Editor's note: Please note the subject line in today's Daily Digest is in reference to a Whole Foods preview party that occurred yesterday, January 13. The new location officially opens to the public on Wednesday, January 15.
To great fanfare and with much anticipation, Whole Foods opens its fifth Austin location at the Domain on Wednesday, January 15. With several dining sections, an outdoor bar, live music area and a community room, the new market is as much a social venue as a grocery store.
The company’s focus on organic and local shows up in the décor as well as on the shelves. Guests are greeted at the front door by a brightly colored wheelbarrow art installation by Roadhouse Relics, and a ride up the escalator includes a view of a moss-and-steel wall feature crafted by Austin’s Articulture Designs.
The 63,000-square-foot store boasts a large bulk food center, a full-service cheese counter featuring selections cut to order and a focus on value, with a large selection of its 365 Everyday Value organic products. More than two dozen new and exclusive products from area vendors are promoted prominently in the store. Shoppers can easily find Silverleaf International’s Ghost Pepper Salsa Mustard or Paqui Chips’ Salsa Verde Sour Cream Chips by glancing up at the large, red placards on the aisle markers.
If the store has a culinary motif though, it is seafood and beer. The Draft Shack, a small oyster bar nestled between the seafood department and the beer alley, has 45 draft taps and will serve chargrilled oysters, gumbo and barbecued shrimp. The seafood counter sells sashimi- and sushi-quality seafood and offers raw oyster bins where customers can scoop out their favorite mollusks to shuck at home.
The 63,000-square-foot store boasts a large bulk food center, a full-service cheese counter and a focus on value.
The beer alley includes four feet of shelf space exclusively for 100-point-rated beers as well as growlers and kegs to go. Public Domain, an outdoor bar housed in an old shipping container, will feature beer and bratwurst that guests can enjoy while listening to live music or playing a game of washers.
The other dining counters include a made-to-order sushi bar, a taco bar using handmade tortillas from the bakery and, staying true to Austin’s current craze, a ramen bar. Juice fans can belly up to the Whole Body juice bar and sip six new varieties of cold-pressed juices.
Whole Foods is leveraging the excitement of the store opening to invest in several local nonprofits. On Monday, January 13, the are partnering with Citizen Generation to host a store preview party benefiting KUT 90.5 and KUTX 98.9. For a $10 donation, attendees will get a sneak peek of the store and meet local vendors.
At the grand opening bread-breaking ceremony on Wednesday, January 15, Whole Kids Foundation will award a garden grant to Wells Branch Elementary, and the Texas Local Forager will announce a new Local Producer Loan recipient. Throughout the week, Whole Foods will donate one percent of sales each day to select area nonprofits.
Whole Foods Domain Preview Party, Monday, January 13, 2014, 5 pm – 8 pm
Whole Foods Market Domain Grand Opening
Wednesday, January 15, 2014,
Bread-breaking ceremony at 7:30 am, store opens at 8 am
The following nonprofit organizations will receive one percent of sales on the below dates, and will join the store in opening events:
Wednesday, January 15 — Jewish Community Center of Austin
Thursday, January 16 — Emancipet
Friday, January 17 — Austin Creative Reuse
Saturday, January 18 — Girlstart
Sunday, January 19 — Back on my Feet