ATX Business: Whole Foods Domain Enjoys Record-Breaking Grand Opening
published on January 21, 2014
Whole Foods Market officially has made itself at home in north Austin, with a choice location at the helm of the popular Domain shopping center. The new Whole Foods opened on January 15th, and by the end of opening night, store leaders were announcing “a record-breaking” day to several hundred cheering customers and team members via the store’s intercom.
“We are thrilled to be a part of such a vibrant community and are committed to offering a dynamic shopping and entertainment experience!” said Team Leader Lindsay Mucha. “Our team is dedicated to providing extraordinary customer service and we look forward to getting to know our new neighbors.”
The day’s festivities began at 7:30 a.m. with a bread-breaking ceremony and remarks by Mucha and the president of Whole Foods Market’s Southwest Region, Mark Dixon. The first 500 customers received a reusable bag chock-full of 365 Everyday Value™ products, and throughout the day, shoppers enjoyed special sales, tastings, local vendor samples, photo booth pictures, live music, and free giveaways.
Unique food offerings by the new store include Texas Ramen, where Japanese soup meets Texas barbecue; the indoor Draft Shack, a charcoal-grill oyster bar with 45 beers on tap; and the Public Domain, an outdoor beer and bratwurst bar served from a converted freight container.
The coffee bar features Japanese Oji water drip machines for cold-brewed coffee. The store also offers a do-it-yourself sushi and sashimi program and touts a WFM-appointed Texas forager who will scour the state in search of culinary artisans for a new local food product line developed exclusively for WFM.
“From great food, to live music and special events, this store truly has something for everyone,” said Mucha.
Aside from food, the store also offers an overall experience to customers, with 11 indoor and outdoor seating areas; a community meet-up space for yoga, cooking classes, and craft nights; plus an outdoor downstairs plaza featuring a children’s playscape, live music stage, and Ipe-bench seating around cozy, glass-encased fireplaces.
Whole Foods even worked with local businesses like Johnson’s Backyard Garden and Austin Roadhouse Relics to create the repurposed and painted wheelbarrow mobile hanging above the front doors. Articulture Designs designed the massive living moss-and-steel piece mounted on the wall next to the escalators.
“It is our hope that Whole Foods Market Domain will quickly become your go-to marketplace, butcher shop, bakery, and a favorite place to hang out,” said Mucha.
Founded in 1980 in Austin, Whole Foods Market now has over 340 stores across the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom. The Domain store will join the nearby Gateway location, the main headquarters downtown, the Hill Country Galleria location, and the Arbor Trails development in Southwest Austin. The 65,000 square foot Domain store is the second largest Whole Foods Austin store, where most top out at 35,000 to 40,000 square feet.
What happened to the Gateway Whole Foods? According to Austin media and community relations coordinator Rachel Malish, the original scheme for opening the Domain store did include closing the smaller Gateway store, now the oldest store of the Austin Whole Foods Market chain. However, in response to negative customer feedback regarding the plan, it’s getting a facelift instead: the Gateway store closed in mid-January for renovations and a green efficiency update and will re-open in late February.
In its Grand Opening week, the Domain store gave one percent of sales to five local Austin nonprofits: Jewish Community Center of Austin, Emancipet, Austin Creative Reuse, Girlstart, and Back on My Feet.
Team Leader Brett Peterson wasn’t allowed to comment on the exact store numbers for opening day, but it looks like they had a record-breaking day and week. “You can say we did very well,” he said proudly.
To visit the new Whole Foods Domain from central Austin, take Mo-Pac (Loop 1) past Braker Lane. The Domain shopping complex and its turn-in will appear on your right. The street address is 11920 Domain Drive in Austin, Texas 78758, and the phone number is (512) 831-3981. This WFM location is open 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., seven days a week.
Happy shopping, Whole-Foodies!
Top Austin REALTOR® and business owner Brian Talley welcomes Whole Foods Market to The Domain. Brian also welcomes homebuyers entering the central Texas luxury real estate market. From a ranch-style home in Circle C to a waterfront home in Lakeway, call Regent Property Group. We know Austin.