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Sneak Peek of Whole Foods Market

With bated breath, the masses have awaited the opening of the new Whole Foods on Broad Street. The opening is happening Thursday morning at 9 AM but we’ve got a preview of what everyone will find.

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The official opening of the newest Whole Foods Market is at 9 AM on Thursday, January 30th. Opening day celebrations include complimentary coffee from Blanchard’s Coffee Roasting Co., breakfast bites from Brekkie and music before the store opens. Additionally, the first 200 customers will receive a custom Whole Foods Market Richmond reusable tote bag, as well as a savings card with a mystery value ranging between $5 and $100.

This afternoon we were allowed in for a sneak peek. The store was busy but calm as last-minute touches were put in place.

Fruits and vegetables with clear signage letting you know which came from local growers.

Everything falls under the Whole Foods Market’s Whole Trade Guarantee which is committed to ethical trade, working conditions, and the environment.

Ever wonder what 150lbs of cheese looked like? After 16 hours the carving will be done.

Over 150 bulk items available.

Information about the local vendors on display.

The bakery was busy baking.

Pizza is one of the many prepared foods that will be available. Others include a salad bar, soups, rotisserie chicken, sushi, and mezze bowls.

Upstairs is where you’ll find some of the seating for over 150 people, self-serve beer and wine, as well as self-serve items such as wings.

The self-serve beer taps.

View from the mezzanine.

Kombucha by Blue Ridge downstairs at the RVA Cafe.

Self-checkout as well as your regular checkout lanes.

Official Press Release:

Whole Foods Market in Richmond opens its doors to the public at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30. Located at 2024 West Broad Street, the former location of Pleasants Hardware, the new 47,000 square-foot store incorporates the original brick façade, wooden beams and other historic elements of the Kaufman building. Opening day celebrations include complimentary coffee from Blanchard’s Coffee Roasting Co., breakfast bites from Brekkie and music before the store opens. Additionally, the first 200 customers will receive a custom Whole Foods Market Richmond reusable tote bag, as well as a savings card with a mystery value ranging between $5 and $100.

“We are thrilled to open our second store in the Richmond area,” said Bill Balderson, Store Team Leader. “We look forward to providing the RVA community with an expansive selection of fresh, high-quality and innovative products, hundreds of locally sourced items, as well as a self-serve eatery and taproom where shoppers can gather to enjoy a beverage or grab a bite to eat.”

Offering a selection of locally sourced options, grab-and-go prepared foods and natural and organic grocery items, all food at Whole Foods Market must meet the company’s rigorous quality standards, which prohibit hydrogenated fats, high-fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners, as well as over 100 colors, flavors and preservatives commonly found in food. In addition, all beauty and body care products must meet the company’s body care standards, which ban more than 100 commonly used ingredients, including phthalates, parabens and microbeads.

Special features of the store include:

