West Berkeley Whole Foods to open Nov. 4

An architectural rendering for the West Berkeley Whole Foods. Image: Field Paoli

An architectural rendering of the West Berkeley Whole Foods at 1011 and 1025 Gilman St. Image: Field Paoli

Whole Foods Market has announced the opening date for its new West Berkeley location on Gilman Street.

The 47,800-square-foot complex is scheduled to open on Gilman at 10th Street on Nov. 4, the company said Tuesday.

It’s the second Whole Foods location in Berkeley, and the 41st in the region. The company’s other Berkeley store is at Telegraph and Ashby avenues.

Read more about the new Gilman shopping district on Berkeleyside.

In addition to the 31,000-square-foot grocery store, the complex is slated to include a 1,666-square foot coffee roastery and 2,000 square feet of retail offices on site, according to project documents submitted earlier this year.

The grocery store, at 1025 Gilman, is expected to bring 180 to 200 new jobs to the area, said Jen Monaco, store team leader.

Jen Monaco, Whole Foods store team leader.

Jen Monaco, store team leader. Photo: Whole Foods

In the coming months, Monaco said she will be working on hiring that team, both from other Whole Foods stores in the region and from the community at large.

Monaco has worked for Whole Foods for 14 years, most recently as the team leader at the Haight Street store in San Francisco.

Those who have driven through the neighborhood may have seen a new traffic light on Gilman at Ninth Street. The signal was installed to help with circulation in the area and prevent back-ups. It is already in operation.

Beth Krauss, a spokeswoman for Whole Foods, said Tuesday morning that, as the opening date approaches, construction workers will be finishing out the store, adding in fixtures and shelving.

Krauss said Whole Foods is also developing its list of local vendors whose products will be offered at the new store. Berkeleyside will share that information when it is available.

The Whole Foods site in West Berkeley, prior to construction. Photo: Whole Foods

The Whole Foods site in West Berkeley, prior to construction. Photo: Whole Foods

The grocery store will move into the parcel that previously was occupied by Office Depot. The office supply store has moved across the street into a smaller location on the south side of Gilman. (Read more about West Berkeley neighborhood developments nearby in past Berkeleyside coverage.)

According to zoning materials submitted to the city of Berkeley in April, Whole Foods has requested an additional permit to allow more retail space and seating for a coffee roasting facility on site.

The grocery store itself would also sell beer and wine, and offer “instructional tasting” of alcoholic beverages, according to an application submitted in June to the city.

“Instructional tasting allows customers to learn more about beer and wine directly from growers and producers and provides valuable information while shopping for complementary food products,” according to the application. Tasting events will be scheduled and noticed in advance.

Beer and wine sales are expected to make up less than 5% of the store’s overall revenue, according to those documents.

Parking for 89 customers will be provided on site.

The store already has its own Facebook page and an entry on the company website, for those who want to connect as more information is added.

The Whole Foods complex in West Berkeley is made up of two addresses covering approximately 47,000 square feet. Image: Field Paoli

The Whole Foods complex in West Berkeley is made up of two addresses covering approximately 47,000 square feet. Image: Field Paoli

According to a statement released by Whole Foods, giving back to the community is a key part of the company’s mission. Since the grocery store opened in 1991, “shoppers have helped drive more than half a million dollars in donations to community and global nonprofits through store programs like Five Percent Days, (where five percent of a day’s earnings are donated to a community partner) and Nickels for Nonprofits (where shoppers can donate their bring-your-own bag refunds to charity), as well as fund and food drives.”

According to Whole Foods, community recipients have included the Berkeley Unified School District, Berkeley Food & Housing Project, Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society, The Ecology Center, The Edible Schoolyard, California Coastal Cleanup and the city’s Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Department, among others.

In a prepared statement, Monaco said there is a lot of excitement about opening the new store in Berkeley.

“What most excites me about this store is the community — it is family-focused, active in lifestyle … and conscious of health and responsible food systems,” said Monaco. “I believe with this new store, we can offer a new level of local support and compound the impact we’ve already had in Berkeley.”

