S.J. Collins Enterprises

Whole Foods: What’s in store

What’s in store at Whole Foods newest store?

I’ll report back on my on-site sneak peek that takes place early next week, but for now, here’s what I hear:

Doors open Wednesday at 10 a.m., and since size matters, let’s start there. The place is 40,000-square-feet – that’s about the size of a football field.

What’s inside?

A couple of restaurants:

* Free Wi-Fi in the 40-seat indoor and 37-seat outdoor café with free Wi-Fi and a prepared-foods kiosk ordering system where the time-starved can speed through the ordering and paying process for items made in the Whole Foods Market kitchen using touch-screen technology.

* The Porch, a 47-seat, tavern style coffee bar and pub serving fresh brewed organic coffee, seven local beers on tap and pub food. The 100% certified organic specialty coffees will be sourced from 22 countries and 120 farms around the world and feature full service espresso and hand-crafted pour-over coffee.
The menu features stuffed waffles, hash, wings, sandwiches and daily specials.

A cooking classroom:

*The Cooking Virginia Beach department and program features butcher block workspaces, chalkboards, and touch-screen technology, where a Cooking Coach — Whole Foods Market team members with in-depth culinary knowledge — will help shoppers tackle seasonal meals at home.

All the Whole Foods basics:

* Prepared Foods section offering items made by Whole Foods Market chefs, seasonal spreads and more.

* Locally-sourced produce, Whole TradeTM bananas, mangoes and pineapples and cut in-house organic fruits and veggies.

* Seafood sourced locally and from around the world and certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). The department also has a color-coded rating program, in partnership with Blue Ocean Institute and Monterey Bay Aquarium, which provides shoppers with sustainability status for all wild-caught seafood not certified by the MSC.

* Floral department stocked with locally-sourced items, including Whole TradeTM roses.

* Bakery featuring conventional and kosher goods, gluten-free products, boutique cupcakes, a self-service yogurt bar and Italian-style desserts.

* The specialty department will offer hand-stuffed olives, beer-washed cheese and other gourmet items.

* Cultivate, the garden center, featuring spring varietals, hanging baskets, herbs, vegetables, bedding plants, local potting soil, compost, garden tools and heirloom and organic seeds.

* The full-service meat department, with butchers cutting in-house, offers organic pork and chicken sausages and locally-sourced selections, raised without the use of antibiotics or added growth hormones that adheres to the Global Animal Partnership 5-Step Welfare Rating System.

* 365 Everyday Value products from organic milk to frozen veggies and more than 2,500 items on sale daily.

* A vast selection of value wines, a large bulk area and Whole Deal coupon book to offer shoppers great prices.

Located at 1800 Laskin Road.