I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering what is up with all of the posting suddenly? Me too. It’s been a busy week…
This past Tuesday, I was invited by the Pearl Street Whole Foods store in Boulder to come and tour the new space before it opened to the public on Saturday (that’s TODAY). You know the new space, right? The space that used to be Barnes and Noble before they moved to their giant building on the corner of 30th and Pearl? It’s been under construction for the past several months. Whole Foods Boulder is expanding. My boys in Seafood told me the volume of customers coming into the Pearl Street store far exceeded what the original store was ever intended to accommodate. Whole Foods is popular in Boulder. There are times I refuse to go (after 5pm on weekdays and anytime on weekends) because I can’t stand the crowds. But I do shop at Whole Foods Boulder because I am so very loyal to their Seafood and Butcher departments. I know I can always find special or good looking produce for shoots there, and when I entertain – their cheese department never fails me.
there was a huge amount of work to do in the next four days
ben friedland, regional marketing coordinator, welcomes the group
So what is this new space? It’s an additional 26,645 square feet expanding the store to 66,000 square feet in total (including the original space). The design emphasizes more natural light, forefront green technologies (e.g. refrigeration), re-purposed materials, and more seating from the original 89 seats to over 350 seats including an outdoor patio under construction.
paul white, prepared foods coordinator, explains efforts to source locally
pad thai samples
barbecue pulled pork sliders
The departments moving into the expanded space are: prepared foods, coffee, juice bar, bakery, cheeses, bulk coffees and teas, charcuterie. Of course, it’s not just the old departments moving in – they’ve given them all a makeover. I am not one who frequents the prepared foods section of Whole Foods, but I was impressed with the new lineup of offerings and their dedication to sourcing as much as they could from local companies like Glacier Ice Cream (gelato bar), La Casita (tamales), and Allegro Coffee and Conscious Coffee to name a few. The prepared foods will include sushi, wok stir fries, barbecue, a healthy eating station (greens, beans, and grains), a sandwich shop, double-brick oven pizzas, and…
in the bakery
Of course, the exodus of these departments from the old store means more breathing room for produce, seafood, butcher, dairy, bulk, staples, frozen, health, and beauty. Things are going to be moving around in phases including remodeling of the seafood department, but I am told everything should be completed by June of 2011 and the store will remain in full operation until then. Additionally, they have added 50 more jobs and will likely hire more when the full overhaul of the entire store is complete.
Today (Saturday) is the opening of the expansion and it is totally worth checking out (especially if you’re a food geek). However, the Boulder Whole Foods Pearl Street location will be hosting a community party on January 22, 2011 to officially celebrate the new space. So stop on by to give it a looksee!