Whole Foods Market opened Wednesday in Cheltenham on the Gallagher Retail Park. This Whole Foods is the Austin, Texas-based grocer’s first English store outside of the five existing London stores (plus one in Glasgow). Situated right at the heart of the Cotswolds and offering a vast range of high-quality, natural foods, beauty and health products, the 27,000-s.f. store also is stocking more than 330 locally Gloucestershire-sourced products as well as 50 from Cheltenham itself.
The store was opened in traditional Whole Foods Market style with a special bread-breaking ceremony attended by Mary Cunningham, store team leader for Whole Foods Market Cheltenham; Jeff Turnas, regional president for Whole Foods Market U.K.; Colin Hay, mayor of Cheltenham; and Rob Rees, founder of one of the Cheltenham store’s new charity partners, Wiggly Worm. The 5-foot loaf of beer bread was baked in-store especially for the occasion with beer from the Cotswold Brewing Co. The bread-breaking ceremony is symbolic of the opening of the store and the sharing of produce.
“It is such a wonderful opportunity to be able to open a store here in Cheltenham,” said Cunningham. “The store will showcase the highest quality all-natural food and beauty brands. Our team of 180 local people will bring Whole Foods Market to life for all our shoppers and our unique features, such as the Acorn cookery centre, will be an inspiration for everyone.
“Shoppers visiting the store for the first time will immediately see what makes Whole Foods Market different,” added Cunningham. “Each morning we will be roasting fresh coffee and baking a delicious selection of breads. With everything under one roof, shoppers can find exactly what they need both for their weekly shop and for ingredients for special occasions.”
The store also has its own cookery demonstration center—The Acorn—as well as indoor and outdoor cafés and a children’s outdoor play area. An on-going program of family-friendly events will showcase the best seasonal food and drink, in addition to master classes, supper clubs and kids activities.
Turnas said: “We chose the site in Cheltenham because we felt it offered us a fantastic opportunity to show Cheltenham and the whole of Gloucestershire what we can do.
“We’re very proud of our new store, of our 180 new team members and of course our 300-plus local products, which will give our shoppers a fantastic choice of all-natural goods.”