The Whole Foods Detroit store has officially opened its doors in Midtown, just blocks away from the Eastern Market. The grand-opening event was akin to a grandstand as key community leaders, stakeholders and cheering customers filled the parking lot and flooded the store.
Co-CEO of Whole Foods Walter Rob, Mayor Dave Bing, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) shared their excitement about the store opening. Councilmen Charles Pugh, James Tate and former Detroit Pistons forward, John Sally, were also in attendance. In place of the ceremonial ribbon cutting, dignitaries gathered to break bread marking the official grand-opening.
Detroit School of Arts Youth Jazz ensemble sang several Motown selections adding to the fan fare; vendors filled the parking lot and rationed product samples.
“I appreciate the fact that the leaders of Whole Foods involved the entire community in the planning and execution of this development. This is a true community partnership and we’re proud to welcome Whole Foods Market to Detroit, Mayor Bing stated.”
“We’ve worked toward this day for nearly five years. We’re inspired by what Detroiters are doing for this great city,” said Robb. “They are our partners, our neighbors, our team members, and our friends. We couldn’t be prouder or happier to be part of the mix.”
Patrons stood in a single file line for the doors to open, then eagerly perused the aisles and rushed to the register to be among the first who shopped at the new store.
According to one Detroit vendor, Sweet Potato Sensations, sales were so well that all of its products were sold out shortly after the store opened its doors.
With “proud to be here” as its motto, the proof was in the pudding as more than 100 Michigan made brands stocked its shelves. Several Detroit brands – Germack Pistachio Company, Atwater Brewing, Better Made Snacks, Simply Suzanne, Good People Popcorn, Avalon Bakery, Perkins Pickles, Bath Savvy, and many more – are now available in Whole Foods Detroit.
Rooting itself in the Detroit community; the company’s foundation, Whole Kids, recently donated grants to benefit six Detroit schools. The grocery chain hopes to help teachers become better models for healthy living by offering them cooking classes.
The Detroit store now has a full service smoothie bar, artisan bakery, fresh meat and seafood counter, bulk food section, high quality natural body products; and a community room in which healthy eating workshops, chef demonstrations and special events will take place.
“The response to our healthy eating classes and 28-day healthy eating challenges has been overwhelming. Classes are packed and requests for additional classes are pouring in,” says Dr. Akua Woolbright, Whole Foods Market senior healthy eating & wellness educator. “We will continue to provide healthy eating education to the community. We plan to offer classes in the store as well as through local community organizations and businesses.”