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Culture Food Whole Foods Market opens Fort Worth store on Wednesday

Whole Foods Market opens Fort Worth store on Wednesday

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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

Whole Foods Market – Fort Worth

3720 Vision Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76109

682-316-8040

Hours: Open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week

wholefoodsmarket.com/fortworth

@WholeFoodsDFW

#wfmfortworth

Store Team Leader: Dennis Berryman

Marketing and Community Liaison: Steffany Steichen

It’s nearly here. Yes, Trademark Property Co.’s Waterside project is an important development for Southwest Fort Worth and the city in general. .

But the big draw – and a key component in the whole development – is Whole Foods Market. Its Fort worth proper’s first for the Austin-based chain that has mainstreamed once fringe concepts such as natural foods and humanely-raised meat and fish. Whole Foods is a grocery store, but it’s also an experience. I mean, in what other grocery store can you build your own sushi burrito. 

And if you happen to take note of the graphics in the stores, from the signage to the colorful chalk boards, realize how important those graphics are to Whole Foods in communicating with its customers. Each store has its own graphic designer.

The 45,000-square-foot store with 120 employees officially opens Wednesday, Oct. 12, though there’s a sneak peek on Monday. Like most grocery stores, Whole Foods has produce, meat, fish, bread and milk. But there’s so much more.

For one, there’s plenty of local touches – such as the wood. The wood? Yes. Much of the wood used in the store’s décor come from the oak floor and other areas of a clubhouse on the site. Old-timers will remember it as GDRA, but more recently known as the Lockheed-Martin Recreation Center. “The wood was carefully salvaged, keeping it from ever entering the landfill. Once hauled away, this beautiful material was cleaned up and used throughout the store architecture, fixtures, signage and décor,” a Whole Foods spokeswoman said.

Along with the clubhouse floor, other reclaimed materials included:

· Thin brick was salvaged from a 19th century tobacco warehouse.

· Reclaimed walnut wood was used on the bar counter top and harvested from the site.

· Recycled tile was made of repurposed materials with the majority made from post-consumer recycled content.

There are other local touches. The bar area – yes, it’s got a bar area – has high-top tables with bases made from old Rahr & Sons kegs. Speaking of the bar, the area looks like a sports bar in the middle of a grocery store. There are 12 TVs, a shuffleboard table and there will be 16 taps featuring local brews such as Rahr, Wild Acre Brewery, Martin House Brewing Co., as well as Whole Foods’ own brew, 360. The shopping carts have cup holders, fyi.

Speaking of beer, there’s plenty of that available along with a big selection of wine, many from Texas brewers and wineries.

To go with that beer and wine, the grocery store has a full-service barbecue smokehouse.

Aside from local brews, there are other locally-sourced products. During a media tour on Friday, a spokeswoman said there more than 500 Texas-made products throughout the store. One, on view as customers enter the store, was a display featuring chips and salsa from Gloria’s Latin Cuisine in Fort Worth.

The smokehouse eatery has specialties such as smoked quail poppers and signature sandwiches, including local lamb. In-house 14- to 21-day dry-aged steaks, along with six to eight varieties of in-house double-smoked bacon.

There is a taco/sandwich/wood-fired pizza bar. The pizza oven is Italian and made by Marra Forni. There will be a full-service juice, smoothie and coffee bar. The coffee bar features a Nuova Simonelli espresso machine. And, of course, there’s that sushi burrito.

The store will also host community giving days four times a year where 5 percent of that day’s net sales are donated to a local nonprofit.

The store will offer concierge/personal-shopping services. From Oct. 12 to Nov. 13, personal shop services are free on every order with curbside pickup as an option. Beginning Nov. 14, personal shopping will come with a flat $5 fee, including curbside pickup.

And what will you pick up those groceries with? The parking lot will include electric vehicle charging stations and bike racks with a bike fix-it station. As large as Whole Foods has become, the company still likes to reach out to its alternative lifestyle roots.

Whole Foods is not alone in Waterside. The development has several retailers and restaurants open. Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, Tokyo Joe’s, Zoes Kitchen and Taco Diner are already open. And Chef Marcu Paslay’s Piattello Italian Kitchen will open in the holiday season.

Opening Plans

Whole Foods is nearly here. If you want a preview, the Whole Foods Market Fort Worth team will celebrate coming to the community with a preview party from 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 10. The party is free and open to the community with samples, a five-piece jazz band, Whole Foods Market test kitchen food truck, a photo booth and other activities. Attendees will also have the opportunity to shop in advance of opening day at the 45,000-square-foot location.

The new store officially opens Wednesday, Oct. 12 with the company’s traditional bread-breaking ceremony at 7:30 a.m. At the same time, the new Whole Foods location will receive Blue Zones Project Certification. Dedicated to helping towns become better places to live, work and play, Blue Zones Project’s progress is tracked by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, a measure of U.S. residents’ daily health and well-being.

Music will be provided by Fort Worth Country Day drumline at 7 a.m

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price will be there to open the store’s smokehouse at 10 a.m.

www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/fortworth

For more on Whole Foods:

www.fortworthbusiness.com/opinion/put-on-your-sandals-and-get-in-the-vw-bus/article_7db51c4a-ccb8-5ef1-8a96-4693c048d955.html

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