Whole Foods To Open Bellingham Location In 2016
Whole Foods announced today that they will be opening a new location in Bellingham sometime during 2016. The store will be located at 1030 Lakeway Drive, the space previously occupied by The Market At Lakeway, across the street from Fred Meyer. Once open, the location will be the 11th Whole Foods Market in Washington.
Whole Foods estimates that the new location will bring roughly 150 full and part-time jobs to the community. The company’s president for the Pacific Northwest Region, Joe Rogoff, had this to say about the opening:
“We’ve long believed that Bellingham is a wonderful fit for Whole Foods Market because the community’s values are so in line with our own. Building healthy communities, supporting local producers and working in partnership with area schools and nonprofits are central to who we are, and we’re excited to share this with Bellingham. We look forward to serving the community by providing a wide selection of natural and organic food and an extensive selection of non-GMO-verified products.”
Currently, the closest Whole Foods locations to Bellingham are in BC. The closest U.S. location is in Lynwood. The location will feature a fishmonger, butcher, baker, and takeout meals created in-house.
Despite the influx of jobs and potential revenue from cross-border shopping, the announcement has already met with some controversy. Many posts from locals on Facebook express concern that the new business will drive customers away from local organic options such as the Co-op and Terra Organica. Others have expressed doubts over the nature of a “chain organic” store, or the high prices often associated with the company.
Perhaps the real question is whether the Whole Foods can even survive in the location, given the fate of its predecessor in the space. Occupying a location across the street from Fred Meyer will make generating revenue a greater challenge than normal for the store. Whether the appeal of Whole Foods’ style and organic offerings will allow it to compete with Fred Meyer’s lower prices and the co-op’s local pride is a question only time can answer.
What do you think about Whole Foods coming to Bellingham? Let us know in the comments!
Photo Credit: Whole Foods Image Library