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Whole Foods Sneak Peek

Posted: Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012

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Rachel Sutherland

Rachel Sutherland has been a professional journalist for 14 years, most recently as the Style Editor for the Charlotte Observer. Her writing and styling work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country. She is often a featured guest on syndicated radio programs The Matt & Ramona Show and The Satisfied Life. Find her at www.rachelsutherland.net or email her: rachel@rachelsutherland.net.

Whole Foods Market is finally making it’s Charlotte debut in a big, big way. The enormous, three-story space opens on Wednesday, Aug. 29 at Sharon and Fairview, near SouthPark Mall.

When I heard the store was offering sneak peek tours (with a $5 donation to Friendship Gardens), I signed up. I love grocery shopping, especially for healthy deliciousness.

I was one of about 2,000 people to walk and nosh through the store before opening day, dodging construction workers and grocery clerks stocking shelves. One of the tour guides mentioned to our group that the Charlotte store is exceptionally large by Whole Foods standards, and is pegged to be a flagship store for the Southeast.

Oh Whole Foods. You know Charlotte so well. The largest store in the region? We’ll take it, and add it to our list of things we love to boast about, regardless of just how long (and how much we begged) it took to get the store here.

The verdict? To borrow some text-speak, OMG. My only previous WF shopping experience involved driving to Winston-Salem to hit H&M and Whole Foods (whole ‘nother topic: why does Winston have an H&M AND Whole Foods?), so the scale of the Charlotte store is nothing short of stunning.

I’ll try hard to keep my excitement in check, but there are quite a few exclaimation point-worthy features of the new store: Cartalator (you and your cart travel down a conveyor belt to the parking lot below the building)! Spacious aisles! The Queen’s Corner wine and beer bar with four local brews on tap! Sheet cake! Enormous personal care department with cosmetics and nail polish! Coffee bar! Gelato bar! Breakfast bar! Pizza bar! Made-to-order sushi! Make your own trail-mix station!

The third floor houses Salud, a cooking space for classes (the first month features events with chefs Virginia Willis and Justin Balmes) and the second floor is supposed to have amazing out door seating (we weren’t allowed access during the tour).

Are you excited to see Whole Foods in Charlotte?

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