KAILUA, HAWAI‘I (April 18, 2012) – Local residents now have a new place to grow their love of fresh, natural and organic foods. Whole Foods Market Kailua opened its doors at 9 a.m. today. More than 600 shoppers anxiously awaited the store opening and went through the store in the first hour. The grand opening of Whole Foods Market’s third Hawai‘i store – and second O‘ahu location – kicked off this morning with the company’s traditional bread breaking ceremony as well as giveaways, promotions and samples from a number of island vendors throughout the day.

“Our team members have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and warm Windward welcome that we have received from the community and all our shoppers on our first day of business here in Kailua,” said Tim Talkington, Whole Foods Market Kailua store team leader. “As we continue to develop and nurture our relationship with the community, our hope is to become more than just a grocery store providing a bounty of local and organic options, but a gathering place for people to come together to cultivate a healthy lifestyle and enjoy the unique spirit of Kailua.”   

One of the most popular features of the new store is the in-store beer and wine bar – the first for  Whole Foods Market in Hawai‘i – which offers shoppers a selection of local brews as well as a menu of all-natural and organic wines. Happy shoppers can enjoy happy hour daily with $2 rotating beer specials paired with $2 slices of piping hot pizzas, made fresh daily. A new eight-foot-long, self-serve pokē bar has also made a splash with seafood lovers who scooped up tasty creations featuring fresh island fish and ingredients.

“For many years we have been eagerly anticipating joining the Kailua community as a gathering place for island residents to shop, play, and eat,” said Patrick Bradley, Regional President for Whole Foods Market’s Southern Pacific region. “The design, features and décor of the Kailua store were inspired by and tailored to fit the unique culture of the Kailua community. Building a strong relationship with the communities surrounding our stores is an important value to Whole Foods Market and we look forward to expanding our presence in the islands and building upon the support our shoppers have shown for our stores and products.”

Among the many values Whole Foods Market holds, is an ongoing effort and commitment towards saving energy and practicing sustainability. This is exemplified through the new Kailua store which is home to a unique and groundbreaking solar cooling system that utilizes liquid desiccant air conditioning technology coupled with a high-efficiency solar thermal array to significantly reduce energy consumption. The solar cooling system is the first of its kind to be featured in a supermarket in the U.S. By focusing on the store’s most energy-intensive processes – air conditioning and refrigeration – the system provides energy savings where it is most needed. 

Whole Foods Market Kailua has a distinct look and appeal that can be attributed to the recycled décor found throughout the store, including materials such as monkey pod wood from Oʻahu Tree Salvage as well as repurposed wood from Douglas Fir which has been rescued from deconstructed buildings on the west coast. Additionally, while shopping the freshly stocked aisles for their favorite all-natural and organic foods and products, shoppers were able to view for the first time original paintings and artwork created by three local artists with an aesthetic that is familiar and reflective of the island culture.

As part of the company’s commitment to supporting the local community, Whole Foods Market Kailua has partnered with Paepae o He‘eia, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the ancient Hawaiian He‘eia fishpond, for the store’s first Community Support Day. On Wednesday, April 25, 2012, five percent of the day’s net sales will be donated to Paepae o He‘eia. The day will kick off Paepae o He‘eia’s Adopt-a-Kuapā Campaign – a fundraiser challenging local businesses to “adopt” a section of the ancient fishpond wall to help in its restoration. Whole Foods Market stores nationwide organize Community Support Days throughout the year.

For additional information on Whole Foods Market’s Kailua store, please visit www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/kailua. To stay updated on grand opening events and activities, follow Whole Foods Market Kailua on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WholeFoodsKailua and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WFMKailua.

About Whole Foods Market®
Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (wholefoodsmarket.com, NASDAQ: WFM), is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America's first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named “America's Healthiest Grocery Store” by Health magazine. The company's motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company's more than 64,000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 15 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2011, the company had sales of more than $10 billion and currently has more than 315 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.