Whole Foods Market set to break bread in Kildeer
Floyd Staine, a Whole Foods store team leader, shows off the company's new location in the Kildeer Marketplace, which is scheduled to be open on March 6. | Joe Shuman~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 29, 2013 7:46AM
KILDEER — Area residents can expect the much-anticipated Whole Foods Market to finally break bread with its new neighbors in a few months.
Breaking-bread is how Whole Foods Market likes to celebrate its arrival in a new community, explained Tanya Kostetsky, the company’s marking and community relations specialist.
“A lot of stores will cut ribbon, but we get a giant loaf of bread, tear it up and share it with everyone,” Kostetsky said. “We want to feel like a family member.”
Whole Foods Market’s move from its Palatine location to the Kildeer Marketplace on the northwest corner of Rand and Plum Grove roads is scheduled to be completed on March 6, when the grocer plans to let its new neighbors in to explore the completely unique layout and shopping experience.
When asked what sets Whole Foods apart from the competition, Kostetsky said each store works to from a connection with its home community. She explained that each location actively seeks to stock its shelves with products from as many local vendors it can find, as long as the products meet a certain number of health criteria.
Artificial colors, aspartame, bleached flour or sorbic acid are a few of the many food ingredients Whole Foods views as deal breakers. Whole Foods Market’s foragers also encourage local food vendors to work with them so that they can better understand if and how their products could ultimately meet their standards.
Kostetsky reported that she already has a few local vendors in mind for the Kildeer store, including Naperville-based Twisted Olive and Highwood’s Full Belly Craft Kitchen & Bakery.
Whole Foods’ local focus also is exemplified in its efforts to give back in ways that fit the community and its neighbors.
“We try to be so much more than a grocery store; we try to be a community gathering place,” Kostetsky said. “We have events like wine tastings and cooking classes that really perpetuate the gathering of people. In Palatine, we have a community room that we’ll rent out if someone wants to have a meeting, and there’s someone that comes and does adopt-a-pet volunteer training and another that does Girl Scout troop classes.”
After brainstorming ways to get the Palatine-based Countryside Association for People with Disabilities involved as a vendor in the store, Kostetsky said it’s likely that Whole Foods will be selling bracelets made by group for less than $10.
In addition to a hyper-localized focus on philanthropy, vendors and employees, each store is set up to look and feel completely different from the next.
“For many stores, it seems like if you’ve been in one, you’ve been in them all ... but with Whole Foods, we really try to make each one its own piece of artwork,” she said.
For instance, the mall-like feel of the 58,000-square-foot Schaumburg location fits in with the area’s similarly sized shops. Whole Foods’ nearly 40,000-square-foot location in Kildeer, however, is designed to feel closer and more intimate, even though it will be about 10,000-square-feet larger than the Palatine store it’s moving from.
Kostetsky said the move came about when the store outgrew the Palatine location at 1331 N. Rand Road.
Referencing media reports that the company was laying off its Palatine employees, Kostetsky said 100 of them will be making the move to Kildeer. She estimated that the store plans to hire about 40 new team members to work alongside its current employees.