PORTLAND, Maine (February 9, 2007). Whole Foods Market® (NASDAQ: WFMI), the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket and America's first national certified organic grocer, will open its first Maine store in Portland on Wednesday, February 14 at 10:00 a.m.. The new store is located at 2 Somerset Street at the corner of Somerset and Franklin Arterial. The store will open with a “bread breaking” ceremony at 10am, Wednesday February 14.

  At 48,000 square feet, the store will offer many unique features not found at an average supermarket, including a coffee bar, an all-natural taffy-pulling machine, a sit-down sushi bar, and a trattoria with a hearth oven featuring hot Italian entrees and a variety of items grilled to order. The store will combine the expertise and advantages of a farmer's market, a specialty market, a grocer, an old-fashioned butcher, a fishmonger, a bakery, and a team of chefs making restaurant-quality take-out meals — all under one roof.

More than 1,000 local residents will get a behind-the-scenes sneak preview store tour, which will take place two days before the grand opening. The tours are filled to capacity.

“From sourcing the very best local foods to providing culinary treasures from around the world, Whole Foods Market has created a dynamic shopping experience, and we hope to dazzle our shoppers. We offer restaurant-quality prepared foods, freshly baked breads, the highest quality fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as unmatched quality and freshness in our seafood and meat department,” said Marissa Perry, Store Team Leader. “How fitting that we are opening on Valentine's Day as we will be extending our most heart-felt welcome to Portlanders when we open our doors on February 14.”One of Whole Foods Market's core values is supporting its communities and sourcing local products whenever possible. The Portland store looks forward to becoming actively involved in the community and offers its store café as a meeting place. In addition to working monthly with local non-profits it will also hold quarterly “Five Percent Days” that will help provide funding to local charities.

With a store-based buying program, shoppers will find that many of Maine's favorite purveyors and farmers will be featured within the store, including Caldwell Farms, Silvery Moon Creamery, Sunrise Acres Farm and Crown O' Maine Cooperative.

“At Whole Foods Market, we understand that some of the best food is local food. We have always placed a priority on seeking out foods as locally as possible. With our store-based buying program, we have the flexibility to make the product mix of all our stores reflect the community, and we work hard to develop relationships with growers and food producers,” said David Lannon, President for the Company's North Atlantic Region.

In January 2006, Portland's The Whole Grocer became a part of the Whole Foods Market family. The Whole Grocer was a natural acquisition for Whole Foods Market because the two companies have similar quality standards and are known for exceptional customer service. All of the Team Members at The Whole Grocer will relocate to the new store, and The Whole Grocer will close on February 11.

“The Whole Grocer has been an important part of the Portland community for more than two decades, and the natural and organic food industry has grown so quickly in that time. By joining forces and linking The Whole Grocer's knowledge of Portland and Whole Foods Market's purchasing strength and ability to offer value prices on all natural and organic products, it is the Portland community that will be a winner for years to come,” Lannon said.