Whole Foods confirms it will open second Berkeley store (02.13.13)
Whole Foods likely to open second store in Berkeley (11.21.12)

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  • dognose2

    BB is terrific as is Mont. Mark., but neither is ok for everyday grocs.

  • Guest

    How come?

  • guest

    Lots of perjoratives (idiot, fake, stupid), not much evidence (). Can you site 1 document that says how much money Albany would have gotten from this project? Google Maps gives a walking time from Albany Village to the new Whole Foods of 6 minutes. Pretty sure folks can walk there from the village. Maybe there is no point of building the Sprouts at all.

  • EBGuy

    It certainly would be interesting to do a survey to see if there is any customer overlap. I’m guessing Mi Tierra benefits when Grocery Outlet shuts down.

  • Chris J

    Akshully Berkeley Bowl West opened up and the ‘new’ store does more business than the original. It draws customers from all over the Bay Area for good reason–produce, quality, and selection. WF will possibly cannibalize other shops in the area.

  • guest

    The aisles are hopelessly clogged with oblivious people and their shopping carts?

  • OTF=asshats

    Can you site one single piece of evidence that “farming” on the empty lot where Whole Foods would have gone would have helped anyone with food security? Can you provide any evidence (at all) that farming on an empty lot full of asbestos and lead paint would be a good idea? Fake, stupid, and idiotic pretty much sums up Occupy the Farm.

  • Yogi Berra

    So, what you are saying is_ lemme get this straight_ no one wants to get their groceries at Monterey Market or Berkeley Bowl because too many people buy their groceries there?

  • guest

    Stopped reading right there.

  • Asshats = asshats

    Pretty grown-up name you’ve go there, feller.

  • Guest

    Classic! Please don’t present evidence that would make me contemplate anything other than far left politics. Berkeley is so enlightened.

  • guest

    No, nobody is saying that, just that it is annoying to shop there because of the crowds.

    Christ, the current meme-level obsession with that Berra quote is annoying.

  • Dude1883

    Wait – are you referring to the Groc Out on 4th St? It’s closing? I’ve not heard of this. That’s a shame.

  • guest

    The suggestions Mackay puts forth in that article would not solve anything. He is just blaming people for being sick due to their moral failings, and spewing Libertarian throw away lines. He also presents specious statistical arguments about his own employees health. His employees hardly represent a statistical cross section of our people. Read the whole article, and then walk to another store.

    In light of recent companies trying to avoid paying for birth control, this suggestion sounds particularly silly:

    Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover.

  • guest

    One piece of evidence of the value of urban gardens:


    “These gardens produced up to 40% of all the vegetable produce being consumed in the USA”

  • guest

    >Can you site 1 document that says how much money Albany would have gotten from this project?

    Whole Foods has about 350 stores and an annual revenue of $12 billion. How much would that have meant in sales tax for Albany? You do the math.

  • Guest

    YEAH – WHAT A LIBERTARIAN WHACK-0. What kind of lunatic would suggest people should be responsible for what they put into their bodies…

    Full text of his op-ed.

    With a projected $1.8 trillion deficit for 2009, several trillions more in deficits projected over the next decade, and with both Medicare and Social Security entitlement spending about to ratchet up several notches over the next 15 years as Baby Boomers become eligible for both, we are rapidly running out of other people’s money. These deficits are simply not sustainable. They are either going to result in unprecedented new taxes and inflation, or they will bankrupt us.

    While we clearly need health-care reform, the last thing our country needs is a massive new health-care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits and move us much closer to a government takeover of our health-care system. Instead, we should be trying to achieve reforms by moving in the opposite direction—toward less
    government control and more individual empowerment. Here are eight reforms that would greatly lower the cost of health care for everyone:

    • Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs).The combination of high-deductible health insurance and HSAs is one solution that could solve many of our health-care problems. For example,Whole Foods Market pays 100% of the premiums for all our team members who work 30 hours or more per week (about 89% of all team members) for
    our high-deductible health-insurance plan. We also provide up to $1,800 per year in additional health-care dollars through deposits into employees’ Personal Wellness Accounts to spend as they choose on their own health and wellness.

