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First Look: Whole Foods Orland Park Opens Friday

Orland Park’s newest grocery store will be the 27,500 square-foot Whole Foods on the northwest corner of 153rd Street and LaGrange Road. Take a look at the inside as staff prepares for the opening Friday at 8:45 a.m.

Whole Foods in Orland Park is almost ready to open.

Inside the 27,500 square-foot store will be fresh, seasonal produce; sustainably caught seafood and humanely raised meat; an array of specialty cheeses, wines and beers; gluten and dairy free items, and other items labeled for special diets; all-natural bath products; in-house made baked goods, pizza, hot entrees, sushi, deli sandwiches and more.

Store Team Leader Emily Conklin said the store will stock items based on what customers ask for and what is brought to the register, to cater to local taste.

The store at 15260 S. LaGrange Road will open with a bread-breaking ceremony at 8:45 a.m. Friday.

While people have expressed excitement over the store's opening, others have noted that Whole Foods prices can be higher for similar items at competing grocery stores.

"We are sensitive to that aspect, and we make sure we have something for everyone," Conklin said. "We encourage people to keep an eye out for specials that we'll have often, and also that our in-house 365 brand found throughout the store is a more cost-effective option. We want to bring a lot of value to the community inside our store and out in the town."

Before opening, they have already built partnerships where they will donate food to the Orland Township Food Pantry, Together We Cope and the St. Coletta’s of Illinois Foundation. The store has also sponsored the Orland Park Turkey Trot, and will be donating five percent of all sales on Wednesday, Nov. 14 to The Bridge Teen Center.

Other events and fundraisers are in the works, according to Kristen Mackiney, who runs marketing and communications for the Orland Park store.

Here is a list of the store’s features from Conklin:

Along with our outstanding selection of natural and organic groceries, you will find a wide variety of options for any gathering or celebration, including:

  • 5-Step Rated Meat: By adopting Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating, we provide shoppers with a new level of transparency about how farm animals are raised.
  • Seafood from Sustainable Sources: We closely monitor the status of any seafood species sold in our stores to ensure we’re supporting healthy marine ecosystems.
  • Salad and Hot Bars: Choose from freshly prepared salads, build-your-own salad fixings and hot entrees from around the world. Everything is priced by weight, so mix and match!
  • Health Starts Here (HSH) Program: Providing the tools and education to help you make healthier choices, every day. The food bars will always offer an assortment of specially crafted Health Starts Here dishes for your convenience.
  • “Cooking” Department: Dried back-to-basics pantry items to meet all your cooking needs. Discover new ways to use staples in your culinary adventures.
  • Diverse Foods from Around the Globe: A variety of foods to meet diverse cultural and dietary needs.
  • Grab and Go Pastries: Enjoy a wide variety of freshly-baked pastries including croissants, muffins, cookies, soft pretzels and more!
  • Catering Service: Our experienced catering department will help you build a menu filled with your choice of fresh, delicious, all-natural foods. 

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Ben Feldheim (Editor) October 31, 2012 at 11:08 PM
You're welcome!
Tom Walsh November 01, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Is the parking at the store going to be just the lot up front? That lot was crowded when there was just a Borders there. Once Whole Foods opens up that lot is going to be nuts.
Ben Feldheim (Editor) November 01, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Yes, that will remain the main parking area.
V. Hayes November 02, 2012 at 03:22 AM
Happy to see more a viable organic/local option available in the area. However at 27.5k sq. ft., it is half the size of my previous home store, the South Loop location in the city. Double sad face at the aforementioned parking lot situation. Weekday early morning shopping it is.
Maryann November 02, 2012 at 04:19 AM
It will be so nice to be able to get a large variety of fish, mushrooms, veggies and fruit, gourmet cheeses, and those fab almond croissants... without having to run up to Willowbrook!
Essie November 02, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Store was packed this morning, at store opening event, many had to park in nearby lots because store lot was full so I decided to stop by another day instUead. There was a large group gathered out front that was blocking entrance.
April Haygood November 02, 2012 at 02:50 PM
What are the store hours?
Ben Feldheim (Editor) November 02, 2012 at 03:54 PM
8 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. Here is our directory listing with more info: http://orlandpark.patch.com/listings/whole-foods-02dd31e2
Concered Citizen November 05, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Was there Saturday night. It was really crowded (I'm used to going to the Willowbrook store, which is near work, on my lunch-break) and we could tell that most of the employees were new (I'm cutting them some slack there). I hope the crowd bodes well for them and are not just curiosity seekers who want to see what Whole Foods is.
Emily November 05, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Very impressed with the salad/soup/sandwich bar. They also have made to order sandwich counter. Meat selection was wonderful. If someone isn't familiar with Whole Foods I feel there might have been some sticker shock.

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