The new Whole Foods in Midtown – set to open on June 5 – is not just another grocery story. It's not even just another Whole Foods store.
Tremendous efforts were made to ensure that this Detroit store reflected the personality of the city itself. While the five other Michigan Whole Foods locations are relatively generic, this location aims to be deeply and distinctly Detroit. "We took the time and effort to really reflect Detroit," says Amanda Musilli, Whole Foods Market Community Liaison.
It starts with the design. On the exterior wall are murals by local artists Jerome Ferretti, Tylonn Sawyer, Katherine Larson, and Mathew Sharum. Immediately upon entering you are greeted with 1970s booster Emily Gail's classic words "Say Nice Things About Detroit." To the left is the produce section; all the photography overhead is of D-Town Farms in River Rouge Park. The lettering above the cheese section is styled after street art, which Detroit is certainly known for. Over the prepared foods section are reclaimed Detroit factory windows. An overhead timeline reads, "Detroit: Proud to Be Here," and mashes up Detroit history with the history of Whole Foods, terminating in the store's opening.
The booths and tables in the café are made of locally-sourced reclaimed wood and reclaimed car hoods. The café will also have outdoor seating and free WIFi with plenty of electric outlets.
Upstairs, where there are spaces for classes, workshops, and private events, is a tile mural of the City of Detroit by local artist Elysia Vandenbussche on the theme of food justice.
But it's not just about the aesthetic. In addition to what can be called the usual suspects – Avalon Breads, McClure's Pickles, Simply Suzanne granola – this location will also carry products from smaller local producers like Ellis Island Tea, Good People Popcorn, Nikki's Ginger Tea, Chugga's Bakery, and the Water Station.
To prepare for opening, they've hired 94 people, 70 percent of which are city residents.
Source: Amanda Musilli, Whole Foods Market Community Liaison
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg
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