EMERYVILLE, Calif. (Sept. 24th, 2007). Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFMI), the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket and America's first national certified organic retailer, will open its new store in Oakland, Calif. on September 26th at 9 a.m. The store is located at 230 Bay Place at the corner of 27th St. and Harrison.
The new store in Oakland will be the first of its kind, with an innovative new store layout that was designed specifically for the Oakland community. It will not resemble a typical supermarket, or even other Whole Foods Market stores around the country. Keeping convenience and shopping ease top priority, with a splash of intrigue, entertainment and local pride, the market hall design will allow shoppers to access all departments and exciting new venues quickly in a single loop. The unique design, which was inspired by several international market halls from around the globe including ones in Berlin, Granville Island, Vancouver, and Portland, Maine, has recently been nominated for the East Bay Business Times Structure 2007 Awards as the Reuse/ Redevelopment Project of the Year.
“The store was designed specifically for the progressive, food-sophisticated, dynamic and diverse culture of Oakland and the surrounding communities,” says Anthony Gilmore, President Whole Foods Market Northern California. “We have also added culinary features we think customers will find fun and exciting, including a dine-in venue called Market Bistro, and a “Fresh and Wild” station featuring a juice bar, salads and other lighter fare. We have always been committed to supporting local growers and food producers and are thrilled to be featuring Oakland favorites Everett & Jones and Gelateria Naia gelato right in our store.”
The official opening of the new Oakland Whole Foods Market will kick off with a “Bread Breaking” ceremony at 8:45 a.m. on Wednesday, September 26th before the doors open at 9 a.m. The event will feature Whole Foods Market Northern California Regional President Anthony Gilmore, Whole Foods Market Store Team Leader Melody Mestemacher and the new Whole Foods Market Oakland team.
Throughout the opening day, Whole Foods Market will treat shoppers to a celebration featuring a guest appearance by renowned Bay Area Chef Paul Bertolli, local musical entertainment, food samples, and complimentary, reusable Whole Foods Market Green Bags™ given to the first 5,000 customers with a $15 or more purchase. Additionally on opening day, there will be a raffle for a giant gift basket filled with a variety of products from Whole Foods Market's family of house brands ($500 value). All funds raised will benefit Share First Oakland, a volunteer-based clearing house that distributes fresh food to those in need.
In keeping with the company's tradition of local community and environmental support, each quarter, Whole Foods Market holds “Community Support Days,” in which five percent of its sales for the day benefit a local non-profit organization. On Thursday, October 18th, the new store will hold its first Community Support Day, which will benefit Share First Oakland. The second one will be held after the first of the year, and will support Clausen House, a local organization that fosters self confidence, academic and social skills to enable independence for individuals with developmental disabilities.
“We believe strongly in giving back to our communities, whether it's raising funds through our Community Support Day program, providing a food basket for a fundraising auction, or donating our time to local, nonprofit organizations,” says Melody Mestemacher, Oakland store team leader.
Environmentally-friendly building materials have been used extensively in the construction of the new store, including bamboo, aluminum, low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint, 3Form, Marmoleum, a natural, biodegradable linoleum product, and Kirei Board, an engineered panel product constructed from the stalks of the Sorghum plant which is grown around the world for food. The countertops in the Whole Body department, Customer Service booth and restrooms are made of a material called Vetrazzo, which is made up almost completely of recycled glass from soda bottles, olive oil containers, wine and water bottles. Whole Foods Market has purchased enough clean, renewable American wind energy credits to offset 100 percent of the electricity used in the store, and waste will be minimized through store composting and recycling programs.
The new store includes many new, exciting and innovative features including the previously mentioned dine-in Market Bistro, offering made-to-order foods including sandwiches, soups, salads, flat bread pizzas, and light entrees; an Asian Express Island offering hot teriyaki noodle bowls and made-on-site sushi, the Fresh and Wild station, a full-service coffee bar featuring Whole Foods Market's own Allegro® coffee, a sausage grill with a variety of sausage sandwiches, and even fresh, hot pretzels. The store will also have free wireless internet access and over 116 seats for inside or outside dining.
