.  Seafood section will also include oven ready options, hot soup options and will triple in size. 
  • Floral department stocked with locally sourced items, including Whole TradeTM roses, fresh cut mixed bouquets, local tulips, potted hydrangeas, fresh tulips and more.
  • Cultivate, the garden center, featuring spring varietals, hanging baskets, herbs, vegetables, bedding plants, potting soil, compost, garden tools and a stunning variety of heirloom and organic seeds. 
  • Bakery department featuring conventional and kosher goods, gluten-free products, boutique cupcakes and more.
  • Full-service cheese counter offering the finest cheeses locally sourced and from around the world, along with an expanded olive and pickle bar featuring over 70 choices!
  • From a dry aged case to a smokehouse, the new meat department will include a bigger product selection and several oven ready options.  The meat department featuring an extensive line of locally sourced selections, raised without the use of antibiotics or added growth hormones, including offerings that adhere to the 5-Step Welfare Rating system: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/meat/welfare.php
  • Whole Body section will include all the needs the pamper, nurture and care for the whole body with an abundant selection of personal care items in addition to nutritional supplements, herbal and homeopathic remedies and vitamins.  
  • Significantly expanded parking and check-out lanes will facilitate a smooth shopping experience for all. 

Designed and built with the environment in mind, the store features everything from reclaimed hardwood floors, tables and chairs to recycled tile on the pizza oven, while areas of the store’s takes on old wine barrels as wall décor adding to the appeal.  Keeping with Whole Foods Market’s commitment to the environment, the store will house a Preserve Gimme 5 collection receptacle preserveproducts for recycling #5 plastics and a cork recycling bin from Cork ReHarvest, corkforest.org.

To celebrate the excitement, Whole Foods Market Charlottesville will kick-off the grand opening with plenty of free tastings, live music, cooking programs, tours and an array of weekly activities. The first 200 shoppers on opening day will receive a limited edition recipe booklet featuring time-tested recipe submissions from the Charlottesville community and veteran Whole Foods Market Charlottesville team members.

To learn more about opening celebration events and dates, please contact Defausha Hampton at 212.253.0474, visit wholefoodsmarket.com/Charlottesville or find us on Facebook under Whole Foods Market Charlottesville.