Whole Foods Market opens New York store

The 50,000-square-foot store is the first for the Amazon-owned grocery chain in Rochester, New York.
Connor Perrett
A display of local New York products in a Whole Foods Market store.
  • Whole Foods has opened a new location in a suburb of Rochester, New York. 
  • The 50,000 square features products from around 500 local sources.
  • Amazon is grappling with its brick-and-mortar grocery formats, but has had success with Whole Foods Market.

Whole Foods has opened a new 50,000-square-foot store in Rochester, New York, the first in the area for the Amazon-owned grocer. 

The new store opened on April 12, according to a release. The store offers more than 500 items from local New York sources, an effort spearheaded by John Lawson, Whole Foods Market’s Northeast regional local forager, the release said. One local supplier is Oliver’s Organic Eggs, which was also awarded a $65,000 low-interest loan from Whole Foods Market’s Local Loan Producer Program to build a new hen house to support the new Whole Foods store.

Local produce will come from Agbotic Farms, Intergrow, Stick and Stone Farm, and Hudson River Fruit, the release said. The Rochester Whole Foods Market will offer dairy products from Family Farmstead Dairy and Old Chatham Chatham Creamery. Other local suppliers include Joe Bean, Bold & Gritty, Rubino’s Italian Foods, Bozza’s, Village Bakery and Katboocha, according to the release.

“We’re thrilled to open our doors to the local community as we enter the city of Rochester for the first time,” said Nicole Davia, Whole Foods Market’s regional president for the Northeast region, in the release. “Through our knowledgeable team members, high-quality standards and hand-picked selection of local to Western and Central New York products, we look forward to serving our new neighbors and introducing them to a shopping experience unlike anywhere else!”

The store features a mid-century modern design meant to tie into the community’s relation to photography. (Kodak was founded in and is headquartered in Rochester.) The store will also offer an array of products and services common in Whole Foods Market stores, including products from its private label 365 by Whole Foods Market brand. The store will also have a bakery, full-service seafood and meat counters, and a prepared food section with a hot bar, salad bar, soup station, rotisserie chicken, pizza, sushi, salads and sandwiches. 

Other features include Za’atar, Whole Foods Market's Mediterranean-inspired restaurant concept serving salads and grain bowls, and its Whole Body assortment of seasonal and experiential beauty and care products, the release said. 

The opening comes as Amazon grapples with its brick-and-mortar grocery strategy. As Retail Leader recently reported, the e-commerce giant remains committed to finding the best strategy to scale even as it scales back its ambitions in its Amazon Fresh concept. While Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said growth at Whole Foods Market has been promising, he implied the organic- and natural-focused grocer wasn’t the best format to scale more broadly.

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