Whole Foods Market is going big Wednesday to celebrate opening its new grocery store near Denver Union Station.
The natural and organic food provider out of Austin, Texas hired pedicab drivers to carry people to the new store. Once inside, Whole Foods Market customers should find live music, free snacks, coupons and ticket giveaways.
Whole Foods is scheduled to open 9 a.m. Wednesday at 1701 Wewatta St. Live music is planned from 10 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.; free pedicab rides to the store will be offered in Lower Downtown from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; and a live remote KBCO broadcast with ticket giveaways to “An Evening with The Lumineers” will go from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Five percent of opening day sales are pledged to support healthy food and sustainability in Denver Public Schools. Whole Foods Market also plans to donate customers’ 10-cent bag credits throughout the quarter to Denver Rescue Mission to support their Winter Needs drive.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock both checked out the new Whole Foods during a private preview Monday.
“I started a business almost 30 years, two blocks from here, just across what were empty freight yards with broken bottles and shards of glass everywhere and old tin cans,” Hickenlooper said.
The Democrat said he dreamed of seeing developments like Whole Foods come to the area and called the grocery store “a catalyst for the whole city of Denver.”
Hancock said, “Whole Foods is the perfect company and service provider for downtown Denver.”
The 50,000-square-foot store expected to employ 210 workers, including 75 from the store Whole Foods closed Saturday in Capitol Hill.
“We closed that space so we could open this store and we haven’t really put much time into what the next iteration of what Cap Hill is,” said Tom Rich, regional vice president of Whole Foods. “We love that property. We love that neighborhood. And we hope all the folks that shopped there will come here.”
The new store is one of five Whole Foods Market locations nationwide that will feature an Amazon pop-up store where customers can now shop for Amazon devices.
In June, Whole Foods Market was scooped up by the Seattle-based e-commerce behemoth Amazon.com Inc. The presence of the grocery chain’s new owner will be visible via a row of Amazon Lockers at the site. Under the new ownership, Whole Foods shoppers should also see more affordable prices than in previous years.
Subscribe to Denverite’s newsletter here.