LAFAYETTE — Within the recycled, barn-wood walls, the new 36,200-square-foot Whole Foods Market on Ambassador Caffery Parkway includes 300 locally sourced products, a coffee bar, a smokehouse and a pizza “parlor.”
Resting amid the gluten-free breads and organic bananas is a sit-down bar with 16 beers and three wines on tap, a daiquiri machine and a menu full of foods prepared in the store’s kitchen.
Kristina Bradford, the store’s director of community and media relations, said the store will have more than just products for sale.
“We have a healthy-eating educator on staff, so there will be different cooking demonstrations,” Bradford said during a preview tour Friday in advance of the scheduled grand opening on Wednesday. “We also have a specialty team leader, who is a certified cheese professional, for the 300 cheeses the store features. Our smokehouse has brisket, ribs, chicken, sausage, sometimes burgers.”
A unique feature the store offers is a personal shopper.
Customers can call ahead of time with their list, and a designated shopper will collect the items and have them waiting at customer service.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony begins at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. The doors open at 8 a.m.
Whole Foods will hold a preview party at 5 p.m. Monday to raise funds for Lafayette Central Park, the nonprofit group raising money to build a park at the Horse Farm property on Johnston Street.
While supporting the park with a suggested $10 donation through EventBrite, patrons will see firsthand what the store will offer through samples of foods, beverages and live music.
Inglewood Farm, near Alexandria, will provide produce, pecans and pecan oils for the store.
A featured product based out of Baton Rouge, Old Soul Pickles, specializes in pickled zucchini, squash, beets and spicy dill pickles.
The store’s official value line, 365 Everyday Value, is for customers on a budget, but Bradford said every product, even the value products, meet the store’s standards, which include being free of artificial flavors, preservatives, colors and hydrogenated fats.
Whole Foods also has accommodated those who will bike to the store with a bike fix-it station to take care of flat tires or other minor problems.
“There is a little bit of something for everybody here,” Bradford said, “and we are excited for the store to open.”