Whole Foods Market officially opened its newly relocated 58,864 square-foot Willowbrook store today, Wednesday, August 26 at 9 a.m. The new, larger store down the street from the previous location, welcomed over a thousand Willowbrook residents at the Grand Opening Celebration.
During the opening celebration, Mike Kowalski, Whole Foods Market Willowbrook Store Team Leader, announced the donation of around $150,000 in grocery products to the Northern Illinois Food Bank as well as presented a check for $2000 to Walker Elementary as the latest recipient of the Whole Kids Foundation’s Garden Grant Program for the creation of an edible food garden for students.
“Giving back to the communities we serve is key part of who we are as a company,” says Kowalski. “We are so thrilled we could use this opportunity to give back to the community that has supported us since 2002. It’s one of my favorite parts of this job.”
Shoppers at the opening were delighted to see a variety of new features.
With a rotating tap of 24 draft beers, the Brook bar offers local and hard-to-find beers including an exclusive Willowbrook Pale Ale brewed by Begyle Brewing Company and features savory and sweet artesian grilled cheeses and beer battered Wisconsin cheese.
A plethora of options, make choosing lunch and dinner difficult. The Smoke House has a variety of in-house smoked meats including a 12-hour slow smoked brisket, while the sandwich station provides Panini style sandwiches including Italian sausage, Italian beef, meatball, and chicken Parmesan sandwiches. The focaccia station has fresh made, in house hearty options as well as rich and sweet choices.
In the morning, the coffee bar hosts a variety of light, medium and dark roasted coffees, espresso drinks and blended beverages, full of rich flavors needed to kick-start the day. The juice bar is stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables, ripe and ready for fresh pressed juice and energy bowls. The brownie and bar section offers in house made breakfast bars and a chewy brownie treats, while the bakery carries fresh doughnuts featuring crème brûlé, maple bacon and apple fritters.
Willowbrook residents also enjoy the gelato station, Neapolitan-style pizza, in-house smoked seafood and bacon, dry-aged steaks, and cut to order cheeses.
The new location includes indoor and outdoor seating for over 200 and features community tables made from urban trees felled due to storms or disease.
To celebrate opening day, Whole Foods Market hosted its version of a ribbon cutting called a “Bread-Breaking Ceremony” with remarks from Mayor Frank A. Trillia and Whole Foods Market Team Members. Doors and shopping officially began at 9 a.m. The first 500 customers through the doors received a Whole Foods Market Gift Card with a mystery value between $5 and $50. One lucky customer will received a $500 gift card.
Whole Foods Market Willowbrook is located at 6300 Kingery Hwy (Rte. 83), Willowbrook. The original Whole Foods Market Willowbrook at 201 W. 63rd Street closed permanently, Tuesday, August 25.