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Bridgewater, New Jersey, Whole Foods Features In-Store Mushroom Farm

A Smallhold mini mushroom farm.
A Smallhold mini mushroom farm.

Whole Foods Market Bridgewater, the first Somerset County, New Jersey, location for the natural and organic food retailer, opened late last week at 319 Chimney Rock Road at Route 22.

The 49,000-s.f. store offers the grocer’s first indoor mushroom farm, developed in partnership with Smallhold, a New York City-based company that works with restaurants, grocery stores and markets to grow its mushrooms in-store. The company monitors the indoor farms from its headquarters with technology that lets it know when the mushrooms are ready to harvest. Smallhold’s network of mini farms are climate controlled and use recirculated water. According to the company, the farms produce 40 times more output per s.f. than traditional farms, while also using less packaging and 96 percent less water.

“Somerset County is going through a lot of growth, and we’re so excited to be a part it, both through food and through this community,” said Christina Estrada, team leader of the new store.

Other highlights of the store include:

  • In-store diningThe Bridgewater location serves customer favorites like made-to-order burgers, self-serve pizza and sushi rolled in-house daily, in addition to a hot food bar and salad bars.
  • Bridgewater Coffee & KitchenThis new all-day restaurant and coffee bar features options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, including local Pain D’Avignon pastries and fresh soups, salads and sandwiches.
  • Juice PressThe New York City-based organic, kosher, vegan juice bar offers fresh-pressed juices, soups and snacks.
  • Community spaceIndoor lounge and café seating, shuffleboard tables and an outdoor space with a fire pit serve as community gathering spots.
  • BakeryIn addition to a selection of from-scratch baked goods, the Bridgewater store offers “take and bake” croissants, cookies, breads and pies. Local options also include treats from two New Jersey vendors: Keeping You Sweet gluten-free bakery in Hawthorne and Mo’Pweeze vegan bakery in Denville.
  • Local grocery offeringsShoppers will find dozens of local, Jersey-made brands such as Undercover Chocolate from East Hanover, Glenda’s Kitchen cookies from Atlantic Highlands and Juice Basin juices from Asbury Park. Local meat and seafood options include meats from Snoep Winkel Farm in Sussex County and local fish from New Jersey-based Trinity Seafood.
  • SpecialtyThis department features cheese, charcuterie, antipasti and chocolate, including a number of Jersey-made products such as Elements Truffles from Jersey City. The Bridgewater store also has Juice + Kombucha, an in-store tap system serving local beverage brands Pilot kombucha and Ripe juices.
  • Whole BodyThe store’s assortment of natural cosmetics and body care products include Pure+Fresh Beauty, an essential oils-based collection from Buffalo, New York.
  • Plant & PlateA new lifestyle shop dedicated to beauty, garden and home goods rooted in nature. Featured products include Hedley & Bennett aprons and local favorites such as Beaucycled jewelry and floral crafts from Hoboken, New Jersey and Brooklyn-New York based Apotheke candles. The shop also features pottery by Bridgewater’s own Keiko Inouye.

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