Yep, you heard right. Whole Foods is coming to Eugene Fall of 2016. The booming organic and healthy grocery store is making its way to Eugene and honestly, I don’t know how to feel. Am I excited? Am I sad? It feels odd that Eugene is getting a Whole Foods. In a place that is so unique and thrives on localism and community, the grocery store is a place where people get together and mingle while shopping for food. Eugene already has a bunch of other groceries stores, such as Market of Choice and The Kiva, but with the addition of a mega chain grocery store like Whole Foods Market, which has 431 locations around the world and throughout the US, Eugene’s grocery game is changing. The grocery store that prides itself on “natural, organic and local products” will definitely change the dynamic of the old neighborhood where East Broadway Ave. meets High St.
When I mention to my friends that a Whole Foods is coming to town, I get mixed responses. Some are psyched they can get their gluten free/vegan muffins without a hassle, but some of my other friends feel indifferent about the new addition. According to an Whole Food Market’s Newsroom article, the Eugene Whole Foods will be the 9th location Whole Foods has in Oregon. Once built, the Eugene Whole Foods will create full-time jobs for about 150 people. Joe Rogoff, president of the Whole Food’s Market’s Pacific Northwest Region said, “We have long believed that Eugene is a wonderful place for Whole Foods Market because the community’s values mirror so much of what we hold important.”
Sure Eugene holds values that are similar to Whole Foods, but there has also been debate around the opening of the market and the construction efforts. The Whole Foods was supposedly set to open in March 2016, but due to the discovery of historical artifacts at the building site, the Whole Foods has delayed the store’s grand opening. The Washington Times even caught word of the archeology efforts, posting that there were “some type of ruins found.” Animal bones? Human bones? Bones from “Bones”? Now that the artifacts have been preserved, the construction can continue, hopefully undisturbed.
I can’t wait to see what this 2016 year has in store, and I definitely can’t wait to see the new Whole Foods come to Eugene. Not only will it make the corner spot on East Broadway and High more vibrant, but it will add more jobs to the Eugene community. So, although it’s odd that there will be a Whole Foods Market in Eugene just an EMX ride away from campus, it will benefit the Eugene community as well as be a popular place for people to go shop and socialize. Oh, and eat.