Whole Foods Market is opening a hyper-local flagship store in Tampa as the company accelerates its expansion plans into 2022.
The grocery chain is planning to open a new 48,000-square-foot store at the intersection of Dale Mabry Highway and Midtown Drive, 3740 Midtown Drive, in Tampa on July 7. The store will be the anchor tenant of Tampa's new Midtown development, which features retailers such as Sephora, REI, Shake Shack and others.
Features of the new Tampa Whole Foods store include:
- Full-service seafood counter featuring fresh and frozen seafood, in-house seasoned and marinated shrimp and salmon, with all offerings either sustainably wild-caught or responsibly farmed. Florida local options include red snapper and grouper from Halperns’ Steak and Seafood and Key West pink shrimp from Cox’s Wholesale Seafood in Tampa.
- Prepared foods section with a wide and local-focused selection of hot and cold food bars featuring salad, soups, pizza, charcuterie, fresh packed pasta, ready-to-heat meals and new gourmet salads.
- An array of organic, conventional and Sourced for Good produce, plus local options like fresh salsa from Tampa-based Sunset Salsa and sprouts from Miami-based Fullei Fresh.
- Full-service butcher to cut steaks to order, debone poultry and season or marinate upon request. Department includes made-in-house sausages, gourmet burgers and dry-aged beef, as well as Florida-raised beef from fourth generation cattle ranch, Adams Ranch, the Florida Region’s 2020 Supplier of the Year.
- Large variety of cheeses overseen by an in-store American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional who can offer expertise and recommendations for any occasion and create custom boards. Featured American artisan cheeses, small-batch and seasonal selections from cheese producers across the United States. Local options include burrata and mozzarella from Mozzarita.
- Specialty foods section featuring local treats like toffee from Pinellas Park’s Toffee to Go and chocolate from 5150 Chocolate.
- Grocery products from local creators like Tampa’s Buddy Brew Coffee, St. Petersburg’s Mother Kombucha, an exclusive lemon rose drink from St. Petersburg probiotic beverage maker, Sunny Culture, and protein-rich snack bars from Miami-based FroPro.
- Extensive selection of nearly 200 beers, including options from St. Petersburg and Tampa local breweries like Green Bench Brewing Co. and Tampa Bay Brewing Co. Exclusive local beer offerings include 813 Midtown Hazy IPA from Coppertail Brewing and Hello Neighbor Key Lime IPA from Cigar City Brewing.
- Bakery department offering custom cakes and special diet options. Local selection includes tres leches cake from Momma’s Baked Goods and cookies from Cosa Duci Italian Bakery. Bakery will offer a new cake, “Sunset in Tampa,” inspired by the West Coast’s sunsets. The vanilla cake has bright orange marmalade with lemon curd in a tangy cream cheese frosting.
- Wellness and Beauty section featuring products in the body care, supplement and home categories that include products from local suppliers like bulk soap from North Port’s Lolablue Living, Miami’s RSP Nutrition immunity and hydration shots, coconut oil from Tampa’s Conscious Coconut and candles from Sarasota’s Bia Candle Co.
- More than 800 local products from the state of Florida throughout the store from over 160 local suppliers.
In an announcement last month, Whole Foods reiterated the importance of access to high-quality groceries and disclosed some ways that the retailer plans to move ahead across the organization. For example, more than 40 new stores are in the pipeline, following the opening of several locations in 2020. Among those recent locations: a novel Ideal Market concept in Denver and a new online-only store in Brooklyn, New York.
From a personnel perspective, more than 10,000 jobs were added last year and the company currently has about 10,000 open positions. To keep up with growth goals and address market changes, Whole Foods also announced changes to its regional and global support teams, including areas of corporate merchandising and operations, team member services and technology. Among other adjustments, the global and regional merchandising teams will be merged into a single team and the team member services group will be realigned for greater support in key areas such as recruiting and training.
As it expands its footprint and community of employees, Whole Foods is broadening its product portfolio, too, launching 950 new local brands, 10,000 local items and 650 new exclusive brands last year. More are planned for 2021.
“As we look to the rest of 2021 and beyond, we are excited to resume services that were suspended due to the pandemic and continue serving more communities, leading the way in shaping the future of grocery retail and advancing our purpose to nourish people and the planet for many years to come,” a company statement read.
The first national certified-organic grocer, Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods has more than 500 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The grocer is No. 26 on The PG 100 list, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on PG’s list.