Whole Foods Market to open its first North Orange County location on Feb. 17

NOOC Bar, hot ramen, ‘boozy’ gelato, poke, cake decorating and ‘upstairs mezzanine’ among store’s highlights

BREA, Calif., 2016-Feb-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market will open its first North Orange County location at 9 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 17, in Village at La Floresta, 3301 Imperial Highway at Valencia Ave.

With its mix of innovative offerings and its mid-century design, the expansive 38,000-square-foot retail destination will bring a culinary wonderland for shopping, dining and entertaining to North Orange County. The store will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

“We heard from locals that they wanted a bar with wine and local craft beer, grab-and-go food options, kid-friendly spaces and interesting culinary experiences,” said Patrick Bradley, president of Whole Foods Market’s Southern Pacific Region. “From the self-serve pizza station, to the bar-restaurant with local brews, to the upstairs mezzanine area for tastings and Kids’ Club events, we’re thrilled to bring North Orange County a unique shopping experience that was designed to address the community’s needs and wishes.”

Featuring a juice and smoothie bar, fresh poke, expanded vegan options in all departments, a coffee bar (with local Bodhi Leaf cold brew on tap), more than 1,000 hand-picked wines and bar-restaurant NOOC (an acronym for North Orange County, and a cozy place to sit), Whole Foods Market Brea offers an array of options for health enthusiasts, devoted foodies and shoppers with families looking for convenience and products without artificial colors, sweeteners or preservatives.

For example, the prepared foods department features hot ramen and mazemen, which is a dry, or soup-less, ramen topped with options like spicy albacore, salmon or fresh vegetables. In the produce aisle, shoppers will find a variety of cold-pressed juices, including blends such as “Kale Yeah,” featuring Harmless Harvest coconut water, pineapple, celery and kale. In the meat department, butchers will cut steaks to order; pork butts and beef briskets are smoked for 14 hours the night before, plus whole and heirloom chicken will be served every day. The in-house bakery offers custom cake decorating and has indulgences for every diet, such as locally sourced Rocq macarons and aHāna gluten-free-mousse cups.

With a seasonal menu and more than 120 indoor and outdoor seats, daily specials, 24 taps of local crafted beer and a brunch menu, the family-friendly NOOC offers North Orange County a new happy hour spot, or a place to grab an affordable lunch while picking up groceries. The menu includes an assortment of small plates, salads, flatbreads and entrees with many vegan and vegetarian options and a kids’ menu. For dessert, shoppers can indulge in locally made “boozy” gelato and Rocq Vanilla Crème Brulee.  NOOC features a wide selection of wines by the glass and local brews such as Valiant Brewing from Orange, Bootleggers from Fullerton, The Bruery from Placentia, Noble Ale Works from Anaheim, Cismontane from Rancho Santa Margarita, Bottle Logic from Anaheim, and Barley Forge Brewing from Costa Mesa.

Whole Foods Market Brea also features an upstairs mezzanine, which has two rooms. A community kitchen and a lounge space can be rented for events and will be used to host tastings, pairings and community events. These spaces will host events almost every day, from a three-course dinner with beer pairings, to sushi making classes, to Kids’ Club events like sugar cookie decorating on Feb. 28.  Visit the store’s events page for the full schedule of events.

The store will open at 9 a.m. Wednesday, following a bread-breaking ceremony with team members, Brea’s mayor, city officials and the community. Shoppers will receive free samples and giveaways; the first 300 shoppers will receive reusable shopping bags (while supplies last). From 10 a.m. to noon, kids of all ages can enjoy bag decorating with vegetable stamps made of potatoes, wood blocks and corks. There will be food and beverage demos, a DJ and a photo booth.

Expansive and classic, with colors inspired by Wayne Thiebaud paintings that evoke a mid-century small town nostalgia, the store was designed with a nod to the decade that Brea more than doubled in size, 1950 to 1960.

Warm wood paneling and dark hot-rolled steel surfaces contrast with clean white architectural planes, and vintage colors like yellow on the food bars, baby blue wall tile and red glass panels accent the space.

Additional amenities include free Wi-Fi available to shoppers in seating areas throughout the store, an expanded kid-friendly section in the grocery department and a Kids’ Club that will host events and activities for area families with young children. Shoppers who buy a case of any product in the store will receive 10 percent off.

As the company does in every neighborhood in which it opens, Whole Foods Market Brea partners with like-minded organizations to foster and support the community;MaxLove Project will receive 5 percent of the store’s net sales on Feb. 25.

Opening week highlights include local wine sampling by Hearst Ranch, and food demonstrations by Beyond Meat, and by Mary’s Organic Chicken.

