Whole Foods In Asheville Nc

Whole Foods In Asheville Nc – ASHEVILLE – Asheville’s new Whole Foods will occupy the former South Asheville Earth Fare store, with an opening date of Dec. 8, according to Jenna Selig, Whole Foods corporate information specialist.

The new 38,000-square-foot store at 1856 Hendersonville Road will feature more than 2,500 local products from more than 400 local suppliers, according to a news release.

Whole Foods In Asheville Nc

Many of these are new to Whole Foods Market, including direct-trade coffee from Incite Coffee Company, locally brewed, roasted and spiced Spicewalla and Sunshine Sammies ice cream sandwiches.

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This Whole Foods has a butcher shop for homemade sausages, cured meats and a variety of locally sourced meats, including grass-fed beef from Hickory Nut Gap Meats.

Like most Whole Foods of its size, there is also a bakery section, a health and beauty section, and a specialty foods section with a variety of cheeses and chocolates, including products from Three Graces Dairy and French Broad Chocolate.

Whole Foods has two other locations in Asheville, including a smaller store on Merrimon Road and another in East Asheville on Tunnel Road, which is about the same size as this new store.

Store opening hours are not yet available. Call the store at 828-378-0477 or visit www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/southashevileat later for more information.

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Mackenzie Lunsford has lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and has been a staff writer for the Asheville Citizen Times since 2012. Lunsford is a former professional chef and one-time restaurant owner. strong competition. However, the battle for money and consumer attention is reaching a new level in Asheville, especially among local and environmental food vendors.

In 2013 alone, stores opened in the area, including a Trader Joe’s and Harris Teeter on Merrimon Road, an 80,000-square-foot English in Mills River, the exclusive Katuah Market in Biltmore Village and advertising for half a dozen other stores. come on Whole Foods opened its second Asheville store this week. The natural foods grocer, which had $13 billion in sales last year, bought Greenlife Grocery in Merrimon in 2010.

In an environment where demand for natural, organic and local products is high, stores need to get the culture right to succeed.

According to the Nutrition Business Journal, organic sales reached $35 billion nationally in 2014. According to the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, WNC consumers earned more than $170 million from local produce in 2013, a 42 percent increase over the previous year.

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“I don’t have any documentation on it, but I know a lot about the industry,” said John Swann, owner of Katuah Market, an independent grocer in Biltmore Village, and founder of Greenlife. “And no other city the size of Asheville in the country has the competition we have in natural foods.”

Asked why her company decided to build a second store here, Jennifer Wozniak, area marketing specialist for Whole Foods Market, said the locations were chosen based on property, population and income. It also takes into account the preference for natural and organic food.

Wozniak said Whole Foods Market Asheville and Greenlife Grocery Asheville source products from 40 to 50 WNC suppliers, with 25 percent of produce and 10 to 30 percent of packaged goods coming from local producers. In 2013, Whole Foods Market purchased more than $7.8 million in produce from North Carolina suppliers.

But Whole Foods isn’t limiting the local market either. In general, that section belongs to English Markets.

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“No one in Western North Carolina sells local produce like we do, and we’ve been doing it for years,” said English CFO Ron Freeman. “We buy as much local food as we can, not only in Buncombe County, but in all of our 201 stores in six states.”

English has 18 stores in Buncombe County, totaling more than one million square feet. Many projects in Buncombe County are in various stages of planning, delivery and preliminary construction, Freeman said.

Laura Lynn and Harvest Farms have labeled organic milk as locally produced by Ingles’ Milkco group, and local ingredients “are in every department,” Freeman said. “I don’t have exact numbers on the number of customers, easily over a hundred, and the total dollars spent, but our products alone sell millions of pounds of local clothing annually.”

Earth Fare has long targeted locals, though questions about their sales and the future of the growing store remain unanswered.

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For the Katuah market, Swann buys from 178 local vendors and about 23 percent of the store’s total sales are local produce.

“At Greenlife, it’s 5 percent, so local food is four times that,” he said.

As Swann spoke, Whole Foods’ newest 30,000-square-foot store was celebrating its grand opening two miles away. Swann and his staff prepare for the downsizing, but find that Kathua’s business is turning into a “bandit attack”.

In his view, the focus on locals is something that sets Katuah apart from larger stores. And with the restaurant’s strong lunch and dinner sales, its business will increase, he said.

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“I don’t see people going to Tunnel Road for lunch,” he said. “I don’t think about the customer, I don’t think it’s good for the customers. That’s not where people in my world want to go.”

Watching Whole Foods creep into its space is nothing new for Swann. He was a minority shareholder in Greenlife Grocery when Whole Foods bought the store in 2010. He said the deal was negotiated without his knowledge between Whole Foods and former owner Chuck Pruitt, who also owned Greenlife Chattanooga at the time.

“From my point of view, it’s a bad perception,” he said. “It wasn’t what I thought. I wasn’t thinking about selling the business, I’d be happy as a chick to stay at Greenlife.”

When a Whole Foods opens around the corner, that’s less of a concern, Swann said. “Obviously, I’m always worried when the competition increases,” he said. But this time there are no downloads.

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Swann said he’s targeting other independent grocers, such as French Broad Food Co-Op and West Village Market, because they have a niche as a local, mom-and-pop store that carries the “no frills.”

“Looks like we’re going to fight them,” Swann said. “Local community shops and large multinationals. We have great relationships with other small shops in Asheville and mutual support and respect.”

With so much competition, how can Whole Foods get a bigger bite out of the local grocery market? One way is to provide incentives through the Local Producer Loan Program, which provides loans to small, independent producers to help them expand their businesses. Three Asheville purveyors, Buchi, Roots and Smiling Hara Tempeh, have been awarded the Local Producer Credit Program.

But Swann said some Whole Foods policies, such as requiring local grocers to produce enough produce to serve Whole Foods stores in their area, exclude some manufacturers.

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“We are more able to handle smaller orders and smaller businesses that don’t have transportation or the ability to make a large profit,” he said. “We’re better for smaller operators who don’t have the ability to work in bigger stores.”

David Rogers, food industry analyst and president of Illinois-based DSR Marketing, said Whole Foods has also done a good job of positioning itself as a local supporter and has done a lot in the market to expand natural demand. foods. And this benchmark goes a long way.

However, he believes the explosive growth of natural and organic foods is slowing, at least in high-end stores. “I think it depends on the price,” he said. “Until the economy grows and people are wealthy, they will continue to be cautious about spending their food dollars.”

However, according to him, the value options of the store are increasing. “Obviously, Whole Foods is a symbol of the high-wage, you know, whole-wage problem,” he said. Even stores like Walmart and Target have started carrying organic brands, he said. “It’s very elegant.”

New Whole Foods Market In South Asheville To Open Dec. 8

“They’re not delusional, and I don’t think they’ll be in the health food industry as they leave,” Swan said. “Wait until Walmart and Target think twice. The picture will change.”

But Swann said his hero doesn’t care about raters. When people ask him about his prices, he replies: “If you want to eat cheap, there are many options.”

Asheville said there are many opportunities for marketers to offer a different perspective on the same topic and stay in business.

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