I was able to get a sneak peak at a new store opening soon. 365 by Whole Foods Market is opening up next to Bell Square. Not only next to, but adjoining! So you can walk from the mall into the store. There were so many great ideas packed in, I tried to get as many written down as possible. It will be opening on Wednesday, September 14th at 9am, and worth a look!
All the wine lined up for us and the rosé looking so pretty!
This is the third store 365 is opening with this concept. It is a condensed version of Whole Foods. The impression I got was an awesome grocery store (I admit I wish I could shop at Whole Foods every day) but with a “convenience store” make over. There is a lot less in the store than a typical Whole Foods, it’s not there to compete with Whole Foods, just giving people the option of something quick and easy, but still healthy!
Me with my cute cooler cart I received for attending the tour.
What is there is the brand we know from Whole Foods: 365, and usually one or two others for various products. The idea is to get in, find what you want and get out. Natanya Anderson, the Senior Director of Marketing for 365 by Whole Foods, gave us the tour and mentioned that some mall employees only had half an hour for lunch. Now they have somewhere to go for a healthy food option quickly.
That made me think, for someone like me who has spent the morning shopping at the mall. I don’t want to drive somewhere else for lunch, especially through Bellevue – all those roadworks and traffic lights – and then somewhere else for dinner that evening. Just because I go to the mall doesn’t mean I want greasy fast food for lunch either. There are “what’s for dinner” refrigerators to give you ideas of what to get for later. And salad and soup bars for lunch now.
Rows of prepackaged meals for dinner in the “What’s for dinner” refrigerators.
The shop has 3 main sections, fresh produce; pre-package; and grocery. The pre-packaged foods, also had “grab n go” style meals. Fresh produce had salads and veggies pre-cut. Pre-package also had meats portioned out so you could cook what you want today, and freeze the rest.
I didn’t get to see the prices, yet, so I’m curious to see how that will pan out, but I know time is something that is difficult to put a price on. After a day at the mall, it’ll be great to have a place I can get a grab and go meal.
Having a child on a specific diet I’m always on the look-out for alternative foods. It often seems like we’re the ones who don’t have fast food options, and making things from scratch everyday gets old, so I did notice, and Natanya did point out that they do have the options of dairy free, gluten free, etc foods.
To make pricing easier, foods are priced per item and salads, etc are priced per size so you’re not surprised at the check out (only pleasantly, Natanya hopes).
4 awesome gadgets they have:
1. A kiosk where you can order 3 types of food: Hot dogs; tacos; and pizza – which they will cook there for you! Yay!
teaBot. A cute machine by “teaBot” – you buy your own tea right there as you walk in, to drink as you shop.
2. teaBot: To buy a cup of tea and drink as you shop
3. Weigh your own food – to get the barcode, which makes for quicker check out time. Or the cashier will weigh it for you.
4. “Delectable” where you can scan your wine and get options to have with it. They had an impressive wine selection – a lot of options under $20, as well as beer and spirits!
A few more things to note, in addition to what you’ll see in the store now: They have a loyalty program where you can get 10% off end cap grocery items, a punch card for some products and savings on what you buy frequently. Wild Ginger, a sit down café, will be opening up in store mid-October. Lastly, but certainly not least!, the Allegro Coffee bus will be open in store to grab your cuppa!
The yummy tacos we got to sample on our tour.