Crusader Staff Report
Whole Foods Market in Hyde Park, located at 5118 S. Lake Park, recently opened its doors with its own version of a ribbon-cutting ceremony – it was a Bread Breaking Ceremony with their Hyde Park neighbors and the store’s team members. The ceremony also included a $25,000 Healthy Kids Innovation grant to The Oriental Institute from Whole Kids Foundation in partnership with United Health Foundation.
As the doors opened and team members welcomed the store’s first customer, it was obvious the welcome to the community was a mutual feeling.
One dedicated and long time customer of Whole Foods shared with the Crusader how she has waited anxiously for a store to open on Chicago’s South Side. Daisy Gordon said, “I have lived in Englewood for over 50 years and have traveled a great distance to shop at Whole Foods ever since they opened a store near North Avenue. Then, I shopped at the South Loop and now I’ll shop at this store until the Englewood store opens. It’s just wonderful.”
This new store has an upscale contemporary look and feel that is very much befitting its Hyde Park location. It’s inviting, calming and visually appealing. The store is bright with wide aisles, well-marked areas, with something to fulfill every shopper’s needs and, most importantly, the best shopping music you will ever hear from a variety of genres. As a matter of fact, it may prolong your trip to the store.
The 30,300 square foot store is the anchor tenant in a $114 million development designed for retail and residential use. The other retailer is Marshalls and later in the year a Michael’s will open.
“Whole Foods Market Hyde Park will be a one-stop-shop for culinary creators of all skill levels, featuring the best tasting natural and organic grocery staples, as well as that hard-to-find ingredient,” says Eric Golinvaux, Store Team Leader, Whole Foods Market Hyde Park. “For shoppers on-the-go, we’ll have a variety of delicious meals from our chef-driven prepared food options such as seasonal salads, custom sandwiches, and Neapolitan-style pizza, all made without artificial colors, preservatives and sweeteners.”
In the morning or an afternoon pick-me-up, coffee lovers will enjoy the delicious, freshly brewed Allegro coffee beverages made to order, including lattes, chai, cappuccinos, and espresso from the Coffee Bar. Allegro buys and roasts only specialty Arabica beans, which represents the top 10 percent of all the beans produced in the world. From that 10 percent, Allegro only purchases the cream of the crop, so Whole Foods Market shoppers are getting the best quality and taste possible every day.
For lunch or easy dinner choices, Whole Foods Market Hyde Park has a variety of healthy and hearty options made with the same high quality standards found on the shelves. Choose from freshly prepared seasonal salads or create a customized blend with the variety of responsibly grown organic and conventional produce on the salad bar; or for a more rib-sticking meal choice, the hot bar provides seasonal, chef-driven recipes.
The Diner features a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner options including breakfast sandwiches, build-your-own-burgers and classic grilled cheese. Signature sandwiches featuring chipotle turkey, pastrami, or build-your-own style options offer a more custom meal. For a taste of Italy, pick up a slice of hand-stretched Neapolitan-style pizza – ready in under seven minutes. Freshly made sushi specialty rolls, including those made with brown or whole grain rice, are made in-house by sushi chefs using sustainably sourced seafood.
On the shelves and in the aisles, shoppers will have over 650 wines, 200 beers (including a custom Hyde Park Pale Ale from Begyle Brewing Company), 150 back-to-basics bulk pantry staples, and more than 95 bulk spices to choose from.
Based on the 50 or more customers we polled, it quickly became apparent the hopes of receiving a gift card was not the motivating factor for attending the grand opening. A resonating response from customers was the trust they had in Whole Foods commitments to its values as evident by the store, its products and the commitment to the community as a whole. “I trust the people behind the store and their commitment to not just selling natural and organic foods but to giving back in the process,” said Brooke Jackson.
Whole Foods Market has 25 other Chicagoland stores with the Englewood store opening in the Fall 2016.