Officials from Whole Foods announced the new market in downtown Columbia plans to open Wednesday, Aug. 20.
The approximately 50,000-square-foot grocery store is located in the former Rouse Company building, designed for Columbia founder James Rouse, according to a statement from Whole Foods. It has been under construction since spring 2013.
“With such an energetic community, beautiful building and scenic location, we truly hope to embody the meaning of Lake Kittamaqundi, which translates to 'meeting place,'" Svetlana Piskounova, store team leader at Whole Foods in Columbia, said.
Representatives from Whole Foods say they saw the store as a natural fit for Howard County, which is among the healthiest jurisdictions in Maryland.
The grocer is known for organic and natural foods, and it said in a statement that its products are free from artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, preservatives and hydrogenated oils. The Columbia location will be the first in Howard County and the 371st in the U.S.
What to Expect at Whole Foods Columbia
The Columbia market will feature the following amenities, according to a statement from Whole Foods:
- Vegetarian section focused on natural, vegetable-based meals
- Grab-and-go bagged meals
- Fresh popsicles made from cold-pressed juices (first mid-Atlantic store with this item)
- Cooking department with on-staff coach and bulk spices
- Specialty bars—including pickles, olives, antipasti, pasta, cheese, seafood
- Oven-ready items
- Bakery with made-in-house breads and pastries
- Ice cream cakes (new item for this store)
- Wood-fired Pizza
- Full-service meat department with dry-aged beef and made-in-house sausage
- DIY body care with customizable products
"We can’t wait to open our doors to our new neighbors, and in the meantime, we’re venturing out to meet them..." Piskounova said.
Staff will be at the Fourth of July celebration on Lake Kittamaqundi, with additional events planned to connect with the community before opening.
Whole Foods in Columbia is still hiring, and those interested can apply online.