  • Fresh produce department offering a wide array of fresh fruits and vegetables, including offerings from local growers and a range of items with Whole Foods Market’s Whole Trade® Guarantee, which supports suppliers that are committed to ethical trade, working conditions and the environment.
  • Full-service butcher featuring made-in-house sausages, dry-aged offerings and bone broth-making kits, as well as lamb and beef selections from Virginia-based suppliers like Grayson Natural Farms.
  • Seafood department featuring a variety of fresh and frozen seafood, all Responsibly Farmed or sustainable wild-caught, with fresh options from suppliers in the area like smoked fish from Ivy City Smokehouse, oysters from True Chesapeake Oyster Co., shucked oysters from Harris Seafood, clams from HM Terry Co., crab meat from JM Clayton Seafood Co. and headfish from George’s Seafood Distributors and Southern Connection Seafood.
  • Specialty foods section featuring a variety of cheeses, with options from 10 local suppliers, including Meadowcreek Dairy, Shenandoah Family Farms and Mountain View Farm; department’s cheese selection is overseen by an in-store American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional who can offer expertise and recommendations for any request or occasion.
  • Hundreds of beer and wine options, many from local producers such as Stone Brewing, Three Notch’d Brewing Company, Early Mountain Vineyards, Old Westminster Winery, Rosemont of Virginia Winery, Lightwell Survey Wines and Breaux Vineyards.
  • In-house bakery offering an array of freshly baked breads, cakes and pastries as well as items for special diets and options from local suppliers including Antbear Bakery and Smart Cookie Kitchen.
  • Variety of prepared foods including a salad bar, soups, pizza, rotisserie chickens, Kikka sushi as well as build-your-own mezze bowls featuring a variety of Mediterranean flavors and toppings
  • Bulk section offering more than 150 items including nuts, seeds, granola, grains, dried fruit and candy.
  • Beauty, body care and home goods section offering products from five local suppliers, including goats milk bar soap from Naked Goat Soap Co., coffee body polish from Mac’s Smack and shave soap from Regiment.
  • Nearly 1,000 products throughout the store from about 150 local suppliers, some of which are new to Whole Foods Market or are recipients of Whole Foods Market’s Local Producer Loan Program, which provides low-interest loans to local producers to help grow their businesses.

The Richmond store also features a self-serve eatery and taproom on the mezzanine level that is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. With indoor and outdoor seating for more than 150 guests, it offers a variety of pub-style fare such as buffalo wings, crispy brussels sprouts, arancini and Sicilian-style pizza, as well as self-serve wine and beer that customers are invited to drink while shopping in the store.

Amazon Prime members who shop at Whole Foods Market have access to a number of benefits year-round, like deep discounts on dozens of select popular products each week and an additional 10% off hundreds of in-store sale items. In addition, eligible Prime members receive 5% back on Whole Foods Market purchases when using the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card.

Whole Foods Market Richmond will employ approximately 165 full and part-time team members. Following the grand opening, the store will be open from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily.

Whole Foods Market has one other store in the area, with the first being its Short Pump location in Glen Allen, Va.

For more information visit https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/westbroadstreet.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Restaurant employee fundraisers you can donate to right now

It’s tough out there right now for those in the service industry. With dining rooms closed and restaurants trying to stay afloat by getting creative with takeout, delivery, and other endeavors, employees without much of a safety net are hurting. Below are all of the employee fundraisers we’ve seen floating around that you can donate to right now and make a difference.

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It’s tough out there right now for those in the service industry. With dining rooms closed and restaurants trying to stay afloat by getting creative with takeout, delivery, and other endeavors, employees without much of a safety net are hurting. Below are all of the employee fundraisers we’ve seen floating around that you can donate to right now and make a difference.

Another way you can make a difference is to donate to The Holli Fund. I (Trevor) was one of a handful of folks asked to host a virtual happy hour last week (embedded at the bottom of the post). This is an application- and need-based fund that gives grants to folks in both the front and back of house at restaurants and breweries across the area. The fund has done transformational things like paid folks’ mortgages, car payments, and fulfilled other important needs. You can learn more here and donate by texting “DONATE” and your amount (i.e. DONATE $5) to 805-518-8333.

Also check out our ongoing list of restaurants offering delivery and takeout, the coronavirus support list, and all of our COVID-19 coverage here. While we’re at it, we could use your support right now, too. RVAHub is a labor of love for both Richard Hayes and I, and we’re doing our best to keep the public up to date on important news and updates. With our ad network suspended, we’re running the site at a loss currently. It would mean the world to us if you were able to spare a couple o’ bucks and chip in to our cause. We’d love you for it.




Restaurant/employee fundraisers

 

More from Chad Williams of “30 is the New 20“:

Information on donating to The Holli Fund

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OPINION: Legislators, we need you to be leaders

“We are the businesses that drive the economy. I call on you now to see past your campaign contributors, fundraising sponsors, and lobbyists and start representing the voters of this country. Do not fail us again.”

