DALLAS, Texas (February 25, 2009) – On Monday, March 2, Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFMI) opens the doors of the new Lakewood store with festivities including live music and special guest appearances beginning at 9:30 a.m. A traditional Whole Foods Market “bread breaking ceremony,” a food-lovers’ twist on the traditional ribbon-cutting event follows the ceremony, and the store opens at 10:00 a.m.

“The Lakewood store will offer shoppers the ultimate Whole Foods Market experience, with an incredible variety of natural, local and organic foods in an environment designed for every member of the family,” said Carmen Fort, Store Team Leader. “Knowing the Lakewood area is truly a community, we have created indoor and outdoor seating designed as a relaxing haven and social gathering stop for friends and families.”

Because the Lakewood area has expressed an interest in the store being as “green” as possible, the following aspects are highlighted: 1)      Whole Foods Market's company-wide commitment to the environment and energy conservation is evident throughout the Lakewood store.  The store will receive L.E.E.D. certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the U.S. Green Building Council’s rating on designs that reduce environmental impact while improving occupant’s health and well-bring. The store design brings Whole Food Market’s Green Mission alive, reducing the demands for artificial lighting with 47 skylights plus photo-responsive daylight controls that turn lighting off when daylight is sufficient; beautiful countertops made of recycled bottles and jars; and ample bike racks and bike route assistance maps to cut down on car emissions.  Even the lights in the frozen food case don’t turn on until someone walks near them.

2)       On opening day, Whole Foods Market/Lakewood will be presented with an award from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership.  The store is the 2nd grocery store in the country to achieve GreenChill certification, and the 1st to achieve a Silver Level Certification.  The award is granted exclusively to food retail stores with environmentally-friendlier refrigeration systems that improve the carbon footprint of the facility.

3)       Special parking places are reserved for Hybrid and Fuel-efficient cars.

4)       The courier service used by our Concierge Service, “Go Green,” only uses hybrid and biofuel vehicles.

 The Lakewood Whole Foods Market marks the move of the Lower Greenville store, a fixture in the area for the past 22 years. The sales floor of the new stores is around one-and-a-half times the size of the Greenville store, providing for a much larger and broader selection of products.

Following the bread-breaking ceremony, grand opening activities will continue throughout the week and will include in-store tastings, local producers and chefs, and entertainment.   

  • In addition to indoor and outdoor seating, there is bench seating amongst the landscaped area and the outdoor fountain..  Free wi-fi reaches from the indoor café out to the seating in the front of the store.
  • Considered a “neighborhood store,” there are several touches that are strictly Lakewood: the southernmost corner of the store will have an approximate 10-foot stone column, designed to replicate the historical columns you see as you enter Lakewood from the south. Walking into the store, you’ll see a 60-foot timeline marking notable events in Lakewood history as well as important dates for Whole Foods Market, and décor throughout the store features red oak leaves, a predominant tree in the area.

Inside, every department presents a superb selection of offerings:

  • The Bluebonnet BBQ Smokehouse features brisket, slow-smoked with hickory for 12 hours, and smoked pork, ribs and chicken. Pick up a jar of house-made Bluebonnet BBQ Sauce to complete the meal. You can buy meat by the pound, or have our Pit Boss make a sandwich for a quick meal.  
  • In addition to the oven-ready and market-made sausage we will also offer Dry Aged Beef, a variety of fresh buffalo and local grass-fed beef.   
  • When your meat or seafood purchase is put on the scale, our computer gives you options for recipes as well as wine suggestions. 
  • The Allegro Coffee Bar opens at 7 a.m. for beverages and breakfast, and you can enjoy pastries, house-made breakfast tacos, yogurt parfaits and kolaches to start the day.
  • The Concierge can do your personal shopping, whether it’s from your grocery list, suggesting items for your Pantry Stock, Office Break-Room Stock, or for all the elements for your dinner party including flowers and wine. For the month of March, your first personal shopping service is free.
  • An extensive produce department has nearly 600 items; nearly half will be organic. Seasonal items will be emphasized, as will local produce.  There will be a dozen varieties of fresh squeezed juices made in-house.
  • An expanded floral selection and items for the gardening enthusiast are on display.
  • A fresh seafood counter, with a wide selection of freshly-caught fish, sustainable seafood choices, and ready-to-cook serving sizes at value pricing.   The Prepared Foods area is the ready-to-go department, with all items prepared in-house. We will have “gourmet to go” on a wall that is three times larger in size of the selection from the Greenville store. You’ll find a large selection of charcuterie items, with in-house roasted and smoked meats for slicing. We will have an extensive sandwich case with eight feet of fresh-made sandwiches, and a large selection of Hot and Ready-To-Go pizzas, calzones, strombolis, pot pies and quiches. The selection in our Global Food Bar , with a rotating menu, features food from around the world.
  • The dairy department is twice the size of the Lower Greenville store.
  • The bulk aisle features fresh honey, syrups, agave nectar, tamari and oils, and gourmet bulk salts.
  • Frozen food selection is twice as large as the Greenville Avenue store.
  • 400 specialty cheeses (local, domestic and imported) butters, patés, caviar and other gourmet and everyday items.
  • The olive and antipasto bar also features local products, spreads and other authentic selections from around the world
  • Extensive wine and beer department, with 800 types of wine and a 40 foot case for beer.
  • A full-service bakery features hearth-baked breads, in-house baked challah and ciabatta, cookies, cream cakes, and cornbread.  House-made candies include barks, brittles and fudge.
  • Whole Body department, with its sleek design, has a large selection of super-foods and a complete line of natural cosmetics and mineral makeup, natural bodycare, homeopathic remedies, vitamins, supplements and bulk bar soaps.
  • Value will be key, both during opening week and beyond.  Look for amazing opening deals throughout the store, and as always, great deals and sale signage will be easily identified. The “Whole Deal” magazine features coupons, recipe ideas, ways to live green, and how to shop seasonally and with flair.

Since 1980, Whole Foods Market has pioneered the organic and natural foods movement. Products meet Whole Foods Market's strict quality standards to ensure they are free of artificial additives, sweeteners, colorings, preservatives and hydrogenated fats. Skilled buyers search the globe for the finest authentic products, artisans, and renowned purveyors of produce, meat, seafood, cheese, coffee, and other delicacies.

“We are very proud to become an active member of the Lakewood community,” said Fort. “This store continues the tradition of Whole Foods Market, providing the best possible service and shopping experience to our customers at their friendly and healthy neighborhood store.”

The new Whole Foods Market Lakewood store is located at 2118 Abrams Road at Gaston, and will be open daily from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. with a coffee and pastry bar opening at 7:00 a.m.  The store’s phone number is 214/824-1744.