Work progression at Whole Foods Market in Cheltenham
WORK is ongoing on to complete an upmarket food store at Gallagher Business Park in Cheltenham. Reporter Rupert Janisch takes a tour around the site.
APART from one in Glasgow, the new branch of Whole Foods Market will be the first outside London, where the chain has five stores, including the flagship in exclusive Kensington.
The 24,000 sq ft site, formerly a Homebase store until its closure two years ago, will employ 150 people in the area when it opens.
There are proposals to open a further two stores in West London, but no other regional stores are planned.
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The construction project has been ongoing for six months, giving the building a facelift and the interior a thorough reworking.
No stock is yet on the shelves, but produce will be available for purchase from the opening date on Wednesday, November 7.
As well as locally-produced cheeses, meat and other foods, customers will be able to find a variety of ingredients alongside new ideas such as alcoholic milkshakes and brown rice sushi.
More like an emporium than a supermarket, the Whole Foods Market will sell unpackaged, handmade food and drink, as well as a few health products.
Areas are laid out on wood and stone, with expert butchers, fishmongers and chefs on hand to advise and give demonstrations.
Yet the company is keen to stress that there is something for all budgets and the store is as much about the experience and the education as selling.
Marketing manager Dr Renata Rees said: "We have an offer across the board.
"We will have a range of value products so you would be able to come into the store and buy a packet of our own label spaghetti for 99p.
"But also because of the nature of what we sell, and the quality, we do have top-end stuff as well.
"Some people say we're expensive, but you're paying for what you get here."