EMERYVILLE, Calif. (May 28, 2010) – Whole Foods Market (wholefoodsmarket.com) is thrilled to announce that it will open its second store in Mill Valley, at 731 E. Blithedale Ave., on Wednesday, June 9, at 10 a.m. Mill Valley Mayor Stephanie Moulton-Peters, Marin Organic’s Executive Director Helge Hellberg and Whole Foods Market store leadership will be on hand for a commemorative bread-breaking ceremony at 9:45 a.m., which involves cutting the traditional eight-foot long sourdough loaf and welcoming shoppers into the store. The new Mill Valley store marks the fourth store in Marin County, the 25th store in the San Francisco Bay Area and the 30th store in Northern California.
The new, 24,000-square-foot store features a one-of-a-kind, green store design where food truly is the star. The store is reminiscent of an open-air farmers’ market, as it features produce – much of which is sourced from local Marin farmers – front and center outside the store, immediately upon entry through the rolled up, garage-style, glass doors. Most notably, the store was built within the existing structure, using 90 percent of the construction and demolition debris. Unlike other Whole Foods Market stores, no drywall was used so there are plenty of unfinished, original wood walls and an exposed, high ceiling. Additional décor elements include exposed refrigerators and coolers; pallet wood for signage; overstocked ceramic tiles from local manufacturer McIntyre Tile that accent the coffee bar and used bicycle tire rims, donated by a local bike shop, repurposed to create a trellis that hangs above the cash wrap and customer service. Additional green store elements include ENERGY STAR appliances, membrane roof, energy-efficient plumbing and an energy management system.
“This store really celebrates our connection to local farmers and producers, the environment and Mill Valley, which is the epicenter of the natural and organic food movement,” said David Lannon, president, Whole Foods Market, Northern California. “A team of very talented, passionate people was behind this store’s development and took special care to work with existing, salvaged and recycled materials to create a store that’s a celebration of both food and design.”
The Whole Foods Market Mill Valley store on Miller Avenue, a landmark store for the Company since 1989, also will continue to serve local residents. This store was opened by co-CEO Walter Robb as the region’s 2nd store and Company’s 11th store nationally at that time. The new store adds to this tradition of service to Mill Valley and is a testament to the support local shoppers have given Whole Foods Market over the years. “Mill Valley has embraced Whole Foods Market since we first arrived in 1989,” said Lannon. “The success of Whole Foods Market nationally is largely due to the success of our first Mill Valley store and to the vision and leadership of Walter Robb.”
Mill Valley residents are invited to the “Whole Foods Market Neighborhood Jubilee” on Sunday, June 6, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This free event is an outdoor festival featuring fun for the entire family including a Ferris wheel, high striker (strongman game), and bounce house, as well as a selection of carnival games operated by local non-profits including Eco Moms, Teens Turning Green, Nancy’s List and Marin Agricultural Land Trust. There also will be live Bluegrass music performed by Blue Savannah and Dr. Elmo and Wild Blue as well as a variety of food sampling by over 50 local Whole Foods Market vendors. A June calendar of events can be found below.
Highlights that Mill Valley Whole Foods Market shoppers can look forward to enjoying include:
- Fruits and Vegetables – new, farmers’ market-style layout that features a variety of local growers who deliver produce daily, direct to the store. Unique to this location, customers will be able to select produce from their favorite grower, as all their offerings will be displayed together on tables – just like a farmers market – versus by category.
- Local Vendors – a wide range of products from more than 375 Bay Area farmers and producers will be featured including flourChylde Bakery, Pacheco Ranch Winery, Rustic Bakery, Navitas Naturals Allstar Organics, Easy Living Foods, Marin Pasta Works, Red Hill Farms, Farmstead Cheese Company, Cowgirl Creamery, Wild Pear Company and a host of Marin County wineries including Kalin Cellars and Kendric Vineyards.
- Meat – special offerings include local Panorama organic, grass-fed beef sourced from Marin County ranchers and Country Natural pasture-raised beef. The store offers the best-tasting, freshest and highest-quality meat available that is carefully raised without antibiotics or added growth hormones as well as hand-made sausage and a professional butcher who can prepare any cut to order.
- Artisan Bakery – featuring Whole Foods Market Artisan Hearth Breads (made with organic flour), baked fresh daily along with an array of delectable items from area bakeries including flourChylde’s wheat-free desserts, Crumb Hither’s mini cupcakes and two of La Cocina’s entrepreneurs: Delicias Salvadoreanas, featuring delicious El Salvadorian pastries, and Sabores del Sur, with award-winning Alfajores (traditional South American shortbread cookies filled with dulce de leche).
- Prepared Foods – featuring an extensive selection of foods made by a team of talented, in-house chefs. Specialties include a daily selection of house-made soups, extensive organic salad bar, Italian-style brick oven pizzas and a full-service burrito bar. A wonderful array of healthful and tasty lunch options also will be available on a daily basis including a variety of nutrient-rich items like quinoa, brown rice and kale. Notably, up to two locally-sourced ingredients will be in each prepared-food item.
