You may remember a post from years ago where I talked about Trader Joe’s coming to The Woodlands and pleading with Whole Foods to open a market on the north side, Whole Foods Market Champions Forrest. Then in June of 2012 I went to the Trader Joe’s opening day and shared about it here, again with a plea to Whole Foods to steal some of the market share from Trader Joe’s and build closer to our side of Spring. Then on October of 2012 I posted about a little sign less than a mile from my house on the corner of a wooded area “Whole Foods Market Coming Soon”. I like to think they heard my pleas, at least, we’ll pretend they did.
If you follow me on instagram you’ve seen pictures over the last two years of the progress going on in that little corner. It’s been a long time coming. Issa was about the size of an avocado in my belly when I first spotted that little sign. But today, today something magical happened. Bill, Issa (who is now quite a bit larger than an avocado), a few of our neighbor friends and I all went to a preview of the new store, and let me say, it was worth the wait. It’s beautiful, you know, if you’re like me and well designed grocery stores with an excellent selection of local, organic and healthy products really excites you.
The Whole Foods Market Champions officially opens this Wednesday, June 25, 2014. You should check it out. But if you can’t make it or are just way too excited here’s a whole lot of pictures and some details on what the new store has to offer.
I love everything about the design of this store, the colors are fantastic, everything is very spread out and there’s tons of space. It’s HUGE in comparison to some of the other stores (especially the Kirby store, which is the one we normally frequent). Throughout the preview they had samples of Whole Foods items like the in-store smoked brisket above as well as lots of really cool products from local vendors.
The bulk candy wall is really fun, and dangerous because it’s right across from the produce. Calories and sugar aside, it’s really pretty to look at. The rest of the bulk goods area is very open and it’s huge, which means no fighting people to get what you need when they stand there staring blankly at the options.
Supporting organic farmers…I’m really for this but I also love the typography throughout the design of the store. Very pretty.
Above is Green Plate Foods, a local Houston, TX company sampling their Nubblers, a simple five ingredient raw, vegan, dried fruit snack. This was our first time trying these and we are really big fans, they’re going to be a new household staple.
Like most other Whole Foods locations there’s a great beer and wine selection, but there is also a good sized bar. We had a great chat with the general manager of the new store and she said there will be wine and beer tastings and cheese pairings. I’m excited.
Also above are three more local vendors. (From left to right…) Enfusia which is based out of The Woodlands, TX, they make really lovely (and vegan) bath products. Then there is Wrights of Texas from Katy, TX who make really good salsa. I’ve been a huge fan of their green salsa for years, it has cucumber in it, it sounds weird. Trust me, it’s delicious. Last is Kickin’ Kombucha, made here in Houston. It’s the only kombucha I drink. The Everyberry Hibiscus is my favorite but I tried The Goodness today and it was also really good.
Inside the new Champions Whole Foods is an awesome coffee bar. I need to talk about the design above. I’m 99% sure that’s a shipping container. They had tons of these sitting in the parking lot during the building process. I’d like to think they used one of those. Even if they didn’t, I love the design.
In the wide shot above, near the top right corner you can see the very cool seating area. There’s also an outdoor patio up there. I’m looking forward to enjoying coffee and sushi up there. Speaking of sushi, it was really really good as well.
Can you spot Bill and Issa in the photo above?
I was watching a Bobby Flay something or another, or maybe it was Alton Brown on Food Network. They were talking about cheese and after listing all these things about buying the right cheese, they said, “or you can just ask your cheesemonger”. And I thought to myself, “I don’t think I have a cheesemonger, but I now feel like I should”. The cheese section at this new Whole Foods is beautiful, and while I’m not sure if they have an official cheesemonger, I’m pretty sure those folks behind the counter know a whole heck of a lot about cheese. And for cheese lovers like myself, that’s exciting news.
Above are two other vendors eppa sangria, which happens to be the only American made all organic sangria. We also chatted with the very sweet folks from Smart Flour Foods who make gluten free foods like pizza from ancient grains (not rice flour) and they actually taste quite good. If you’ve ever gotten the gluten free pizza from Mellow Mushroom you’ve had smart flour foods. Very tasty.
And to finish up this very long post here’s a shot of my sweet girl with her Kickin’ Kombucha sticker and the sudden torrential rains that came along right as we were about to leave. I guess we were in the 20% chance of rain area cause it poured something fierce.
When we were talking to the manager she mentioned how it was stressed to her that this was going to be a family store. We’re looking forward to checking out kids workshops, the kids play area and even some of the adult workshops and tastings. Thank you Whole Foods Market for coming to the neighborhood, we’re really excited you’re here.