Whole Foods Market construction is officially underway in the Wexford Plaza shopping center located on Route 19. In addition to Giustini’s construction of the store, road work is in full swing – Westview Water, Penn Power, and Penn Dot crews are working to make room for an additional turning lane and installing traffic signals at eight intersections along Route 19.
Whole Foods Market has been in business about 25 years. Their slogan, “Selling the Highest Quality Natural & Organic Products”, is supposed to include – first and foremost – those local products fitting the bill right outside of Whole Foods front door. Once Whole Foods settles into a community, it encourages its individual store and regional buyers to seek out locally grown produce and locally made products.
Whole Foods Market defines “local” products as those that have traveled less than seven hours in one day. Currently, Whole Foods Market operates it’s Pittsburgh store in East Liberty, PA and engages Bell & Evans of Fredericksburg; Help From Above Farms in Three Springs; Jaindl Farms in Orefield; Koch’s Turkey Farm in Tamaqua; Lady Moon Farms in Chambersburg; Meadow Run Farm in Lititz; Organic Mechanics Soil Company in West Chester; and Tuscarora Cooperative in Hustontown, PA. Check out the current local foods map of farms servicing the East Liberty market.
If you would like to get on board in the second half of 2011 as a Whole Foods vendor, you must send information about your local product to the Whole Foods Mid-Atlantic regional office for consideration. In addition to the following quality standards listed on Whole Foods website, there is an extensive list of unacceptable ingredients.
Whole Foods Quality Standards:
- We carefully evaluate each and every product we sell.
- We feature foods that are free of artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners, and hydrogenated fats.
- We are passionate about great tasting food and the pleasure of sharing it with others.
- We are committed to foods that are fresh, wholesome and safe to eat.
- We seek out and promote organically grown foods.
- We provide food and nutritional products that support health and well-being.
Hopefully, more farms from Southwestern Pennsylvania will be represented in the new Whole Foods Market.
If you would like to get on board as a Whole Foods Market patron, you may get the opportunity if you live near the Wexford Plaza & bring your college transcripts: Pittsburgh Post Gazette quotes: “On its (Whole Foods) web site, the grocer says a good location for one of its stores would cover 40,000 to 75,000 square feet, have 200,000 or more people within a 20-minute drive, have lots of college-educated residents nearby and plenty of parking.”
Not sure if being one of the 72,000 people living within the five-mile radius (sometimes it takes longer than 20 minutes to get anywhere on Rte. 19), choosing one of 1,000 available parking spots, and finding an entrance to the 134,000 square foot center is enough. Unofficial transcripts may suffice – just brush on your national organic standards nomenclature in case of a check-out quiz!