CHICAGO (April 29, 2015)  Whole Foods Market opened its doors in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 29. The store, at 6009 N. Broadway, is the fourth of seven Whole Foods Markets slated to open in Chicagoland during 2015, and the 23rd location in the area.

“We are thrilled to open a store in one of Chicago’s most diverse and vibrant neighborhoods,” says Marco Leon, the store’s team leader. “We’re so pleased to provide an everyday grocery solution for this neighborhood while also offering the culinary treasures shoppers have come to expect from Whole Foods Market.”

The 54,000-square-foot store features a variety of beverage and prepared food options as well as classic Whole Foods Market favorites:

• Wood-fired grill – featuring citrus achiote, Peruvian, and chermoula chicken, carne asada, cilantro citrus marinated tilapia, and spicy garlic portabella mushrooms
• Ramen station – featuring barbecue flavors
• House-made naan and pita bread station
• Stir-fry station featuring Pan Asian flavor profiles
• Cut-to-order pasta station with fresh specialty cheeses
• Red Star diner – with 24 beers on tap, including Evil Twin Brewing’s Mission Gose, Stone Brewing Company’s Russian Imperial Stout, Goose Island Beer Company’s Bourbon County Proprietors and Vanilla Rye, and Begyle Brewing’s Whole Foods Market exclusive, Edgewater American Pale Ale
• Broadway & Norwood Café area – featuring pasta and grilled cheese dishes along with a wide selection of wines by the glass
• In-house-smoked cheese, a first in Whole Foods Market’s Midwest Region

The Edgewater store also includes a scratch bakery, in-house-smoked meat and seafood, gelato, and a selection of more than 900 beers.

To celebrate opening day, Whole Foods Market hosted its version of a ribbon cutting called a “Bread-Breaking Ceremony” with team members and Edgewater neighbors. Doors and shopping officially began at 9 a.m. The first 500 customers received Whole Foods Market gift cards with a mystery value between $5 and $50. One customer received a $500 gift card.

Shoppers will be delighted by the bright, colorful and delicious Responsibly Grown Produce. Whole Foods Market recently launched a Responsibly Grown Produce rating system, which uses scientific input to rate produce and flowers as “Good,” “Better” or “Best,” assessing growing practices on impact on human health and the environment. This new system continues Whole Foods Market’s commitment to providing healthy, fresh food without the expense to nature.

This level of commitment and transparency extends into other departments as well. Whole Foods Market’s strict quality standards for food prohibit artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives. Products 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:

• 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.
• 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-Step™ 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 that customers can make the best environmental choices when purchasing seafood.

And 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,” Leon said.

Whole Foods Market’s new store in the Edgewater neighborhood 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 net sales will be donated to Chicago-based organizations, including The Peterson Garden Project, The Jackalope Theatre, Friends of Senn High School, Felines and Canines, and Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles.

Another way Whole Foods Market supports the community is with the One Dime at a Time program, which provides an incentive to customers who bring their own bags for shopping. At the register, customers will have the option to receive a 10-cent-per-bag refund, or they can choose to donate it to that month’s selected charity organization. Whole Foods Market Edgewater’s first One Dime at a Time recipient will be Friends of Swift Specialty School.