At the new Coddingtown Whole Foods store, you can find feng shui-enhancing crystals in the polished concrete floor, the fermented tea Kombucha on tap and more than 30 kinds of granola in clear, gravity-fed dispensers.
But the store also features 16 beers ready for dispensing at the white oak bar of the “Tap Room.” Customers can get sushi made fresh daily, as well as pizza, burritos, gelato and soft-serve Straus Family Creamery ice cream.
Whole Foods opens its latest market at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the shopping center in northwest Santa Rosa. But the store’s staff opened the doors Monday to give tours through the 50,000-square foot store.
The building, with a large arched entryway and tasteful stone columns on the mall’s north side, is a sight for sore eyes to Coddingtown merchants. They have been waiting for years for something that will draw more people to one of the city’s two enclosed shopping malls.
But as noted in a Sunday business story, the new Whole Foods store also means competition to existing supermarkets located in northwest Santa Rosa.
On Monday’s media tour, staff pointed out the new store’s gluten-free section for those allergic to wheat.
Staff also has put special signs marking local and regional products like the Eel River Brewing Company’s Amber Ale from Scotia. And customers can grind their own organic peanut butter, including a blend with chocolate chips.
“It is awesome,” store team leader Wes Walston said of the nut butter. “It’s a whole different experience.
The store’s 70-seat informal dining area connects to the shopping mall and the doors will remain open there during Coddingtown’s normal shopping hours, Walston said.
– Robert Digitale