Whole Foods Market, the world’s leading natural and organic grocer, opens its first store in East Lansing Wednesday, April 13, 2016. The new 44,853 square-foot store at 2750 E. Grand River Ave. in East Lansing, Michigan will celebrate the grand opening with music, food and many more surprises for all who attend.

“We are so thrilled to join the East Lansing community, and hope everyone can make it out to celebrate the very first Whole Foods Market in East Lansing with us,” says Sarah Tack, Whole Foods Market East Lansing Store Team Leader. “We have a fantastic store full of the best tasting natural and organic foods ranging from every day grocery staples to chef-driven prepared food offerings that we believe everyone will love.”

The new Whole Foods Market features a variety of new prepared foods and beverage venues as well as classic Whole Foods Market options for shoppers to choose from including:

  • Green State Bar and Grill – with 16 taps of rotating local and hard to find beers
  • Kitchen Express- featuring burgers, hot sandwiches and breakfast options
  • Gelato station – featuring 12 made fresh in-house gelato, sorbets and frozen Greek yogurt flavors
  • Coffee Bar – offering light, medium and dark roasted coffees, espresso drinks and blended beverages, and smoothies
  • Other exiting features- self-serve Neapolitan-style pizza; salad, soup and hot bar, sushi and an olive bar

With a large variety of custom-cut meats, organic and local produce, and pantry staples, Whole Foods Market East Lansing is the go-to grocer for every level of food explorers. Highlights include:

  • Over 150 organic produce offerings and, in peak season, around 20 Michigan-grown choices
  • Over 140 back-to-basics bulk pantry staples, more than 40 bulk spices and three grind-your-own nut butters
  • More than 7,000 natural and organic grocery staples
  • Fifteen varieties of cakes and tarts, plus an assortment of individual desserts
  • Over a dozen in-house made sausages
  • Twelve varieties of bread daily
  • A thousand-plus wines and hundreds of cheeses
  • In-house smoked bacon and seafood options
  • Café seating for over 75 indoor and more than 35 outdoors

To celebrate opening day, Whole Foods Market will host its version of a ribbon cutting called a “Bread-Breaking Ceremony” with Whole Foods Market Team Members and East Lansing neighbors beginning at 8:45 a.m. Doors and shopping officially begin at 9 a.m. The first 500 customers through the doors will receive a Whole Foods Market Promotional Card with a mystery value between $5 and $500 with one lucky customer winning the $500 amount.

Whole Foods Market’s strict Quality Standards for food prohibit artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives. Products on the shelves are evaluated on ingredients, but also ideology, philosophy, proper labeling and careful evaluation as part of a commitment made to customers to build a business with high standards that flow through all aspects of the company. These commitments include:

  • Produce: Responsibly grown produce is chosen by expert buyers and rated based off organic certification, farming practices that impact the environment and human heath.
  • Meat: All beef, pork, chicken and turkey in the Meat Department comes from farms that have achieved certification in the Global Animal Partnership’s 5-StepTM Animal Welfare Rating Program.
  • Seafood: The Seafood Department has the highest Quality Standards for seafood in the business by working with scientists, fishermen, government agencies and environmental organizations such as the Marine Stewardship Council to gather information about aquaculture and wild-capture fisheries, ensuring customers can make the best environmental choices when purchasing seafood.
  • Prepared Foods: The Prepared Foods Department’s grab-and-go meals and diverse food venues are all made with high quality natural and organic ingredients available throughout the store, from 5-Step rated meat to organic produce.

Whole Foods Market’s dedication to quality and service extends beyond the brick and mortar of the store.

 “At Whole Foods Market, we are committed to serving communities holistically, working with local organizations long before opening day, and building meaningful long-term relationships,” adds Tack.

Whole Foods Market’s new store in East Lansing will also empower Team Members and customers to support local causes. In celebration of opening week, the store will hold five “Days of Community Giving,” where 1 percent of each day’s sales will be donated to an East Lansing-based organization including:

  • Wednesday, April 13 – Women Working Wonders
  • Thursday, April 14 – The Junior League of Lansing
  • Friday, April 15 – Gateway Youth Services
  • Saturday, April 16 – Clean Water Action of Michigan
  • Sunday, April 17 – REACH Studio Art Center

Another way Whole Foods Market will support the East Lansing community is through its One Dime at a Time program which provides an incentive to customers who bring their own bags for shopping and helps develop stronger communities.  At the register, customers will have the option to receive a 10-cent per bag refund as cash back off their purchase or they can choose to donate it to that month’s selected charity organization. Whole Foods Market East Lansing’s first One Dime at a Time recipient will be Greater Lansing Food Bank.

This is the first location in East Lansing, Michigan; Whole Foods Market has four other Michigan stores in the Detroit metro including Rochester Hills at 2918 Walton Boulevard; West Bloomfield at 7350 Orchard Lake Road; Troy at 2880 West Maple Road; Detroit at 115 Mack Avenue and two locations in Ann Arbor, 990 Eisenhower Parkway and 3135 Washtenaw Avenue.