When I broke the story at the end of May that Whole Foods would be opening up in Harlem, no one at the company would confirm this.
Yet I had every reason to believe that this was going to happen. Why?
Because I heard the Co-Founder of Whole Foods, John Mackey, say it to a public audience, which he followed up with “oops, I probably shouldn’t have said that.”
Well, I just got official confirmation from the PR folks at Whole Foods that the company will be opening up in Harlem and also on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
As part of a new construction project, the Harlem store will be located at 125th Street (@ Lenox Avenue) and is projected to open in the summer of 2015. The size will be approximately 39,000 square feet.
The future Upper East Side store will be located at 87th Street (@ 3rd Avenue) and will be close to 38,000 square feet. It is expected to open in early 2014.
With the new Harlem location, this will not be Whole Foods’ first move into the inner city.
The company will be opening a store in a distressed part of Detroit sometime in 2013, and don’t be surprised to see more inner city locations being announced over the next year or so.
As Whole Foods Co-CEO, Walter Robb, told me several months ago, the company aims to be “one part of the solution” in bringing healthy and fresh food to people who do not have easy access to it now.