The arrival of Whole Foods Market in Richmond has been one of the hottest topics on our forum over the past 18 months, partly because we expected it to open a year ago!
But it finally opens on Tuesday 8th October 2013 at 10am at 1-3 Lower George Street.
For those of you not familiar with Whole Foods, they are all about locally sourced, high quality, natural foods.
Imagine a supermarket selling everything from freshly baked bread and cakes, to meat, cheese and vegetables, to beers and wine. A place where you can grind your own peanut butter, grab a smoothie on your way to work, pick up breakfast, lunch or dinner – as well as some all natural beauty products.
The Richmond store also has an Organic Pharmacy, and all-natural ‘Health and Beauty’ section, a cafe, deli and a ‘mexi cue’ bar (I think this means ‘mexican food meets bbq’).
There’s been healthy debate on our site about the impact of big stores on our high streets, but Whole Foods seem to be doing their best to think local with 400 products sourced from within London and the ‘home counties’ and three Richmond Borough companies supplying the store at launch:
- Richmond honey – Fiona Dickson’s honey in nine different variants harvested from hives by the Thames
- Riverside Honey – Small batch honey made in Richmond
- Cookie Crumbles – Cookie mixes for children by family friendly company based in Mortlake
And they are also giving 1% of their profits to 5 local charities – Vineyard Church, Poppy Appeal – Royal British Legion, Orange Tree Theatre, Home Start and Avenue Club – Kew. We think that’s particularly great, and not something that many chains would do.
Plus of course, 120 local jobs.
“We are extremely excited to be opening here in Richmond upon Thames…. Richmond is a fantastic Borough with a close knit community. We have created 120 new jobs for local people and we’ve had brilliant support locally. We trust that will continue in the years to come.” – Larry Hadley, Store Team Leader
We’ve spoken to quite a few Richmond residents (perhaps even you?) and there really does seem to be general positivity about this new store. Many are just pleased that the site has been redeveloped, but quite a few people seem happy to have somewhere new to buy gluten, dairy, wheat and other allergen free foods.
Here’s a video of the opening