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Whole Foods finally coming to Charlotte

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Its funny that there isnt already one of these anywhere near Charlotte. They are currently located in Durham, Cary, Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Winston Salem. Anyway, its cool that the Elizabeth Avenue district grabbed this one

Whole Foods Market opening near uptown

DOUG SMITH

Staff Writer

Whole Foods Market, the world's largest natural and organic supermarket, plans to open a Charlotte store in late 2006 or early 2007 at Fourth Street and Hawthorne Lane.

The 50,000-square-foot store will be in Grubb Properties Inc.'s six-block, $240 million Elizabeth Avenue revitalization project.

The gourment grocery will be adjacent to Presbyterian Hospital and surrounded by Elizabeth, Myers Park, Eastover and Dilworth neighborhoods.

"Charlotte is a great fit for Whole Foods Market, and adding Charlotte to our growing map of Southeastern store locations is a goal we have worked hard to achieve," said Ken Meyer, regional president for Whole Foods Market.

"The Elizabeth Avenue District is an exciting opportunity for us to make our entry into the Charlotte market," he said. "We're confident Whole Foods Market will become ... a favorite gathering place for the city's many great professional and home chefs."

Whole Foods Market describes itself as an old-fashioned green grocer, an organic farmer's market, a European pastry shop, a custom butcher and seafood shop, a rotisserie grill, a healthful take-out deli, a first class wine merchant, a nutrition and bodycare center, a full-service market and a community center all rolled into one.

"Whole Foods Market is the keystone tenant that sets the tone for the redevelopment efforts in the Elizabeth Avenue District," said Clay Grubb, president of Grubb Properties, developer of the Elizabeth Avenue project. "We have set high standards for our retail mix in this development and Whole Foods Market is a great reflection of the type of quality retailers that we will be bringing to Elizabeth Avenue and to the Charlotte area

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I went to the whole foods in Winston-Salem. I liked it a lot. I am glad that whole foods moved into the center city like that. Every little bit is coming together to make the center city neighborhoods more convenient to live in.

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There was a Whole Foods in my apartment complex in Chicago and it was nice. Very clean and had great fruit, meats, etc. A little pricey though.

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I love whole foods. Especially the free samples they have throughout the store. Up until this year, Ann Arbor, MI had the largest whole foods store in the nation. That is, until the new one opened in Manhattan.

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What do you guys think about A Southern Season? To my best knowledge, there is only one such store, in Chapel Hill; at least here in the Triangle. I must say, though, it is a NICE place to shop. It has an upscale flavor and the prices, while above average, aren't as bad. Those of you who haven't shopped there yet, try to pay a visit next time you happen to be around the Triangle... assuming you have the time.

Here is the link to their web page, for those who are interested:

http://www.southernseason.com/default.asp

By the way, it is nice that Whole Foods opens a place near Uptown Charlotte. It is a nice store and my wife and I shop there occasionally. They have lots of unique items in their health-related section.

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Whole Foods came to the Triangle market by buying a health foods chain that already existed. So they really were not "new"...just rebadged stores that already existed.

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The best thing about this announcement is that it boosts the Elizabeth Avenue redevelopment. Ive predicted for a while now that this is one of Charlotte future hot places to be...that is, if Grubb doesnt level everything thats already there.

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Whole foods will bring more vegan food options to the city and help lower prices. Home economist charges prices 40-80% higher for vegan food than any other grocery store I have ever seen. I for one, welcome our new Whole Foods Overlords.

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