New store marks 21st Florida location for Whole Foods Market
CLEARWATER, Fla., 2014-8-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market, the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket and America’s first nationally certified organic grocer, will open its 38,000 square-foot Clearwater store on Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 9 a.m. Whole Foods Market Clearwater, which is part of the Westfield Countryside Mall, is the company’s 21st store in Florida.
The grand opening will kick-off with a Bread Breaking ceremony in front of the store with officials from the City of Clearwater and Whole Foods Market leadership and team members.
The first 500 customers in line will receive a Whole Foods Market gift card with a mystery value between $5 and $50, with one customer receiving a gift card worth $500. The value of all gift cards will be revealed at checkout.
Whole Foods Market Clearwater will capture the essence of the neighborhood it serves. From community partnerships to unique products and features, the Clearwater store will be one the neighborhood can call its own.
“We are so proud to be part of Clearwater and Pinellas County. Not only are we looking forward to opening our doors, but we’re also excited about the many opportunities to serve this community,” says Mike Crandall, store team leader for Clearwater.
Store features include:
· Prepared Foods department featuring more than 100 items in the full service chef’s case, hot bar, soups and prepared salad bars
· Greek and Mediterranean pita sandwich venue featuring souvlaki, falafel and kabobs
· In-house roasted deli meats
· Made-to-order sandwiches and panini
· Open hearth pizza oven serving a variety of full and personal sized pizzas, and individual slices
· Beer and Wine department featuring more than 400 beers (more than 70 craft beers), including “Build Your Own 6-Pack, ” and more than 750 wines
· Full-service bar featuring wine, bottled and draft beer, wine-based cocktails and a selection of food items
· Cheese Cutter’s Corner where customers can learn about our more than 250 artisanal cheeses from around the world that are hand-cut and wrapped daily in the store
· An American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional
· Specialty Olive Bar Concierge Program
· Meat department featuring old-fashioned, in-house-style butchers
· Dry-aged beef
· Fresh sausage made in-store
· Grass-fed beef from White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Ga.
· White Oaks Pastures Whole Fryer Chicken
· Thompson Farms Pork from Dixie, Ga.
· Grocery, dairy and frozen aisles featuring more than 50 locally produced items
· Expansive produce department with a wide variety of locally and organically grown fruits and vegetables
· European-style Bakery department featuring Artisan breads as well as locally crafted specialties featuring gluten-free products
· Mr. Fresh Donuts machine
Local Seafood and Sustainability
Through a partnership with The Safina Center (formerly Blue Ocean Institute), Whole Foods Market has developed a color-coded sustainability rating system to show the sustainability status of all non-MSC-certified wild-caught seafood the stores sell. In 2012, all stores ceased the sale of all red-ranked species, deepening their commitment to having a fully sustainable seafood department.
The Clearwater store will highlight the local fisheries and day-boat fishermen that will provide customers the largest variety of locally caught seafood available.
Gary’s Seafood (Madeira Beach) and Cox Seafood (Tampa), Keys Fisheries (Marathon) and D & D Seafood (Marathon – local stone crabs and lobster) – four of the store’s primary suppliers – employ numerous day-boat fishermen who bring Whole Foods Market the freshest fish available from nearby waters. Clearwater will also work with three other day-boat fishermen out of Panama City to provide the freshest and highest quality seafood in as little as one day.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
The Clearwater store will join other Whole Foods Market locations in Florida by opening its doors to local farms with a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. The program allows local farmers to use the store as a drop-off and pick-up point for their subscribing customers, free of charge.
Animal Welfare Rating System
With the old-fashioned butcher shop style come Team Members who are eager to educate the community on the Global Animal Partnership’s (GAP) 5-Step Animal Welfare Ratings. The rating system provides clear information that helps shoppers make informed buying decisions and offers peace of mind to them that the products at Whole Foods Market comes from animals raised with care. All beef, poultry and pork sold in the store’s fresh cases meet the GAP criteria and are certified by independent third party auditors.
Healthy Eating Specialist
With its Health Starts Here program, the store will open with a full time Healthy Eating Specialist to help educate customers on making informed decisions about healthy foods, teach cooking classes, give guided store tours and be a resource for the community.