Natural and organic grocery retailer Whole Foods Market has opened a new 4,600 square-metre store in Madison, Wisconsin, relocated to the Madison Yards real estate development from a previous site that served the state capital since 1996. Another store opening is planned in South Windsor, Connecticut on 17 January.

Both stores are part of an accelerated rollout announced earlier this year and follow three other stores opening in the US since September.

The new expanded unit in Madison includes a full-service coffee bar and more than 700 products sourced from the Midwest as part of an initiative to offer more local produce helped by ‘foragers’ Margie Omastiak and Darcy Landis.

“We are thrilled to continue serving the Madison community with knowledgeable team members, high-quality food standards, and a hand-picked selection of local products in this new, larger location,” said Paul Sigmund, the store team leader.

Grocery focus

Features of the new Madison store include:

  • A curated grocery section filled with ‘365 by Whole Foods Market’ brand favourites and local products, including jams from Weinke’s Market, honey from Gentle Breeze Honey, Inc., tea from Rishi Tea,& Botanicals, and kombucha from Forage Kombucha.
  • Grocery pick-up.
  • An array of certified organic, conventional and Sourced for Good produce, plus offerings from local farms, including hard squash and organic jewel yams from Southwest Produce, and cranberries from Twin Lake Cranberry Co.
  • Speciality departments dedicated to cheesemakers and artisan producers. Local items include Sliced Acorn Tamworth Prosciutto from La Quercia Cured Meats, Shallot Confit with Red Wine from The Quince & Apple Company, and 10-year matured cheddar from Hooks Cheese Company. The cheese counter is overseen by a certified cheese expert who can offer recommendations for specific occasions and who can also create custom boards.
  • An expanded prepared-foods section featuring fresh sushi from Kikka including new and seasonal rolls such as Carrot Curry Kimchi Roll, Mango Yuzu California Roll and rolls made with plant-based seafood from Konscious Foods.
  • Self-serve hot food and salad bars, made-to-order sandwiches, self-serve pizza and a charcuterie station.
  • A full-service coffee bar offering seasonal and classic favourites including Date Cardamom Latte, Honey Vanilla Latte, Chai Latte and White and Dark Chocolate Mochas.

Extensive seafood and meat

In addition to the above, the new Madison store will have a full-service seafood counter featuring local Wisconsin trout and fresh seafood deliveries five days a week, with all offerings either sustainable wild-caught or responsibly farmed; a full-service meat counter with butchers available to cut steaks and poultry to order including made-in-house smoked sausage; and a bakery department offering fresh-baked bread as well as favourites, such as Whole Foods Berry Chantilly Cake, and Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies.

Whole Foods
Meat and fish are prominent.

On the alcoholic drinks side, there is an extensive selection of more than 200 craft beers and spirits, plus 800 wines. Some local options include products from New Glarus Brewing, Restoration Cider, and Untitled Art. There is also a wellness and beauty department featuring more than 120 local products.

Supporting food rescue

To celebrate the opening, Whole Foods donated a refrigerated van to food rescue organisation The River Food Pantry through its Nourishing Our Neighbourhoods programme. Launched by the grocer in 2020, the programme aims to enhance the operational capabilities of local food-rescue organisations, enabling them to efficiently transport food from surplus locations to areas with the greatest need.

Additionally, Whole Foods has made donations to other non-profit organizations including Madison Area Food Pantry Gardens, Badger Prairie Needs Network, Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin, and FairShare CSA Coalition.

Whole Foods
Grocery and fresh produce are front and centre.

All groceries at Whole Foods Market must meet the company’s quality standards which prohibit hydrogenated fats, high-fructose corn syrup, and more than 260 flavours, colours, sweeteners and other ingredients commonly found in food.

In addition, all beauty and body care products must meet the company’s body care standards, which ban more than 180 commonly used ingredients, including phthalates, parabens and microbeads.

Amazon Prime members who shop at Whole Foods Market have access to a number of benefits year-round, including deep discounts on select popular products each week and an additional 10% off hundreds of in-store sale items.

Smaller footprint but more local items

Further east, next month’s opening of a Whole Foods in South Windsor, Connecticut will be a slightly smaller store at just over 4,000 square metres but it will boast more than 1,000 local products from New England. In addition there will be a prepared foods department including self-serve pizza, sushi made daily, and hot food and salad bars.

Whole Foods Market was the first certified organic national grocer in the United States when it launched more than 40 years ago. The retailer now has more than 500 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

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