Other store highlights include:
- Hot and cold bars featuring world cuisine selections
- Chef's case offering take-home salads, entrees and sides by the pound
- Carvery and salad toss station
- Pizza made on site in stone hearth oven
- Extensive rotisserie selections
- Salad and soup bars
- Made-to-order sandwiches
- Pre-pack selection for grab-and-go options
- Bins of hand-stacked fruits and vegetables, much of which are organic, with local growers well represented
- Expanded selection of “shortcut chef kits” for families on-the-go such as stir fry, fajita, and pasta sauce kits
- In-house cut fruit and handmade salsas
- Full line of local, exotic and staple Asian items like Thai papayas, sui choy, yua choy sum, shinseki pears, gai lan, moqua and banana flowers
- Widest selection of the freshest, highest quality meat raised to the strictest standards in the industry
- Made-in-house oven-ready items for the grill or oven
- Great selection of organic items, including beef, pork, chicken and turkey
- Wide selections of smoked and cooked products made with no nitrites or nitrates
- Over 20 types of handmade sausage
- Tender dry-aged beef, dry-aged in the store the old-fashioned way
- Local fresh catches, along with a wide selection of both fresh and frozen varieties
- Grab-and-go, Bistro Fresh oven-ready items such as taco tilapia, garlic salmon and shrimp cacciatore
- Fresh seafood ceviche and marinated salads
- Selection of live shellfish and whole fish
- All sizes of shrimp and prawns, pre-skewered and seasoned
- Large selection of locally smoked items
- Over 700 wines available
- Over 250 hand crafted ales, lagers, and ciders
- Over 400 artisan and everyday cheeses, olive/antipasti bar, chocolates and confectionary
- Featured Cheeses from World-renown Affineurs-Herve Mons, Pascal Beillevaire, Neal's Yard Dairy, and Luigi Guffanti
- Hard-to-find specialty spices, peppers, and sea salts from around the globe
- Rustic, European-style hearth breads
- Pastries, cakes, cookies, pies, desserts and more baked fresh daily using the highest quality, all natural ingredients
- A selection of divine chocolates from local chocolatiers
- Gelato from local favorite Gelateria Naia
- Whole Foods Market's own family of brands: Whole Foods Market 365 Everyday Value™, Whole Foods Market 365 Organic Everyday Value™, Whole Kitchen™, Whole Pantry™ and much more
- Products to accommodate special diets, including gluten free and raw foods
- Wide selection of world foods
- Large bulk foods section
- Expanded pet and household essentials cleaning section
- Highest quality, cruelty-free facial, skin and body care products as well as vitamins, supplements and herbs
- Full line of organic eco-apparel and changing room
- Whole Baby section including apparel, toys and body care items
Whole Foods Market is a mission-driven company that offers natural and organic foods that adhere to its strict quality standards and pass the taste tests of its food experts. All foods are free of artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners and hydrogenated oils. Whole Foods Market's emphasis on the highest quality and best-tasting fresh, local produce, chef-prepared foods, baked goods, flavorful meats, sparkling seafood, and natural personal care products appeal to a variety of customers from the health-conscious to the aspiring gourmet.
Regular hours for the Oakland store will be 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days per week. The Market Bistro will open at 11 a.m. The phone number is 510-834-9800. The other 22 stores in Northern California are located in Berkeley, Campbell, Cupertino, Fresno, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Mill Valley, Monterey, Palo Alto, Petaluma, Redwood City, Sacramento, San Francisco, (three locations including the recently opened Potrero Hill store), San Mateo, San Rafael, San Ramon, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Sonoma and Walnut Creek. For a complete list of store locations, visit www.wholefoodsmarket.com.