(Rockville, MD– April, 2011) – Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFMI), the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket and America’s first national certified organic grocer, will celebrate 20 years in Rockville, Maryland with the opening of its relocated store on April 12, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. Located at 11355 Woodglen Drive, the new store features Cooking Rockville, the region’s first-ever cooking-dedicated department, and will open in time to serve area shoppers for the Easter and Passover season.

The 51,000-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 Rockville and North Bethesda communities. From popular offerings like local gelato and a smokehouse and burger bar, to the more unique Neopolitan-style pizza oven and Cooking Rockville department, Whole Foods Market Rockville will provide significantly expanded options and a unique and enjoyable shopping experience.

Shoppers at the new location will be the first to experience Whole Foods Market’s new Cooking Rockville department and program, which 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 will be an inviting, warm space featuring butcher block workspaces, chalkboards, and touch-screen technology, where Cooking Coaches — Whole Foods Market team members with in-depth culinary knowledge — will help shoppers bring the passion back into cooking seasonal meals at home.

 

“We’re eager to show our Rockville and North Bethesda shoppers a new and improved store; we have so much to offer” said Momar Gueye, Store Team Leader for Whole Foods Market Rockville. “In addition to providing the wide selection of delicious, all-natural, organic foods they’ve come to expect from Whole Foods, we’re thrilled to be the first in the area to introduce our Cooking Rockville department, which will inspire shoppers to cook seasonal foods in their own kitchens.”

Also featured in the Rockville store’s Prepared Foods section is the distinctive arepa station (pronounced “ah-RAY-pah”), a traditional cornmeal cake found in Venezuelan and Columbian cuisines. Similar to the Salvadoran pupusa, arepas are hand-formed and grilled or griddled, then filled with a traditional combination of ingredients. Varieties to be featured at the Rockville location include the Pabellon — filled with pulled beef, fried plantains, beans and cheese — and the Reina Pepeida — named for a Venezuelan beauty queen — stuffed with pulled chicken, avocado and cheese.

The new Rockville 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 Neopolitan-style pizza, organic salad bar, burger bar and short-order breakfast from the griddle.  Look for Weekday Deals featuring Meatless Mondays.
  • Locally sourced produce, Whole TradeTM bananas, mangoes and pineapples and cut organic fruits and veggies.
  • Specialty coffees, including single-origin varieties, dozens of local roasts and one selected local coffee brewed fresh each day.
  • Fresh, high-quality seafood sourced locally and from around the world and certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.
  • Floral department stocked with locally sourced items, including Whole TradeTM roses, fresh cut mixed bouquets, local tulips, potted hydrangeas, Easter lilies, fresh tulips and more.
  • Cultivate, the garden center, featuring spring varietals, hanging baskets, herbs, vegetables, bedding plants, local 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, in-house-made challah bread, local gelato and freshly popped, low-calorie rice cakes.
  • Full-service cheese counter offering the finest cheeses from around the world, along with fresh local pasta, sauces, specialty chocolates and candy, and a self-serve olive and pickle bar.
  • 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
  • Significantly expanded parking and check-out lanes will facilitate a smooth shopping experience for all.  Customers can conveniently park in a garage beneath the store.

To celebrate the excitement, Whole Foods Market Rockville will kick-off the grand opening with plenty of free tastings, live music, cooking programs, tours and an array of evening activities.*  The first 200 shoppers on opening day will receive a limited edition cookbook featuring delectable, time-tested recipe submissions from noted Rockville citizens, including long-standing Whole Foods Market Rockville team members; as well, the shopper who is Foursquare “Mayor of Whole Foods Market Rockville” on May 1st will win a free lunch with the real Rockville Mayor, Phyllis Marcuccio. 

*To learn more about opening celebration events, dates, and giveaways, please contact Katie Hunsberger at 212-253-0474 or visit wholefoodsmarket.com/Rockville.