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Whole Foods’ New 365 Store Brings Cheaper And Healthy Food To Fort Greene

Whole Foods attempts to shed its high priced image with a new Brooklyn store.

By Jeff Vasishta January 23, 2017
Photo courtesy of Reuters

“Whole Foods, Whole Pay Check,” is the saying associated with the pricey upscale organic supermarket chain. In an effort to promote itself as a place for all society’s strata to shop, the company is opening its lower priced store in one of Brooklyn’s most visible locations. The base of 300 Ashland Place, the new 35-story tower next to the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Fort Greene near the Barclays Center, will be the location for the new “365 by Whole Foods Market”.

After paying a fortune in rent to live in the neighborhood which has undergone an explosive building boom in recent years, residents could use a break on groceries—especially healthy ones.

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“It’s a cultural area that sees a lot of traffic around it,” said Jeff Turnas, president of 365 by Whole Foods Market. Two Trees Management, who has developed and manages the tower in which the new store will be located, told the Wall Street Journal that they had Whole Foods in mind even before a lease was signed. It fits in with their concept of 50,000 square feet of space dedicated to cultural experiences. Neighbors in the space will include four BAM Cinema screens, a branch of the Brooklyn Public Library and the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts. The store is expected to open in early 2018.

Many supermarkets, particularly in the UK, have smaller grocery stores on city streets geared to the shop and go customer. A typical 365 store has a no-frills design, analysts say, and is between 25,000 and 30,000 square feet. The Brooklyn store, by contrast, will occupy about 43,000 square feet on two levels. The store’s primary market will obviously be the residential tower in which it is housed. Shoppers won’t have far to go—the Gowanus store on 3rd Street and 3rd Avenue is nearby.

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Competition from other stores is also plentiful. Trader Joe’s is expanding its footprint in Brooklyn. The grand-daddy of all Brooklyn healthy grocery shopping, The Park Slope Food Coop, continues to do a roaring business for members dedicated to work a two and 3/4 hour shift every four weeks for discounted organic produce. For those with transportation, the Fairway supermarket in Red Hook is yet another option.

Still, given the amount of foot traffic that Brooklyn attracts these days, there’s definitely enough customers to keep farmers field and supermarket shelves full—regardless of the location.

Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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