Store Highlights

Prepared Foods: Whole Foods Market chefs work in the in-house kitchen, creating handmade pizza, whole or by the slice (including stout-crust pizza!), made-to-order sushi, in-house chips, custom-made sandwiches and meals-on-the-go. The department includes a rotating hot bar with 16 wells, an all-organic salad bar, daily breakfast, global cuisine (BBQ, Asian, Indian and more) made on site. Catering is available for office and home entertaining needs. The store’s charcuterie items and deli meats are free of added synthetic nitrates and nitrites. Locally sourced ingredients include Mary’s Chicken from Sanger, California, and salad greens from Kenter Canyon. Prepared foods items meet the same standards as all products sold in the store.

Coffee, Juice and Smoothie Bar: A beautifully designed coffee bar with an Italian-crafted espresso machine and cold brew coffee on tap offers custom espresso drinks and coffee made with organic, fair trade and Whole Trade Guarantee™ coffee beans and features local Bodhi Leaf blend on cold brew. The smoothie and juice bar offers made-to-order smoothies with choice of toppings, juices and “boost-ups” like pressed ginger, turmeric and wheatgrass.

Produce: The produce department includes an extensive selection of organic fruits and vegetables from local Southern California growers such as Kenter Canyon and Orange County-based Manessero Farms, local organic micro-greens from Kowalke Family Sprouts, and orchids from Formosa Orchids. Seasonal culinary selections include varietal and exotic items from around the world. Plus, cut fruit, vegetables, veggie pasta noodles, salsas and guacamole are made in-store daily.

In-Store Bakery: The bakery department offers custom in-house cake decorating and an elegantly designed cake case filled with in-house and local items such as Rocq macarons and aHāna gluten-free-mousse cups.  It also features Whole Foods Market’s Non-GMO Project-verified cookies and seven varieties and artisan, hand-kneaded, hand-shaped, scratch bread that begins with a living 20-year-old starter made with unbleached flour and without artificial preservatives or hydrogenated fats. Bread is made fresh daily by in-store bakers.

Seafood: The seafood department carries made-to-order poke and hand-sliced smoked salmon daily, sustainably sourced fresh fillets, steaks, local and seasonal seafood. Seafood is cut in-house daily and is delivered six days a week. Offering fresh whole fish (cleaned at no charge), a grill-ready assortment of seafood burgers, crab cakes and marinated options, value-priced, vacuum-packed fish and shellfish, and a variety of seafood salads and ceviches made fresh daily. Whole Foods Market has full knowledge and traceability of all fresh seafood it sells and strives to source local options that meet the company’s strict quality standards.

Meat: Butchers can provide any cut and size of the highest quality meats from animals raised without the use of antibiotics and added hormones. All beef, chicken and pork are step-rated, using Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step Animal Welfare rating system, and adhere to Whole Foods Market’s stringent quality standards. The store features full lines of 100 percent grass-fed organic beef and organic chicken and a selection of seasoned and marinated meats made in-house. Smokehouse offerings include smoked-in-house meat sandwiches and bowls.

Whole Body: The Whole Body department boasts a large “active living” selection of protein powders, supplements and clothing. All supplements sold at Whole Foods Market are free of artificial colors, flavors and hydrogenated oils; and products with the “Premium Body Care” seal meet the strictest standards for quality sourcing, environmental impact, results and safety.

Specialty (beer, wine, cheese): The store’s specialty department features a hand-picked wine collection of more than 1,000 wines, with eco-friendly and biodynamic wines, starting at $2.49 per bottle. More than 100 bottles are less than $10, and the department offers a varied selection of hard-to-find, special-occasion wines and grower champagnes The department also features 32 feet of chilled beer with an assortment of local craft beers, domestic favorites and unique imports. A comprehensive selection of raw, grass-fed, farmstead and artisanal cheeses can be cut to order and sampled at any time.

Grocery: Shoppers can choose from hundreds of 365 Everyday Value™ products, locally made packaged goods, frozen meals, Whole Paws pet food products, and home and cleaning products bearing the Eco-Scale label, indicating environmental impact. The frozen section includes 46 doors of goodies from entrees to ice cream, pizzas and more. The bulk section offers dozens of grains, flours, nuts, spices, candies available by the pound, and grind-your-own peanut butter.

For details on all upcoming events and activities, click here, or follow the store on Facebook or @wfmbrea on Instagram.

Store Contact Information

Sonny Pulley, Store Team Leader, Sonny.Pulley@wholefoods.com

Laura Cahill, Metro Marketing Field Team Leader, Laura.Cahill@wholefoods.com

Twitter:  @wfmsocal

Instagram:  @wfmbrea

Facebook: facebook.com/wfmorangecounty

EXPERTS:

Patrick Bradley
President – Southern Pacific Region

His passion for food, innovation, creativity and retail excellence have contributed to the on-going success of Whole Foods Market.