Whole Foods Market plans to open four stores in the city of Chicago, with the first in Streeterville on Jan. 28, followed closely by stores in Lincoln Park near DePaul University (February 25), the West Loop (March 25) and Edgewater (April 29).
“Whole Foods Market loves Chicago, and we know that the community has been hungry for these stores to reopen for some time,” said Michael Bashaw, president of Whole Foods Market’s Midwest Region. “We took the time to design and build a brand new store for each community that would offer not just a full-service grocery, but also a place to meet friends and share each other’s company. After the communities come to know these stores, I believe they’ll feel the wait was worth it!”
The Streeterville store is the first former Dominick’s location to open as a Whole Foods Market. It will feature a variety of new prepared foods and beverage venues as well as classic Whole Foods Market options. These features include an in-store venue with products from Chicago’s own local raw and vegan foods restaurant Chicago RAW, a 12-tap barroom, a coffee bar and wine room, a Ramen station and an apothecary-style Whole Body department.
On opening day, Whole Foods Market will host a bread-breaking ceremony with Whole Foods Market Team Members and Streeterville neighbors at 8:45 a.m., followed by food samples, entertainment, and gift cards for the first 500 customers. Doors will open at 9a.m. Whole Foods Market officials will be available for interviews for 20 minutes after the bread-breaking ceremony.
Whole Foods Market’s dedication to quality and service extends beyond the brick and mortar of the store.
“Whole Foods Market is committed to the local communities that we serve,” Bashaw said. “We’ve worked with local organizations long before we open our doors and look forward to continuing supporting the community through the coming years.”
Whole Foods Market’s Streeterville store 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,” in which 1 percent of each day’s net sales will go toward Chicago-based organizations, including Lookingglass Theatre, Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago Parks Foundation, Active Transportation Alliance, and Best Buddies.
Whole Foods Market’s One Dime at a Time program provides an incentive to customers who bring their own shopping bags and help develop stronger communities through a small donation. At the register, shoppers will have the option to receive a 10-cent-per-bag refund as cash back off their receipt, or to donate it to that month’s selected charity organization. Whole Foods Market Streeterville’s first One Dime at a Time recipient will be Lurie’s Children’s Hospital.
Later in 2015, Whole Foods will open suburban locations in Evanston, Willowbrook and Elmhurst, Illinois. Additionally, Whole Foods Market expects to open two more Chicago stores —in the Englewood and Hyde Park neighborhoods— by the end of 2016..
STORES AT A GLANCE
Square feet: Over 29,000
Open: Feb. 25, 2015
Address: 959 West Fullerton
• Neapolitan style pizza
• Cuban inspired taqueria
• Sandwich bar
• Hot bar and salad Bar
• Walk-up window for coffee
Square feet: Over 42,000
Open: March 25, 2015
Address: 1 North Halsted
• Made-to-order individual pizzas
• In-house pita bread station
• Local Baklava from Atopolis in bakery
• Mediterranean fare-chick shwarma and fresh falafel
• Red Star Bar – 24 taps on draft with a large whiskey selection
Square feet: Over 54,000
Open: April 29, 2015
Address: 6009 North Broadway
• Wood-fired grill
• Ramen station
• Naan and pita bread station- made in house
• Scratch bakery
• Cut-to-order pasta station with fresh specialty cheese
• Red Star Bar
• Wine bar
• Pickle bar
Team members: Hiring 100 to 150 team members for each new location.