The first of seven new Chicagoland Whole Foods Market® (Nasdaq: WFM) stores planned for 2015 opens its doors to the Streeterville neighborhood on Wednesday, January 28, 2015. This new store marks Whole Foods Market’s 20th location in the Chicago market.

“Whole Foods Market loves Chicago and we know that the community has been hungry for this store to open for some time,” said Michael Bashaw, Midwest Regional President, Whole Foods Market. “We took the time to design and build a brand new store for this community that would offer not be just a full-service grocery store, but a place to meet friends and share each others company.  After the community comes to know this store, I believe they’ll feel the wait was worth it!”

Whole Foods Market Streeterville features a variety of new prepared foods and beverage venues as well as classic Whole Foods Market options for shoppers to choose from. These venues include:

• Chicago RAW: Special venue filled with products from Chicago’s own local raw and vegan foods restaurant Chicago RAW.  This new venue will offer a wide variety of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options for our shoppers who follow raw and vegan diets.
• Red Star Bar: Rotating tap of 12 draft beers including an exclusive Streeterville Pale Ale brewed by Begyle Brewing just for this store.
• Coffee bar by day, wine bar by night: customers can stop in for a cup of espresso from the La Marzocco espresso machine to get their day going in the morning and return after work for a nice glass of wine to wind down the day. 
• Focaccia: The Bakery Department will have a rotating menu of classic and seasonal varieties of breakfast, lunch and dinner options for shoppers. 
• A newly designed Whole Body Department: An Apothecary setting that includes a self-sufficient vertical garden. A first for Chicago Whole Foods Market locations, this new concept includes cosmetics, DIY ideas, face care, and active living support.
• Traditional favorites include fresh made sushi, oven-fired pizza, gelato station, juice bar, sandwich bar, hot bar, salad bar and ramen station.

To celebrate opening day, Whole Foods Market will host its version of a ribbon cutting called a “Bread-Breaking Ceremony” with Alderman Brendan Reilly, Whole Foods Market Team Members and Streeterville neighbors at 8:45 AM, followed by food samples, entertainment, and gift cards for the first 500 customers.  Doors officially open at 9:00 AM.

Whole Foods Market’s strict Quality Standards for food prohibits 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.

Shoppers will be delighted by the bright, colorful and delicious responsibly grown produce. Whole Foods Market’s recently launched Responsibly Grown produce rating system uses well-regarded scientific input to rate produce and flowers as “Good,” “Better” or “Best” by assessing growing practices that impact 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.
• 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: Our seafood counter 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: With grab-and-go meals made with natural and organic ingredients, these high standards continue in the Prepared Foods Department including each of the ready to eat food venues.

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 in which we serve. We’ve worked with local organizations long before we open our doors and look forward to continuing supporting the community through the coming years,” adds Bashaw.  

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,” where one percent of each day’s net sales will go toward a Chicago-based organization including Lookingglass Theater, Greater Chicago Foods Bank 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 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 receipt or they can choose 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.  

Whole Foods will open additional locations near DePaul University, in the West Loop and Edgewater and the Chicago suburbs of Evanston, Willowbrook and Elmhurst later this year. Additionally, Whole Foods Market expects to open two more Illinois locations by the end of 2016 including stores in the Englewood and Hyde Park neighborhoods of Chicago.