- Kombucha – Kombucha Botanica’s Healthy Living Tonic™ will be available on tap. Kombucha Bontanica is a Whole Foods Market Local Producer Loan Program recipient. More information on the loan program can be found at wholefoodsmarket.com/values/local-producer-loan-program.php.
- Seafood – a vast array of fresh and frozen selections, as well as all the marinades, sauces, seasonings and herbs to complete a meal with seafood as the centerpiece. Whole Foods Market also offers a selection of sustainable seafood certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.
- Coffee Bar – fresh-brewed coffee daily from Allegro®.
- Nut Butters – grind-your-own almond and peanut butter.
- Bulk Section – a variety of bulk bins brimming with legumes, grains, flours, and nuts as well as olive oil, honey, maple syrup and tamari.
- In-Store Dining – the store features a cozy eating area near the entrance for dining and relaxing.
- Store Tours –the store will offer shopping tours tailored to special diets such as gluten-free living and store tours for moms, as well tours themed for how to shop on a budget. Private tours can be arranged by request for organizations such as schools and senior centers. These tours will start in June and will be free.
- Health, Wellness & Food – Whole Foods Market works hard to stay on top of food and health issues and to educate its customers on healthy eating. To bring this concept to life, the store will offer regular store tours, talks and demos with trained Team Members, local health practitioners, cookbook authors and chefs.
- Whole Foods Market Community Giving Days — several times a year, Whole Foods Market sets aside a day on which five percent of the day's net sales is contributed to a local 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The next Community Giving Day is on opening day, June 9, and will benefit Marin Organic (marinorganic.org).
- Nickels for Nonprofits – when customers bring in their own bags for groceries they have the option of receiving a five-cent refund (per bag) or donating the money to a selected charity, with three organizations being selected each quarter. The inaugural slate of recipient non-profits is North Bay Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower, Respecting Our Elders and Marin Conservation League.
- Donations Out the Back – perishable products that aren’t sold during the day are donated to those in need. Whole Foods Market Mill Valley is proud to work with Marin Community Food Bank, Respecting Our Elders and The Redwoods.
- Kid’s Club – children ages two through eight are eligible to be Kid’s Club members. They receive a membership card which allows them to receive one free Kid’s Club treat each time they visit the store.
Whole Foods Market Mill Valley – Blithedale
731 East Blithedale
Mill Valley, CA 94941
Hours: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Store Team Leader: Dori Beron
WHOLE FOODS MARKET MILL VALLEY/BLITHEDALE JUNE CALENDAR Tuesday, June 1: Whole Foods Market Mill Valley/Blithedale Store Tour and County Line Harvest Farm Tour 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Cost: FREE Enjoy a sneak peek of the new Whole Foods Market store on E. Blithedale followed by tour of County Line Harvest Farm (countylineharvest.com) in Petaluma with Owner/Farmer David Retsky. Transportation will be provided and participants will also enjoy a beautiful picnic lunch. David is an accomplished farmer, growing premier baby greens for retailers and restaurants in the Bay Area and training new apprentices every year on County Line Harvest's 32 acres. His vision for the future includes preserving farmland and mentoring and inspiring the next generation of farmers in Marin. To register, contact Susan Grelock, email@example.com or tel. 415-389-7348. Thursday, June 3: Whole Foods Market Mill Valley/Blithedale Store Tour and St. Benoît Tour 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Cost: FREE Enjoy a sneak peek of the new Whole Foods Market store on E. Blithedale followed by tour of St. Benoît’s (stbenoit.com) yogurt making facility in Sonoma. Transportation will be provided and participants will also enjoy a beautiful picnic lunch. St. Benoît, a Whole Foods Market Local Producer Loan Program loan recipient, is dedicated to the concept of “terroir” and only uses local, certified organic ingredients. In addition to sourcing only organic Jersey milk, they purchase all the fruit and honey used in the yogurt at Bay Area farmers markets. Sustainability also is very important to St. Benoît. They make their yogurts on a farm that is a model of sustainable agriculture and have developed and utilize a reusable ceramic container to hold the yogurt and eliminate packaging waste. St. Benoît yogurt is available in all Whole Foods Market Northern California locations. To register, contact Susan Grelock, firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. 415-389-7348. Sunday, June 6: Whole Foods Market Mill Valley Jubilee 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Cost: FREE This free event is an outdoor festival featuring fun for the entire family including a Ferris wheel, high striker (strongman game), bounce house as well as a selection of carnival games operated by local non-profits including Eco Moms, Teens Turning Green/BYOBag Marin, Felidae Fund, Kiddo!, Nancy’s List, Trips for Kids, Growing up for Good, Mill Valley Children’s Garden, “10,000 Rain Gardens” Project and Marin Agricultural Land Trust. There also will be live Bluegrass music performed by Blue Savannah and Dr. Elmo and Wild Blue as well as a variety of food sampling by over 50 local Whole Foods Market vendors.