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.”

Related:
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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