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expansion is normal around the holidays

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…

a taqueria

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!

8 nibbles at “expansion is normal around the holidays”

  1. Dinners & Dreams says:

    So fun they’re having a taqueria. Mine doesn’t have one. It must be a new addition to the new stores they’re building, maybe.

  2. Shanon says:

    The Whole Foods on Pearl is my favorite Whole Foods (and grocery store) ever! I love the employees and I agree, the meat and seafood departments are awesome. I have been excited for their expansion. It does get crazy busy. But the store and people there are so amazing, I usually don’t even mind.

  3. Nancy says:

    I agree with you about the crowds…it’s difficult to find a time when there are none!

  4. Janie says:

    What a nice Whole Foods. They just finished the one here on LI NY, last year. I Love it…yours sounds great and the additions they are planning sound really good…I get way too lost in there!! So many good choices…and samples…

  5. Jill says:

    So glad you got an invite! Hope Jeremy got to go too! Can’t wait to see it my self!!!!!

  6. Memoria says:

    Aside from the grammatical (“less than 40 miles” should be “fewer than 40 miles”) and orthographical (taquerΓ­a” should have an accent on the “i”, without it, it would be pronounced [ta-KE-riah] instead of [ta-ke-RI-ah], the store looks fantastic! haha You’re so lucky to be invited to the place before it opens. I personally prefer Central Market, which is only in Texas, over Whole Foods, because the former has a less snobby vibe to it. However, I love that both stores have bulk chocolate and fresh, high-quality meat readily available. Thanks for the great photos.

  7. marianne says:

    Oh my gosh, it’s really happening, I might not be ready…. 66,000 sq ft! I am afraid I’ll get lost in it when I get back. It’s cool to see an update, thanks for posting this! Happy holidays to you and Jeremy!

  8. jenyu says:

    Thanks everyone! I recently visited the store with the new section open and it’s really impressive. I don’t purchase their prepared foods, but I LOVE that the produce, seafood, meat, and bulk sections are far less busy than they used to be! Yay :)

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