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After years of planning and delays, Whole Foods Gowanus finally opens today. Racked NY Associate Editor Nicola Fumo is on the scene for this morning's bread breaking ceremony, which will be followed by giveaways, special sales, and plenty of other festivities. See her account below.
8:15am: Here she is! Whole foods Brooklyn day one. It's snowing and the sidewalks are being salted with diligence.
8:20am: Prominently placed in the entrance is a big red sale sign. Maybe trying to shed the "whole paycheck" vibe for the new neighborhood? Regarding the slight delay: "We've gotta wait for Marty."
8:21am: Hot cider! Scones! Coconut water? I spy a juice bar called Juice & Etc.
8:22am: Marty update: On 8th Avenue, less than ten minutes away.
8:25am: There are custom logo loaves for the bread breaking ceremony. The free coffee cups in the press area are bigger than the free coffee cups in the public area. A handful of civilians are out front sipping hot cider from tiny cups. The store opens to the public at 9am.
8:28am: The bread will be cut with bare hands! Or broken. Broken with bare hands. "We go for the challah—it's soft."
8:30am: Employees are starting clap chants. As of right now, there's only about 20 to 30 people here, besides press. Lots of press.
8:32am: Marty is here! "Look at all the hungry Brooklynites here. My God, you'd think you hadn't eaten in a year." A rep adds: "Ten years in the making, the first Whole Foods market in Brooklyn." Five percent of spring sales will go toward the Gowanus Canal Conservancy. Gowanus Canal Conservancy guy has bright red glasses.
Revealing Marty's plaque
8:34am: From the Gowanus Canal Conservancy: "You won't be able to purchase any of the Gowanus sludge in the Local Purveyors section of this market." And also: "Thank you Whole Foods and welcome to Brooklyn's coolest superfund site."
8:42am: Marty: "Trek to Manhattan no longer! It's right here. I'm the borough's president and Foodie in Chief."
8:53am: In goes the crowd! People are already impatient.
9:00am: "Let's go seafood!"—the seafood team.
9:01am: One guy screaming: "GULF SHRIMP! ELEVEN NINTEY NINE A POUND!"
9:02am: "How much are those lobster tails?" "TWO FOR TEN!" "How much?!" "TWO FOR TEN!!!!" There is a strong Lil' Jon influence in the seafood department.
9:05am: Coffee guy touting the roasting in-house: "You can't get any more local than your local grocery store." This is the first Whole Foods to have this large of a roaster.
9:07am: People are lined up ten deep at the Allegro cafe, despite the free coffee in the lobby.
9:14am: On my way to check out The Roof indoor/outdoor bar/restaurant now. But first, more pictures.
Localized beverage selection
Guilt trip signage
The Gotham Greens roof
9:20am: People are legit grocery shopping. There are three aisles devoted to Whole Body. The lighting is brighter in this area.
9:21am: LOTS of refrigerated probiotics for kids. Are Brooklyn children backed up? There's also non-toxic children's nail polish. Children's. Nail. Polish.
9:22am: There are four sections called "Face Care" and two called "Value Face Care."
9:25am: Chatting with a Gowanus local who's pumped to have an alternative to Pathmark. So far, the giveaways have been a little weak. Just cheese and grapefruit, from what I saw.
9:30am: Finally made it to the roof!
9:40am: Back downstairs. Here's a look at the Brooklyn uniforms.
9:45am: And the last of the bread.
· Whole Foods Gowanus Almost Done, Very Active On Social Media [Racked NY]
· The Gowanus Whole Foods Will be Topped With a Rooftop Farm [Racked NY]
· All Whole Foods Gowanus Coverage [Racked NY]