Whole Foods Has Arrived

—Erin Lentz | August 15, 2012 | Peak Eats Latest The Latest

1 - Whole Foods Has Arrived
The Allegro coffee bar at the new Whole Foods in the Roaring Fork Valley

Alas, after years in the making, Whole Foods officially stakes its claim in the Roaring Fork Valley. With the grand opening slated this week, the arrival of a one-stop-shop for healthy cuisine and organic products has shoppers ready for action.

During a sneak peak, we learned no Whole Foods store is designed the same, and this 22,000-square-foot locale at Willits Town Center in Basalt is a standout for interior designer Julie Shamburger. Utilizing locally sourced barn wood throughout and beautiful tin from a church in Salida, the interior emphasizes a color palate inspired by Colorado’s seasons and landscape—wood skis from locally owned Vintage Ski World, and playful design highlights inspired by a retro ski vest.

Expect what Whole Foods stakes its brand on: organic and fresh produce, humanely raised meats, a bevy of bulk bins, sustainable seafood (surf-to-turf in under 36 hours), and a plethora of healthy prepared foods and hand-rolled sushi. “You can shop with confidence,” says associate marketing coordinator David McCormick. “Transparency is what we’re about.” We’re most excited, however, about these local highlights and Whole Foods firsts:

1. Shop for products from standout locals: Avalanche Cheese Co. (Basalt); Ela Family Farms (Hotchkiss); Rendezvous Farms (Basalt); Alpine Avocado (Carbondale)

2. Basalt native Yalanda Long makes her Whole Foods debut with her witty and oh-so-tasty “In the Soup” line, while Barr’s Granola, also from Basalt, is carried, too.

3. The first Whole Foods Cookie Bar will keep the kiddos happy and entertained, while a partnership with Basalt’s Midland Baking Co. results in the “Colorado Cupcake Collection,” which includes Roaring Fork Rocky Road, Aspen Avalanche, El Jebel Jewel, Basalt Black Bottom, Carbondale Caramel Crunch and Glenwood Springs Splash.

4. The majority of the beef selection is sourced from Crystal River Meats in Carbondale, and lamb hails from High Country Farms in Oak Creek, Colo.

5. Look for products labeled with the Whole Trade Guarantee, as your buying power creates new economic opportunities for workers in the developing world. Whole Trade products are typically found in floral, produce, coffee, and sugar.

6. All produce and bulk bins (housing myriad grains and beans) are crafted from pine beetle kill from Greely, Colo.

7. Cheese mongers serve hand-cut cheese to order, with entertaining and pairing tips.

8. This is the first store to carry the entire line by Two Leaves tea company. You can also caffeinate at the organic and stylish Allegro coffee bar.

9. “Plates to Palates,” a partnership with Aspen’s Red Brick Center for the Arts, includes a local art wall at the indoor café. Each week six new local artists will feature food-inspired art in different mediums. An auction will be held September 28 to raise money for Red Brick.

340 Reed St., Basalt, 970-927-1500

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