With Whole Foods one size doesn't fit all. I was introduced to Whole Foods on a visit with my daughter in Austin, Texas. This was before they had started to go national. The Lamar Street store is the signature store at 80,000 square feet. I was blown away by the store. The food court is 3 times the size of the one at our Wegman's. They had a brick oven pizza station at the store that was one of the best pizzas I have ever had.
Needless to say I have had mixed experiences with other Whole Food stores that I have visited since my visit to the Austin store. At 45,000 sq ft the Columbia store will be a medium size store. If they were building a new store rather than remodeling the Rouse Building I am sure we would be getting a larger store. The following is a list of the Whole Foods stores that I have visited with the store size listed and a quick comment on each:
1) Fairfax-65,000 sq ft -great store with large selections, this is easily the size that Columbia could support.
2) Annapolis--56,000 sq ft--best store in our area
3) Baltimore Fleet Street-25,000 sq ft-small store about the size of Trader Joes
4) Tucson-17,000 sq ft-soon to be rebuilt at twice the size- very disappointing selection. The Tucson Whole Foods is across the street from the shopping center where Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot. We visited this store 3 days before she was shot and when I saw the pictures of the shooting on TV I recognized immediately the Safeway that was across the street.
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