September 27, 2016
There are just a few weeks until Philadelphia's "largest and most innovative" Whole Foods Market opens its doors equipped with versions of a Philly foodie's favorites.
The Rodin Square store, found on Pennsylvania Avenue and 22nd Street, will open on Oct. 14 and will offer prepared foods in a 140-seat food hall from the following:
• Cheu Noodle Bar: Chef Ben Puchowitz and partner Shawn Darragh, also from South Philly's Bing Bing Dim Sum, will sell their "cult classic bowls" along with smaller plates and other seasonal offerings.
• Dizengoff: Center City's Israeli sit-down joint — from Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook, who brought Philly Zahav and Abe Fisher — will bring its hummus and pitas to the newest Whole Foods location.
• Severino Cucina Rustica: Chef Marc BrownGold will offer his fresh homemade pastas, salads and desserts.
• Wiz Kid: Chefs Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby from Philly's Vedge and V Street will bring vegan goodies like sandwiches and salads.
All of this will supplement Whole Foods' classic offerings, from its sushi and salads to pizzas and pastries. The food hall will also house two pubs, a cocktail cart, a gourmet coffee bar and juice bar, originally reported by Philly.com but confirmed by the company Monday.
Wait, you might be thinking, what's happening to the Whole Foods store at 21st and Callowhill streets – literally a stone's throw away from the latest addition?
It's closing on Oct. 12 – but don't fret, its entire 270-person staff is just taking a brisk walk to the new store. Annie Cull, a spokeswoman for Whole Foods' mid-Atlantic region, said the company's just outgrown the old space, which opened in 1997.
"It's just an opportunity to relocate the store and create more space," Cull said. "It's just an opportunity to expand and make [that Whole Foods] bigger and better."
Cull said the new store will bring on between 80 and 90 new team members, with more than 60 already hired.
The 55,000-square-foot mixed-use development that's now home to the new store broke ground in August 2014. Philly's only other Whole Foods location can be found on South Street near Ninth Street.
“The Philadelphia food scene is among the most robust and vibrant in the country,” Jesse Morgans, prepared foods coordinator for the mid-Atlantic region, said in a news release. “To make this store reflect the local community’s passion, we knew we had to bring some of the city’s exceptional culinary talent inside Whole Foods Market. These partners allow us to offer an amazing range of diverse, forward-thinking menus, all under one roof.”