(Fairfield, CT– May 12, 2011) – Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM), the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket and America’s first nationally certified organic grocer, will open the doors to its Fairfield, Conn. store on Friday, June 3, 2011 at 8:30 am. Located at 350 Grasmere Avenue, this will be the grocer’s 8th store in Connecticut. To celebrate opening day, Whole Foods Market will offer storewide tastings, vendor sampling, special sale items, cooking demonstrations, gift bags and more.

5 percent of the total sales for June 3rd will be donated to Wholesome Wave, a local non-profit organization whose mission is to nourish neighborhoods across the U.S. through creating access to healthy, fresh, affordable locally-grown food to underinvested communities and working on agriculture and food policy change. Wholesome Wave‘s founder and CEO, Chef Michel Nischan of Fairfield, Conn., will lead cooking demos in the store’s Cooking Fairfield department throughout the day. The chef will sign copies of his latest book, Sustainably Delicious, which includes recipes from and inspired by his restaurant, Dressing Room, in nearby Westport, Conn.

“Whole Foods Market is the perfect partner for Wholesome Wave as we continue our journey towards bringing fresh fruits and vegetables to every American’s kitchen table,” said Nischan. “What we are doing in farmer’s markets across the U.S., Whole Foods Market is doing in their stores: bringing fresh, local, organic and affordable foods to shoppers every day. The 5 percent donation from Whole Foods Market will further our shared mission of feeding families healthful food.”

The new, 45,000-square-foot store will offer a variety of locally sourced foods and showcase venues and products consistent with the Whole Foods Market promise of offering the highest-quality natural and organic products, while addressing the needs of the Fairfield community. Whole Foods Market Fairfield will be the first store in the area to feature an in-store Cooking department.

The Cooking Fairfield program and in-store department combines designated workspaces, cookbooks, cooking tools, demonstrations, and themed, seasonal menus to engage, inspire and educate shoppers about the joy of cooking. The Cooking area features butcher block workspace, and on-site tablet kiosks with specially developed content, recipes and information compiled in partnership with the online social media food hub, Food52, started by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. The website featured in-store at Cooking Fairfield, will also launch for shoppers home use on June 3rd. The department also features the Cooking Coach— a Whole Foods Market team member with in-depth culinary knowledge — available to help shoppers bring the passion back into cooking seasonal meals at home.

“We’re so proud to be opening our doors in Fairfield in a way that helps to bring the community together to support a great cause like Wholesome Wave,” said Christina Minardi, Whole Foods Market’s northeast Regional President. “In addition to providing the wide selection of delicious, all-natural, organic foods our shoppers have come to expect from Whole Foods Market, we’re thrilled to be the first in the area to introduce our Cooking Fairfield department, which will inspire shoppers to cook seasonal foods in their own kitchens.”

Also featured at Whole Foods Market Fairfield is a Healthy Eating Center, a part of Whole Foods Market’s companywide Health Starts Here™ program.  The Center will include a healthy eating specialist who will host a variety of classes, demos and educational program to help shoppers make healthier eating choices.

On June 3, the community is invited to join in the bread-breaking opening day ceremony and all the day’s festivities. Additional updates and information is available now by following @WFMFairfield on Twitter or liking Whole Foods Market Fairfield on Facebook.