Whole Foods Grand Opening Sneak Peak
Whole Foods Market has been the leading retailer of natural and organic foods and products since its beginnings in 1980. The market has exploded in popularity globally, with 421 stores in the United States alone, 11 in Canada and 9 in the UK. Now, the health-centered grocery store is establishing roots here in East Lansing.
The new store, located at 2750 E. Grand River Ave., hosts its grand opening tomorrow. Yesterday, GLBM was invited for a sneak peak, private tour of the building. It did not disappoint. With workers bustling around, stocking shelves, baking cookies and smoking meats (they do this in house), Whole Food’s employees seemed just as excited for the grand opening as the community is.
Marketing representative Janice Chan gave a full tour of the building, as well as an overview of what the new Whole Foods Market will offer to the East Lansing area.
“The East Lansing community is great,” said Chan. “It’s really a partnership between Whole Foods and the East Lansing/Lansing community. That’s our goal at Whole Foods: to work with local vendors and supply fresh products.”
Those who have previously shopped at Whole Foods know that they work hard to bring customers fresh produce (preferably locally grown), including a large variety of meats, cheeses and bulk dry items, all as organic and health-centered as possible. The new East Lansing Whole Foods Market, however, functions as more than a typical grocery store; it doubles as a gathering place for the community.
The store offers a bakery that makes fresh breads, pastries and cookies in house; a coffee bar; a “kitchen express,” where customers can order quick hot food; a gelato station; a hot food bar and more. One of the more unique aspects of the store is the Green State Bar and Grill, offering 16 beers and ciders on tap and an atmosphere that’s hard to beat (think sports bar meets ski lodge). The space is complete with a fireplace, a bar made out of wood from old basketball courts, and modern, high ceiling lighting.
The new store is expected to bring 130-150 new jobs to the East Lansing area, many which would be ideal for Michigan State University students given its convenient location.
To celebrate opening day, there will be a Bread-Breaking Ceremony at 8:45 a.m. before doors officially open at 9 a.m. The first 500 customers will receive a Whole Foods Market Promotional Card with a value anywhere from $5 – $500.
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