    Money not spent in one year rolls over to the next and grows over time. Our team members therefore spend their own health-care dollars until the annual deductible is covered (about $2,500) and the insurance plan kicks in. This creates incentives to spend the first $2,500 more carefully. Our plan’s costs are much lower
    than typical health insurance, while providing a very high degree of worker satisfaction.

    • Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits. Now employer health insurance benefits are fully tax deductible, but individual health insurance is not. This is unfair.

    • Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines.We should all have the legal right to purchase health insurance from any insurance company in any state and we should be able use that insurance wherever we live. Health insurance should be portable.

    • Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover. These mandates have increased the cost of health insurance by billions of dollars. What is insured and what is not insured should be determined by individual customer preferences and not through special-interest lobbying.

    • Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. These costs are passed back to us through much higher prices for health care.

    • Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost. How many people know the total cost of their last doctor’s visit and how that total breaks down? What other goods or services do we buy without knowing how much they will cost us?

    • Enact Medicare reform.We need to face up to the actuarial fact that Medicare is heading towards bankruptcy and enact reforms that create greater patient empowerment, choice and responsibility.

    • Finally, revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren’t covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

    Many promoters of health-care reform believe that people have an intrinsic ethical right to health care—to equal access to doctors, medicines and hospitals. While all of us empathize with those who are sick, how can we say that all people have more of an intrinsic right to health care than they haveto food or shelter?

    Health care is a service that we all need, but just like food and shelter it is best provided through voluntary and mutually beneficial market exchanges. A careful reading of both the
    Declaration of Independence and the Constitution will not reveal any intrinsic right to health care, food or shelter. That’s because there isn’t any. This “right” has never existed in America

    Even in countries like Canada and the U.K., there is no intrinsic right to health care. Rather, citizens in these countries are told by government bureaucrats what health-care treatments they are eligible to receive and when they can receive them. All countries with socialized medicineration health care by forcing their citizens to wait in lines to receive scarce treatments.

    Although Canada has a population smaller than California, 830,000 Canadians are currently waiting to be admitted
    to a hospital or to get treatment, according to a report last month in Investor’s Business Daily. In England, the waiting list is 1.8 million.

    At Whole Foods we allow our team members to vote on what benefits they most want the company to fund. Our Canadian and British employees express their benefit preferences very clearly—they want supplemental health-care dollars that they can control and spend themselves without permission from their governments. Why would they want such additional health-care benefit dollars if they already have an “intrinsic right to health care”? The answer is clear—no such right truly exists in either
    Canada or the U.K.—or in any other country.

    Rather than increase government spending and control, we need to address the root causes of poor health. This begins with the realization that every American adult is responsible for his or her own health.

    Unfortunately many of our health-care problems are self-inflicted: two-thirds of Americans are now overweight and one-third are obese. Most of the diseases that kill us and account for about 70% of all health-care spending—heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and obesity—are mostly preventable through
    proper diet, exercise, not smoking, minimal alcohol consumption and other healthy lifestyle choices.

    Recent scientific and medical evidence shows that a diet consisting of foods that are plant-based, nutrient dense and low-fat will help prevent and often reverse most degenerative diseases that kill us and are expensive to treat. We should
    be able to live largely disease-free lives until we are well into our
    90s and even past 100 years of age.

    Health-care reform is very important. Whatever reforms are enacted it is essential that they be financially responsible, and that we have the freedom to choose doctors and the health-care services that best suit our own unique set of lifestyle choices. We are all responsible for our own lives and our own health. We should take that responsibility very seriously and use our
    freedom to make wise lifestyle choices that will protect our health. Doing so will enrich our lives and will help create a vibrant and sustainable American society.

    Mr. Mackey is co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market Inc.