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By Phillip Ray

My name is Phillip Ray. Together with my brother, Chris, I own and operate Center of the Universe Brewing Company and Origin Beer Lab located in Ashland, Virginia. My brother and I rely on the staff of our small business for our livelihoods and they rely on us for theirs. We made a deal with them: they trade us their most precious commodity, their time; and in return, we offer them a safe and reliable place to work, a benefits package that provides health care in case of illness, a savings plan for their futures, a fair livable wage and a comfortable work-life balance. This week we are forced to break that deal.

This is by no means the first time our small business has faced hardships, but this is an unprecedented situation – one which I do not believe we can survive without your help. We have lost two of the three markets where our goods are sold and our revenues have been cut by 70% because of this. I am writing today to ask for your help. I am asking for you to help not just our business, but the 30 million small businesses in this country who are suffering.

Now is the time to help the workers in this country who contribute the most to the economy and receive the least amount of remuneration for their efforts. Now is not the time to send multibillion-dollar bailout packages to multibillion-dollar corporations. Those companies received their bailouts in 2018 with the historic corporate tax cut you voted into law. The result of that bailout was not improved salaries, increased benefits packages, or even a safety net for workers or the companies themselves. Instead, the corporations you bailed out participated in record stock buybacks and paid massive dividends to their shareholders. They used their bailouts for the benefit of a few wealthy stakeholders. Now, when crisis hits, they want you to use taxpayer money to bail them out again.

This is the definition of privatizing profits and socializing losses. For far too long, this country has asked the most financially vulnerable among us to bear the brunt of the fiscal pain when disaster strikes and reap the fewest rewards when the economy is booming. This crisis has proven to be no exception.

Small businesses in this country are often inefficient and ours is no exception. This inefficiency is exactly what keeps the economy moving. We spend the majority of our budgets on human power and earn razor-thin margins. Our revenues do not sit in our checking accounts or investment accounts or in our own stock ownership. We do not have executive payrolls or massive lobbying budgets. We earn and spend our money locally, benefiting the greater economy not just our own.

We are the businesses that drive the economy. I call on you now to see past your campaign contributors, fundraising sponsors, and lobbyists and start representing the voters of this country. Do not fail us again.

Pass legislation that immediately puts money into the hands of small businesses and working Americans. Pass legislation that guarantees every American access to health care. Pass legislation guaranteeing all Americans with a full-time job can support their families. Pass legislation that protects every American during times of crisis. I call on you to pass these laws and to pass them today. This is the deal you made with the American people when you asked for our votes. Now is the time to honor that deal.

Faithfully,

Phillip Ray
Co-Founder, Center of the Universe Brewing Company & Origin Beer Lab

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Salt & Forge and Jiji Frozen Custard partner on “Dining Without The Restaurant”

As more restaurants and other establishments continue to find creative ways to meet diners where they are during this time of social distancing, two local food trucks are taking the food to the people, meeting them where they are.

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As more restaurants and other establishments continue to find creative ways to meet diners where they are during this time of social distancing, two local food trucks are taking the food to the people, meeting them where they are.

Salt & Forge and Jiji Frozen Custard are working directly with homeowners’ and neighborhood associations to deliver scratch-made salads, biscuits, and sandwiches and Wisconsin-style frozen custard.

“Dining Without The Restaurant” allows both food trucks to bring a safe restaurant experience to communities and provide low-contact meal ordering and pick-up services during a scheduled date and time. Because food trucks have limited points of contact with the general public, the risk of virus transmission is significantly lower than at a restaurant or retail outlet.

“Our motivation in doing this is to serve people as safely as possible while also preserving the economic health of our staff and empowering them with financial resources instead of cutting jobs,” Salt & Forge owner David Hahn said.

There is no cost to book the trucks. They are scheduling dinners from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week and are scheduling brunches from 11 a.m. or noon until 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

For more information or to schedule the trucks, visit https://www.saltandforge.com/diningwithout

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