Open for business

Whole Foods opens with a Tallahassee twist. Whole Foods Market opened its doors to Tallahassee residents today.

The Austin, Texas, based market is known for its high-end organic food. Team members have been gearing up for the grand opening for a while.

Jeremy Jones, the regional public relations and social media associate coordinator for Whole Foods, said the store will bring a fresh shopping experience to the community.

“It’s all about the experience,” Jones said. “Unlike other grocers, when you come to Whole Foods Market, it’s really going to be an experience from demos to prepared foods – even produce.”

To kick off its grand opening week, starting at 8 a.m., the store will have free breakfast outside on its patio.

Lion Steel from Leon High School and the Florida State University cheerleaders will provide entertainment.

The first 500 shoppers will also receive a Whole Foods Market reusable bag filled with goodies at checkout.

The inside of the store is designed like no other because it is modeled after Tallahassee. The old Miracle Plaza sign, which had been torn down during the construction phase, has been resurrected and placed inside the store.

“A lot of the furniture we have has been recycled and refurbished and used here,” Jones said. “This store is unique because all Whole Foods stores are designed differently. Each store has a different layout.”

About 175 team members will be on staff throughout the week. Whole Foods is known to have a very relaxed work environment, allowing team members to wear jeans.

Team members will also wear a T-shirt that says “Opening Team” and has the No. 20 on the back. Tallahassee is the company’s 20th store in Florida.

Whole Foods is very involved with local farmers. Many of the plants and vegetables that are sold are locally grown.

Lisa Bourne, a floral specialist from Jacksonville, said there is nothing like Whole Foods because it offers superb community service.

“You get a lot of organic products here that you can’t get anywhere else,” Bourne said. “There are so many items here that does not have GMOs (genetically modified organisms). We treat everyone equally. The farmers get as much money as the vendor.”

Even though this gives Tallahassee another option when it comes to buying groceries, will customers switch over? Kiera Touros, a senior biology student at Florida State University from Vero Beach, Fla., said she will give the store a try.

“I will definitely go and check it out, but the location and the prices will determine if I will continue to shop at Publix,” Touros said.