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A busy corner of Davis is about to get a whole lot busier Wednesday morning when the Whole Foods Davis store opens with a bread breaking ceremony at 9:45 a.m. Located in the vacated Borders Books location at 500 First Street, the Davis store is the newest addition to the Sacramento region and the smallest. Members of the press were invited Thursday night to tour the store and enjoy dinner from a selection of local purveyors.
Starting at the produce and bulk foods end, one couldn't help but think, "This is entire produce section?" The Davis store is one of the smallest in California with only about 1,700 square feet of shopping space. "It's small, but it's a complete grocery store." said Cyn Leo, Store Team Leader of the Davis location. We noticed good selections in all product categories, but you definitely won't find as complete a selection as you will find in the larger stores like Folsom and Roseville. Therefore the emphasis is tailored to more of what they expect from that part of Davis. The most open part of the store, for instance, is the ready-made food section where they expect many students and people looking for quick "grab and go" type meals. Since Davis students and residents enjoy their beer, the beer case is located toward the front entrance with prices ranging from a $2.99 six pack to higher $8 artisan beer brands.
Every store in the Whole Foods chain creates a close relationship with the neighborhood it resides in. Davis is no exception. Inside the store you will see decor on the walls that speaks to Davis. This includes a bicycle theme throughout. Recycled bicycle parts are used for sculptures and signage. Whole Foods always posts their Core Values prominently and in this store you will see them in the wheels of a bicycle mural above the beer and beverage cold cases.
Stores also work with the communities by giving back. If you shop using a reusable shopping bag you can choose to be credited five cents or you can donate that nickel to a local charity. In this case, the University of California Davis Arboretum which ends right behind the store and where we enjoyed our dinner later in the evening. Each quarter the store also holds a 5% donation day to a local charity. Save your shopping list for the date of December 5th when that 5% will be donated to the Davis Farm to School program. The Yolo County Food Bank also benefits from perishable products that weren't sold that day.
Touring the store we were directed to look at the shelf labels that indicated such things as over 5,000 Non GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) and Gluten-free foods. As many products as possible are also found and labeled as being from Northern California. You will find Honey from Sola Bee Farms in Woodland, produce from the Capay Valley from Riverdog Farm or Capay Organics, to St. John Family Farm pasture-raised eggs from Corning.
Although the Grand Opening is Wednesday, there are events leading up to it. Davis residents are invited to sign up for VIP behind-the-scenes tours which take place Oct. 19-20, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Visit www.WFMDavis.eventbrite.com for details and tour times; tour attendees will each receive a free gift. On tour dates, Whole Foods Market will be hosting a Lexicon of Sustainability art show in the Davis Commons; the exhibit looks at where our food comes from and how it gets to Whole Foods Market.
Area residents can also celebrate the opening at the store’s “The Harvest Hullabaloo,” on Sunday, Oct. 21 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. This event will be held in the Davis Commons and feature more than 20 local vendors sampling their yummy products. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet Whole Foods Market community partners, listen to live music, check out games for the kids, and visit the ‘bling out your bike’ station to enter a raffle to win a new B&L Bike, which is over a $500 value.
“We are looking forward to being part of Davis’ vibrant food and wine community, as well as building lasting relationships with local vendors, the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, students, residents and everyone in between," said Leo. “And we’re very excited to announce that we were able to bring over 100 new jobs to the Davis community!”
To enter to win a Whole Foods gift bag of products and see additional pictures, please visit my Munchie Musings blog.