Whole Foods will be opening their new 45,000 square foot store in Fairfield, CT, tomorrow, Friday, June 3. This is one of just a couple of their stores to feature a full-time cooking coach, in this case Michelle Ryan, to help you with cooking problems and ideas. She will be right there among the bulk ingredient displays and ready to demonstrate how to do things and make helpful suggestions. During our media briefing visit she was making and handing out sample granola bars.
In addition, authors Amanda Hesser and Meryl Stubbs of Food52.com were there to demonstrate their recipe sharing site and also discuss Whole Foods’ new social network recipe and cooking information site wholefoodsmarketcooking.com. The Fairfield version of this site will go live Friday allowing local cooks to ask questions and share recipes, and compete for prizes for original recipes.
On opening day, Whole Foods will donate 5% of net sales to Wholesome Wave, a Bridgeport organization dedicated to providing nutritious food by increasing access in low income communities. For example they have a program to double food support payments if spent at Farmer’s Markets.
The bulk foods section is a unique feature, taking us back the old General Store, where you can buy a huge number of products, such as grains and flours in bulk, by the pound. Some of the dispensers for these products are shown in the slide show.
Whole Foods stores have 2000-2500 organic products in stock and products in their 365 house brand are organic and GMO free.
Surprisingly, this store has a large selection of dry-aged beef, shown in their meat drying locker in the accompanying slide show.
In addition, the store grinds and makes it own sausage, breads, pizza, gelato and potato chips, and most products are available to taste before buying. All are shown in the slide show.
You will also find a large variety of imported cheese, and a large number of beers available by the single bottle, so you can make up your own six packs.
This new Whole Foods is one of just a few that is nearly totally powered by a 400 Kw hydrogen fuel cell behind the store, provided by UTC Power. The fuel source for the fuel cell is methane gas which is catalytically converted to hydrogen and carbon and used to generate electricity much more efficiently than conventional hydrocarbon combustion. The fuel cell is sufficient to power the entire store should there be an electrical power failure: it can remain open.
As usual, Whole Foods provides a large selection of excellent groceries, as well as an entertaining and delicious experience. They demonstrated their new Whole Foods food van with a self-contained kitchen, that will be available at the Fairfield store, and then to any of the Connecticut stores for local promotions.
But we liked the cooking coach idea the best.
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