Sunday, 30 March 2014

Whole Foods Kicks Off 2014 with New Domain Store

Whole Foods Market has had an outlet near the Domain on the drawing boards for several years but the build-out date kept getting pushed back while the homegrown natural foods giant completed stores in burgeoning Southwest neighborhoods. The opening date of the long-awaited Domain store is now set for Wednesday,

Prior to the grand opening, Whole Foods will host an all-day media tour on Jan. 10 and a $10 per person preview party benefiting local non-profit radio stations KUT 90.5 and KUTX 98.9 on Jan. 13. The store will open with a traditional bread breaking ceremony at 7:30am on the morning of Jan.15 and the first 500 early-bird shoppers will receive special bags stuffed with the store brand365 Day Value products. All day long, customers will be treated to special events, vendor food samples, sales items, and live music. It just so happens we’ve got some inside scoop on what they’ll be seeing.

The current model of combining dining experiences with grocery shopping will be well represented in the new store. Look for such innovative venues as Texas Ramen, where guests can enjoy the hearty Japanese soup sensation with a Texas barbecue spin; Draft Shack, an indoor, charcoal-grill oyster bar boasting 45 beers on tap; and Public Domain, a converted freight train shipping container with an outdoor beer and bratwurst bar. In fact, beer seems to be a major focus at the new store, what with the two draft bars and a four foot “beer alley” stocked with 100 point-rated brews.

Whole Foods is also touting the Domain store as a showcase for local food products developed exclusively for them. They even have a Texas local forager scouring the state to discover and recruit culinary artisans for this program. Here is a list of just some of the new products to look for when the store opens:

Bearded Brothers – Outrageous Orange Kale Raw Foods Bar
Better Bites Bakery – Sunbutter Bites
Boomerangs Aussie Pies – Breakfast Pies (migas, southwest, sausage and egg, bacon and egg) and Vegan Green Curry Pie
Buhdda’s Brew – Blackberry Spearmint Kombucha
Daily Greens – Rejuvinate Juice: Tumeric, Guava, Greens
Food for Lovers – Hot Vegan Queso
Good Pop – Chocolate Milk Pop
LIVE Soda – Ginger Kombucha Soda
Living Raw – Hippie Hemp Truffles
Nada Moo – Vanilla Chai, Peanut Butter Banana
Paqui Chips – Salsa Verde Sour Cream Chips
Silverleaf International – Ghost Pepper Salsa Mustard, Garlic Mustard, and Traditional Whole Grain Mustard
Smart Flour Foods – Sundried Tomoao & Escarole Gluten Free Pizza
Thunderbird Energetica – Super Seed Champion Bar
Treasured Earth Foods Bakery - surprise
Skull & Cake Bones Bakery – surprise
When plans for the Domain store were initially discussed, the overall scheme called for closing the smaller Gateway store, now the oldest store in local Whole Foods Market chain. However, Southwest Regional President Mark Dixon recently announced that loyal Gateway customers and team members will not lose their store but instead get a remodeled and refreshed outlet. The Gateway store will temporarily close on Tuesday, Jan 12 for a renovation and green efficiency update and re-open in late February. During the renovation, team members will relocate to other outlets in the chain and help out with the opening of the Domain store.