ANN ARBOR, Mich. (September 24, 2003) September 24 marks a new chapter in the history of Whole Foods Market in Ann Arbor. Following a successful 10-year stint in the Lamp Post Plaza on East Stadium Boulevard, the company will open a new 49,000-square-foot state-of-the-art supermarket. The new location, near the corner of Washtenaw Avenue and Huron Parkway, is only a half-mile from the current location and will open at 9 a.m. on September 24.

“The new Whole Foods Market store will be unlike any other grocery store in southeastern Michigan, and it will be one of the top five largest Whole Foods Market stores in the United States,” said David Lewis, store team leader. “Customers will be delighted at the variety and products, many of which are not available elsewhere. The new Whole Foods Market store will feature an extensive gourmet selection as well as a great selection of everyday foods, all presented in a beautiful store that is fun to shop. I look forward to sharing our market with the community.”

Immediately beyond the spacious and curved entryway, shoppers will enter the produce department. In addition to a cornucopia of organically grown produce, Whole Foods Market will feature pesticide-free flowers and potted plants. On fair-weather days, over-sized glass doors will open to allow produce and flowers to spill onto the sidewalk while inviting customers to wander directly in from the parking lot.

The grocery department will feature more than 2,200 new items not available at the current store. Ethnic foods from Mexico, Poland, Asia, East India, Thai and Italy will be presented next to a Macrobiotic foods department, a bulk department, and a station where customers can grind their own peanut butter. The store will also include an expanded wine selection, a gourmet olive bar, and a large cheese selection with cheeses cut to order upon request.

Crusty, European-style bread will be baked daily on the premises and offered alongside Zingerman's breads. Customers can watch while their cakes are decorated at a dedicated cake station.

Shoppers can choose from an expanded selection of fresh, wholesome grab-and-go meals including pasta bowls, pannini, deli meats, rotisserie chicken, spring rolls, sushi, Asian noodle bar, satay bar, and a build-your-own bruschetta station — all prepared fresh daily, on the premises. In addition pizza will be sold by the slice or by the pie in addition to cannelloni, lasagna, and Italian sandwiches, all baked in the in-store oven. A 32-foot chef case will be filled with gourmet entrees to go.

A soup bar, salad bar and hot foods bar round out the prepared foods selections; café seating is nearby. An outdoor patio offers additional seating. The mezzanine area houses a lifestyle store where customers will find kitchen pots, pans and utensils alongside organic clothing and bedding, garden and pet products, books and magazines. A cooking classroom and meeting room round out the area upstairs.

An in-store coffee bar offers a relaxing place for shoppers; it features a state-of-the-art espresso machine, loose organic tea and a coffee roaster.

The store's seafood department will offer more oven-ready and seasonal selections and an expanded assortment of hot seafood soups. New offerings in the meat department include dry-aged beef and fresh sausage made on premises.

“Our new store will offer all of the high quality products, selection and outstanding service that Whole Foods Market customers have come to expect, plus a whole lot more,” Lewis said.

Whole Foods Market has built its reputation on offering organic and natural products chosen according to stringent quality standards. Stores feature specialty wines and artisan cheeses from around the world and produce picked at the peak of flavor and freshness. Whole Foods Market also offers beef, poultry and pork raised naturally without hormones or antibiotics. Seafood is delivered fresh daily from Whole Foods Market's own dockside seafood facility in Massachusetts and from around the world. Crusty, European-style hearth breads and delicate pastries are made fresh daily and the stores provide a holistic approach to wellness with a wide array of natural remedies, and natural body care products for skin and hair.

To celebrate the opening of Ann Arbor's newest Whole Foods Market, a housewarming party will be held on Monday, September 22, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Partygoers will dine, explore the aisles and tap their toes to a line-up of musicians. All proceeds benefit The Ark, Ann Arbor's home to acoustic music since 1965. For ticket information, call (734) 761-1800 or visit