Rapidly expanding grocery store chain Whole Foods is set to open its tenth store in The Woodlands at 1925 Hughes Landing on March 18 at 8 a.m. It's the first one in that area.
It has several of the same features as Whole Foods' most recently opened stores, including a beer bar with 24 taps. Wine will also be available, as well as a menu featuring food from the other store departments, such as cheese and charcuterie. The bar has an interesting nostalgic feature. The seats are made from wood reclaimed from the decks of trucks that traveled on Route 66.
In addition to the seating area at the bar, there's also a big lounge area at the front of the store for customers to eat, drink and relax. Free Wi-FI is available, making it an ideal hangout for people who want to work on their laptops and tablets while they're visiting.
There's a coffee bar with a unique espresso machine. Rather than a bulky machine that blocks off the view of the baristas, it's a Modbar setup in which most of the working components are beneath the counter. Only the shiny chrome taps are on top, leaving employees and customers free to see each other and chat.
The meat department features a wood smoker for making barbecued beef ribs, brisket and pork butt. Customers can also request to have their choice of meat, like salmon and turkey, smoked at the store.
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A big oven near the charcuterie section can bake pizzas in 90 seconds. There's also a build-your-own taco bar and in-house-made guacamole.
As at all Whole Foods, a personal shopper service is available, and there's even a designated parking spot near the front for pickups. The cost for the personal shopper service is $9.99 for orders under $150 or 10 percent of the order cost for orders over $150. The fee is waived for a customer's first order.
The store's grand opening kicks off at 7:30 a.m. on March 18 with a bread-breaking ceremony, free coffee and pastries. Also, a grant for a garden will be given to a Conroe ISD school. Every Wednesday for the first five weeks, the store will also donate 1 percent of the day's sales to a charity.