New Whole Foods Market in Chicago

Judy Hevrdejs visits the new Whole Foods on Kingsbury:

New Whole Foods under construction

[my photo of the Whole Foods construction from March, 2009]

By the time the shiny new Whole Foods Market in Lincoln Park opens May 20, the shelves will be fully stocked, the produce bins piled high and the wine-sampling machines filled with assorted bottles of vino.
That wasn’t the state of affairs when I checked out the store at 1550 N. Kingsbury St. during a hard-hat tour May 13. But I did get a fine aerobic workout hoofing it from the store’s main entrance to the in-house bakery that’s destined to perfume its corner of the 75,000-square-foot store with baked-fresh-daily breads. (Don’t believe me? I counted 200 strides.)

The Lincoln Park site’s vast space makes it the third largest Whole Foods Market in the world, just behind London’s Kensington store (at more than 100,000 square feet) and the Austin, Texas flagship store/HQ. “It’s a Whole Foods Market on soy protein powder,” says Rich Howley, the store team leader

And if Howley’s discussions pan out, they may hold yoga and tai chi classes on the building’s roof.

[Click to continue reading New Whole Foods Market an homage to Chicago | The Stew – A taste of Chicago’s food, wine and dining scene]

Perhaps it is because I moved to Austin the same year that Whole Foods opened its first store, or perhaps because I’ve shopped at the (old) Lincoln Park location for nearly as long as I’ve lived in Chicago, but I want Whole Foods to do well, to survive and thrive, selling quality food that wasn’t created in a Monsanto laboratory. However, I do wonder if having such a monstrous location is really a good thing. I hate going to shopping malls, have avoided stepping foot in a Wal-Mart so far in my life, so why would I want to go to a grocery mall? The new Whole Foods mega-store has 42 checkout lanes, and 400 parking spaces!

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