Whole Foods Market Fairfield (350 Grasmere Avenue) opens on Friday, June 3rd! All are welcome to this bread-breaking opening day event. The ceremonious day will begin at 8:30 am with offerings of store-wide tastings (make sure you try the pizza), vendor sampling, special sale items, cooking demonstrations, gift bags, and more. Five percent of the total sales for opening day will be donated to Wholesome Wave, whose founder and CEO, Chef Michel Nischan, will lead cooking demonstrations in the Cooking Fairfield department at 11:30 am and 5 pm. Nischan will sign copies of his latest book, Sustainably Delicious at 1 and 6:15 pm. The full press release about opening day can was posted on May 13.
I got a sneak peek of the store and even got to try a couple of samples. Moms, you are in for a treat! The new store is about 45, 000 square feet and laid out in a similar fashion as other Whole Foods Markets in Fairfield County with pretty much the same locally grown and organic products. What may make it worth driving the extra mile or so (compared to driving to the Westport store) are several exciting unique aspects:
- Catering to the home cook – The featured Cooking Fairfield program, an in-store, interactive cooking department to educate shoppers about the joy of cooking with live demonstrations by Cooking Coach, Michelle Ryan by the bulk foods section. She is set to inspire you to cook from scratch with portions of bulk purchases, try different spices and ingredients, and just learn how to enjoy food with different scheduled themes. Cooking tools will be located in this section. There will also be free cooking classes for both adults and children (schedule to be posted).
- Online access to recipes and communications via partnership with Food52 – A customer-driven website will be launched on June 3rd. Be one of the first 100 to sign up for access to win a prize. Recipes from these programs will be available online at www.wholefoodsmarketcooking.com via Amanda Hesser’s and Meryl Stubbs’ food52, an online community for people who love to cook. In the store, there is a workstation where two touch-screen computers attached to a printer are available for use by shoppers to look up recipes as they shop. Have a question about an ingredient or a general cooking question? Ask the online community via Foodpickle. Wouldn’t it be neat to see local chef, food author, and mom Ramin Ganeshram share their recipes and tips on the blog? There will also be a sweepstakes every two weeks for gift certificates or store merchandise.
- Advice from a live person in the more visible Healthy Eating Center – The Healthy Eating Center is a part of Whole Foods Market’s company-wide Health Starts Here program. A healthy eating specialist will be available to answer questions about a shopper’s individual health needs (for example, what’s a healthy heart diet? diabetic diet?). A variety of classes, demonstrations, educational programs will be offered to help shoppers make healthier eating choices.
- Bars Galore for healthy on-the-go meals – The store will have wide selections in the hot/cold bar, vegan salad bar, soups, sandwiches, deli, pizzas, and fresh potato chips made on premises.
- Cool sampling policy – Vendors will be offering samples that shoppers can try while shopping. In fact, if you wanted to try a product before making a purchase and it’s not on display for public sampling, you can seek out a Whole Foods Team Member who will pop open the package to give you some to try on the spot. If it is an item that needs to be cooked, the Team Member can also send you home with a sample to try. Really!
- Full service meat and seafood departments with team members that cater to the shopper’s needs.
- Large bulk selection of spices, rices, and other ingredients for a healthy meal.
- Store-made fresh mozzarella made every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – In addition there is a large selection of cheeses and other unusual condiments.
- Fresh breads at the bakery! – They look really good.
- Fresh ground coffee and gelato
- Large dining area with free wi-fi and children’s play area – Kid-friendly restrooms with changing tables are also available.
- 20 cash registers with express lines
- Whole Foods food truck with a full kitchen inside – For the next couple of weeks, it will be stationed outside of the store for sampling, demonstrations, and vending. Then it will be traveling to other store locations.
- Support of local charities and local growers – They wholeheartedly support Wholesome Wave and other third-party partners. Incentives for shoppers to help these causes will be offered. Community outreach programs lend a hand to help underprivileged eat healthily.
- Easy to get to and plenty of parking – There are so many different ways to get to Whole Foods Market Fairfield – ultra-scenic route (Black Rock Turnpike or Redding Road), or highways (Merritt and I-95), or Route 1 to Grasmere Ave. The parking lot is huge and easy to navigate.
- Location ideal for family errands – Home Depot is next door, so dads can shop there while mom shops at Whole Foods Market.
- Green power – 90% of the store’s power is generated by the hydrogen fuel cell located behind the store. What does that mean? If we have another winter like the last one, Whole Foods Market Fairfield will remain fully operational and open for shoppers. So no worries if your power goes out or you didn’t get to the store in time to stock up – your family will be fed.