After several years in the proposal and planning stages and nearly three years after a groundbreaking, Whole Foods Market is set to open by the University of Missouri-Kansas City this week.
A 9 a.m. Wednesday opening is scheduled for the new 48,200-square-foot store at 301 E. 51st St.
Along with convenient breakfast, lunch and dinner options, the store will offer custom-cut meat, fresh seafood, organic and local produce, pantry staples and products by more than 100 Kansas and Missouri vendors. It will also have other amenities, including a taproom.
Among the highlights:
▪The Fountain Room. On the store's north side, it will feature 22 taps of craft beers from Kansas and Missouri, including Boulevard Brewing Co., Cinder Block Brewery, Crane Brewing, Stockyards Brewing Co. and Torn Label Brewing Co.
It also is partnering with J. Rieger & Co. on craft cocktails including the Jacob Old Fashioned (with seasonal fruits, currently cherry and plum bitters).
Customers also will be able to sip their drinks while they shop.
▪ Juice bar featuring made-to-order juices and grab-and-go juices.
▪ Ceviche, Poke and Smoked Seafood Bar. It will offer fresh, made in-house ceviche, poke and smoked salmon options, and shoppers can create their own custom blend.
▪ Allegro Coffee Bar. Featuring nitro cold brew, sweet tea, chai and espresso drinks made-to-order. It will buy and roast only specialty Arabica beans.
The coffee shop also will have an exterior window for grab-and-go coffee beverages for people walking along the Harry Wiggins Trolley Track Trail.
▪ Hot Bar and Salad Bar. A variety of freshly prepared seasonal salads and hot international dishes.
Other options will include barbecue featuring sausages with local meat made in-house, as well as vegan barbecue; a mac-and-cheese bar with ingredients such as lobster and bacon; and a totcho bar — a twist on traditional nachos using potato tots and loaded with a variety of toppings such as cheese, jalapenos, onion or chicken.
▪ Local products. It will have products by more than 100 Kansas and Missouri vendors including Coopers Honey Co. and Green Dirt Farm. And some of those vendors are partnering on special products including chocolate bars and cheese.
▪ Olive Bar.
▪ Blended burgers with flavors such as rosemary farro, beet tabbouleh and carrot quinoa.
▪ Pizza and sandwiches. Hand-stretched pizza and grab-and-go sandwiches.
▪ Kansas City butchers. In-house butcher shop with butchers who will answer customers' questions or requests.
The new store also will have rotisserie chicken, in-house roasted turkey breasts, pre-brined chicken and pork chops, pre-made smoothie cups (just add liquid and blend), more than 100 varieties of cheeses, more than 800 varieties of wine, 12 feet of spirits and 29 feet of craft beer.
An American Cheese Society certified cheese professional also will be on staff to discuss how the cheese was made and will be able to offer suggestions for building a cheese plate or for wine pairings.
Every item sold in the store meets Whole Foods Market’s "rigorous quality standards," the company said, and is free of artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, preservatives and hydrogenated fats.
Whole Foods also custom builds each store to reflect the communities it serves. Paul Jarvis, the designer of the new store, grew up in St. Louis and attended Kansas State University. He has spent weeks scouring local antique stores for store decor items. The store has a 28-foot ceiling and a colorful two-story mural by J.T. Daniels of Kansas City.
Whole Foods Market was founded in 1979 and now has more than 475 stores in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom, including area locations at 14615 W. 119th St., Olathe, and 6621 W. 119th St., Overland Park. The chain is owned by Amazon.com.
The metro's original Whole Foods Market Metcalf, at 7401 W. 91st St. in Overland Park, closed permanently on May 20. The company is relocating many of the employees to its other area stores.
It also has hired about 70 additional employees and is still adding workers for the new location, which will have about 150 employees.
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