(Chevy Chase, MD– May, 2010) – Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFMI), the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket and America’s first national certified organic grocer, will open the doors to its Friendship Heights store in Chevy Chase, Maryland on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 10:00 A.M. Located at Friendship Heights, 4420 Willard Ave., this is the Company’s eighth store in the state of Maryland and will open in time to serve area shoppers for the summer. 

At 49,600 square-feet, the new store will provide a host of options and specialty departmentsincluding the very best in fresh and novel items, from pantry and bulk products, to fresh cut flowers, body care and more. Keeping in line with Whole Foods Market’s efforts to create stores that cater to local communities, the unique design of the new Friendship Heights store will offer a well-stocked coffee bar that will be open at 6:00 AM for early bird commuters. Customers are invited to stop in for their morning Joe and grab a fresh-made hot or cold breakfast sandwich before catching the next train.  Just in time for the summer heat, the coffee bar will also be serving special in-house gelato and locally-made popsicles for those in need of a mid-afternoon treat.  Shoppers venturing inside the store for groceries will encounter a first-to-the-region, multi-line system for faster check-out.

“We were passionate about designing a store to serve the Friendship Heights and area communities,” said Marc Mastropaolo, store team leader for the new Whole Foods Market. “In addition to offering our customers a wide selection of delicious, all natural and organic foods, we are pleased to provide shoppers with features that will make their day a little easier – from a one-stop coffee shop for early commuters to the region’s first multi-line system for more efficient checkout.”

Among the many departments throughout the store, the new space will feature an extensive produce section with seasonal offerings, including locally grown fruits and vegetables.  In line with Whole Foods Market’s commitment to strict animal welfare quality standards, the meat department will provide shoppers the highest quality meat free of antibiotics and added hormones, with over 80% of the meat sourced locally. The seafood department will offer guaranteed fresh seafood bought straight off local boats and cut daily at the store’s seafood facility in Landover. The indulgent bakery department will offer customers baked goods for all hosting and dining needs, including fresh-baked breads and muffins, cakes, pies and pretzels and a variety of gluten-free options.  

The store’s prepared foods section will serve a wide variety of everyday favorites for meals on-the-go, including hot soups, roast chickens, house-made paninis, made-to-order burgers and pizza, and fresh sushi.  Special to the Friendship Heights location will be Shish!, a Mediterranean eatery serving up flavorful falafel and shawarma dishes.  An assortment of hot and cold bar options will be available showcasing Indian and Vegan/Vegetarian Asian fare along with a collection of raw, vegan and no-oil choices.

Designed and built with the environment in mind, the new store will feature display and merchandising units that were developed using everything from reclaimed hardwoods to recycled-content tiles and steel to repurposed maple bowling alley floors. 

Starting on May 2nd and leading up to the opening, Whole Foods Market will be hosting a variety of events and giveaways including Bread Making for Bread Breaking, a chance for customers to submit their best bread recipes in an attempt to be featured at the celebratory bread breaking event on opening day, and Friendship Salad “A La Cart,” where team members will be serving a grown-for-Whole Foods Market salad from the mobile salad cart.  Catch the Whole Foods Market Rocket Man who will be decked out in a coffee backpack dispenser serving complimentary fresh brewed coffee outside the Friendship Heights Metro Station or guess the price tag on Whole Foods Market 365 Gift Bags to win exciting prizes.

Look for more details on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/WFMFriendshipHeights

To continue the celebration, the new Friendship Heights store will host an array of free events all week, including a Spa Night with complimentary facial treatments, and a lobster dinner and sustainable seafood celebration featuring a Dishing Up Maryland book signing with local author Lucie Snodgrass. Nutrition will also be kept top of mind with other programming, including an educational healthy eating event with Chef Ann Cooper, the Renegade Lunch Lady and an opportunity to meet Texas firefighter Rip Esselstyn, author of Engine 2 Diet.

*To learn more about opening celebration events, dates, and giveaways, please contact Katie Hunsberger or Ivy Goldberg at 212-253-0474