Final Touches for Whole Foods Grand Opening
There is less than 24 hours from the grand opening of Whole Foods. The national chain closed the doors at its Albemarle County building Sunday. The last minute preps are happening Monday at the new store in Charlottesville.
Albemarle's loss is Charlottesville's gain. The move is going to throw Charlottesville about $400,000 a year in taxes and 30 new people have gotten jobs out of it.
Marketing Team Leader Sandy Huckstep stated, "Nobody has slept. We're all just thrilled to be here."
Huckstep has been waiting for this day for 13 years. That's when she was first told a new Whole Foods was on the way.
The Hydraulic Road store has 17,000 square feet of space. That translates into more freezer space, wider aisles and more products on the shelves.
There is also a bar inside the store offering eight beers on tap and 16 different wines by the glass.
Wine and Beer Buyer Christine Meredith said, "We wanted to speak to the local selection. We've over doubled out selection of local wines here."
The Cooking Charlottesville department is also a new addition to the Whole Foods store. During normal hours a cooking coach will be on staff at a station to talk to customers about food preparation and sharing recipes.
From the ground up, 98 percent of the wood in the store is being recycled, including the chip aisle where there is a portion of the University of Virginia basketball court from University Hall.
"We got the basketball floor. It's kind of neat. Part of the community," said Storm Team Leader Jeff Turner.
The official grand opening is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday at the store on Hydraulic Road.