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New Whole Foods In Harlem To Feature 20 Local Brands


Whole Foods Market will officially open the doors of its 12th New York City location in Harlem on Friday, July 21. The 40,000-s.f. store, located at 100 West 125th Street in the heart of Central Harlem, will celebrate its grand opening with local vendor demonstrations, giveaways and more. All events are free and open to the public.

Whole Foods Market’s traditional bread breaking ceremony will start at 8:45 a.m., with doors officially opening for business at 9 a.m.

“We are thrilled to serve the historic and vibrant Harlem community, where I personally have many fond childhood memories,” said Damon Young, store team leader. “Our many Harlem community partners have helped us create a wonderful store that enables us to provide local jobs, support community artisans and serve Harlem residents with the highest quality natural and organic foods.”

The grocery selection will include about 20 local brands, including spices and rubs from Sylvia’s, EgunsiFoods’ packaged West African soups, Vy Higginsen’s Mama’s One Sauce, the Harlem Pie Man’s 6-inch pies and Ginjan’s traditional African beverages. These brands are part of “Harlem Park to Park,” representing more than 100 local entrepreneurs committed to cultural preservation and small business development in Central Harlem, which worked with Whole Foods Market to create the local vendors program.

The store also will feature:

• The very first Kebab grill at a Whole Foods Market, which will feature a Mediterranean-inspired menu featuring fresh-grilled proteins and flavorful dips and sauces.

• A Cuban sandwich venue, also a first for a Whole Foods Market. It will serve both classic and new takes on the hot, freshly pressed Cuban sandwich.

• A Cuban coffee stand, with additional window service on West 125th Street, which will offer breakfast sandwiches made with Cuban bread, as well as a variety of traditional Cuban coffee drinks.

Other Whole Foods Market mainstays available at the Harlem store include square pan pizza with local and seasonal ingredients, sushi, hot bar and salad bar, as well as a variety of grab-and-go options.

Also on the shelves are Whole Foods’ own-brand all-natural 365 Everyday Value product line; Buy Big, Save Big value packs; and more than 120 bulk bin offerings. Added discounts are available via the grocer’s mobile app.

All food products sold in the store will meet Whole Foods Market’s standards: free of artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners and preservatives, as well as hydrogenated fats and high-fructose corn syrup.

To support global and local communities, the Harlem store will be making fresh food donations three times a week to Food Bank NYC’s local food pantry.

In addition, Creative Art Works, an organization dedicated to helping under-resourced New York City youth through arts education, hired students from A. Philip Randolph High School to create a collage in the store’s café that reflects Harlem’s “Past, Present and Future.”

The store will hold a “5% Day” on opening day, where 5 percent of total sales will directly benefit Harlem Grown to support its Saturday enrichment program. This program provides cooking lessons, health education, fitness classes and wellness seminars to members of the Harlem community.

In addition, Whole Foods Market partnered with numerous Harlem community organizations to create approximately 200 new local jobs. For instance, Whole Foods Market has worked closely with Hot Bread Kitchen in East Harlem since 2011, and the Harlem bakery department will be employing three of their recent “Bakers in Training” graduates. Whole Foods Market Harlem already has hired around 35 Team Members who reside right in Central Harlem.

About the author


Lorrie Griffith

An observer of the grocery industry since 1988. Away from her editor job, she's a wife and mother of two grown sons and thinks cooking is (usually) relaxing.

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