  • berkeleyborn

    With whole foods prices, how can anyone consider doing their full shopping there? Toilet paper from whole foods? What happened to the Berkeley of my childhood where people had values and celebrated the small business? Please support local and don’t let Tokyo fish, Berkeley natural grocery suffer. Not sure why people slam dollar store. Do you think the homeless who are served by the shelter, live in campers on Harrison, and take their shopping carts full of cans to the recycling center will buy their food at who!e foods? They buy food and supplies at the dollar store and coffee that doesn’t cost $3.00 at happy donuts. What happened to urban planning.our mayor, who let’s not forget stole daily cal newspaper s because he didn’t like their editorial, is turning an area zoned for industrial use (part of whole foods building was zoned industrial but city let them in if they do some coffeeroasring), houses homeless and garbage services, with bad street and freeway access info another yuppie shopping area. Why not extend 4th street up university ave? Let’s protect our local businesses. (Also, I have operated business for 4 decades on this corridor and the steel mill doesn’t stink, it also employs over 100 people and 60 local businesses provide services to it.) Check out webaic, west Berkeley artisans and industrial companies to learn what is really going on for small companies in west Berkeley. ,http://www.webaic.org/webaic/About_Webaic.html

  • berkeleyborn

    The mayor wants to develop restaurants and retail.anti manufacturing. He doesn’t care that this only makes min. Wage jobs as he agrees that people who live here don’t work here. Need non minimum wage jobs to have workers afford housing. My employees made high 5 figures and our business was displaced by minimum wage retail that offers city retail tax revenues. Need balance and economuc development planning, not just minimum wage cappuccino workers.

  • Gusted

    As far as I know, Grocery Outlet is not moving its store but has moved its headquarters to Emeryville. But repeat a rumor often enough and it becomes true.

  • EBGuy

    The Grocery Outlet Store is NOT moving (as you say, just the HQ moved to Oakland). It is being being DEMOLISHED and replaced by apartments (over a much smaller retail space). You just need to walk by the store to see the posted Yellow Boards. More information on the city website or you can check out this Planet link.

  • EBGuy

    Sigh, yes, just HQ moved to Emeryville as you said. Oh, for a copy editor…

  • Chris J

    Wednesdays are the easiest shopping days in terms of getting around. I’m in BBWest nearly every day (I work there) and even if I weren’t, I was a regular shopper there before I worked there. It’s not THAT crowded in the aisles, though the checkout lines can get crazy at times.

  • disqus_S1ql48Vi9i

    Gilman is gonna get effin’ gnarly around rush hour.

  • disqus_S1ql48Vi9i

    The point is that you can get them all in one place, instead of fighting traffic to go to 7 different artisanal grocers. That’s fun once in a while but c’mon.

  • disqus_S1ql48Vi9i

    The problem is, BNG doesn’t have the marketing clout and social media savvy you need to succeed in this particular foodie market IMO.

  • Saumitra

    I seriously doubt Tokyo Fish Market will be affected by WF. I go there twice a week and Monterey Market twice a week. Somehow, it strikes me that the crowd at both these places are unlikely to shift their loyalty. Plus, WF will never have the same quality fish nor the same things that Tokyo Fish sells.

  • jen monaco

    Jen here. Thanks for the note, and for your support of this new store! We’re still finalizing logistics, including store hours, but all that info will be published before the opening. We’ll definitely have a security team for the store, too. I look forward to meeting you!

  • Lin Brand

    I am more inclined to think about the impact on local restaurants and takeout places. I shop by bike, and will continue to go to TJ, MM, Magnani’s, for most of my needs (with a monthly Costco trip). But – I can see heading over to WF when I don’t feel like cooking and I want a pre-made meal. The El Cerrito NG has done extremely well with their food area; their parking is impossible now. Our local grocery establishments don’t really have much in the way of pre-made meals (Andronico’s does, but it is not very diversified, same stuff all the time). As long as WF has enough bike rack space, they might be on my list once a week, maybe when I am scoring at Donut Dolly!!!

  • princessofpriobiotics

    Not nearly enough parking. Whatever city planner that approved that dinky parking lot must be getting a kick back.