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AUSTIN, Texas -- Whole Foods Market is opening its largest San Francisco unit to date today in the Potrero Hill district -- complete with the company's first mini spa and a street-side café called Market Bistro.
"We designed the store with several new innovations and features that we feel our customers will find fun and exciting," noted Anthony Gilmore, Northern California regional president for Whole Foods, in a statement.
The official opening of the Potrero Hill Whole Foods Market will kick off with a bread-breaking ceremony this morning at 8:45, before the doors open at 9. Throughout the opening day, Whole Foods will treat shoppers to a celebration featuring a guest appearance by renowned Bay Area Chef Paul Bertolli, local musical entertainment, food samples, and complimentary, reusable Whole Foods Market Green Bags given to the first 1,000 customers with a $25 or more purchase.
Additionally, there will be a raffle for a giant gift basket filled with a variety of products from Whole Foods Market's family of house brands ($500 value). All funds raised will benefit the San Francisco Food Bank.
The new store includes a street-side, dine-in Market Bistro (first of its kind at Whole Foods) offering made-to-order foods including sandwiches, soups, salads, flat bread pizzas, light entrée, and ice cream. Local beer (including Potrero Hill's Anchor Steam) and wine will be available by the glass, as well as a full-service coffee bar featuring Whole Foods Market's own Allegro coffee. The lower-level venue will also include live DJ music in the evenings, featuring the sounds of soul, jazz, funk, salsa, and reggae, as well as free wireless Internet access.
The Spa by Whole Foods Market, located in the Whole Body department, is the company's first mini spa, while a larger version exists in one of the stores in Dallas. The spa will feature an on-site nutritionist, naturopathic doctor, estheticians, and massage therapists. Services will include massage, waxing, facials, makeup consultation and application, and personal nutrition and wellness consultations.
Whole Foods said that environmentally-friendly building materials were used "extensively" in the construction of the new store, including tile made from 50 percent post-consumer and post-industrial waste, recycled glass, bamboo, recycled steel, low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint, concrete made with fly ash, and marmoleum, a natural, biodegradable linoleum product. In addition, the barstools and chairs in the Market Bistro and Whole Body department are made of 80 percent recycled leather that comes from cuttings and remnants from the leather fashion industry, including handbags, shoes and jackets.
Whole Foods said it has purchased enough clean, renewable American wind energy credits to offset 100 percent of the electricity used in the store, and waste will be minimized through store composting and recycling programs.