If someone had told Little Kid Kristina that one day, she would be excited about an invite to a grocery store media event? Little Kid Kristina might have eye rolled and side eyed and laughed… in confusion.
As it is, I am (very likely overly) excited that I now have a Whole Foods Market within one mile of my neighborhood, rather than 8 or 11, the distance of the Whole Foods stores I currently frequent. Whole Foods Greenway is opening this Wednesday May 21, and I was invited to a pre-opening sneak peek.
Why do I like Whole Foods Market? Let me count the ways:
- GMO transparency. Whole Foods sells more non GMO product (over 6000 items) than any other store in North America. Their own product line (365 Everyday Value) is GMO free certified (the plant based items). They continue to work with suppliers toward GMO labeling, and are committed to having all products labeled by 2018.
- Community. Whole Foods partners with and supports community projects. As part of the grand opening of this store, they are donating pallets of food to Good Neighbor Center, and the delicious local Unbound Pickling is receiving the Local Producer Loan.
- Support Local. More on the Local Producer Loan – Whole Foods Markets have been providing low-interest loans to small producers in their regions (more than 12 million dollars).
- Growler Station. yes indeed.
Okay, the growler station is awesome (especially if they include kombucha!), but the rest of the list are the actual reasons I love Whole Foods.
Supporting local is one of the biggies for me, really. Some of my favorites will be at Greenway, including my friends at Oregon Olive Mill, my other friend Julie and her fabulous baking mixes, Unbound Pickling, Heidi Ho Veganics, and Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, to name just a few of the over 500 local vendors.
Their local focus includes schools – there is a great art installation on the wall of the store, outside by the front entrance. It is a large metal tree covered with birds painted by students from Mary Woodward Elementary – a sweet smile when you walk through the doors. Mary Woodward Elementary is also receiving the Whole Foods Kids School Garden Grant. You know I love my garden, and completely support getting kids into gardens. When they get to build and grow those gardens themselves? All kinds of awesome.
The Greenway store boasts over 300 bulk items, including Grind Your Own Nut Butters. 350 linear feet of beer. Yep. A full case of hard cider, with several of my local favorites. The prepared foods section includes a coffee, juice and smoothie bar where you’ll be able to find me every day at 7 am. There is a pizza oven, a taqueria, and a sandwich bar in addition to their hugely popular hot bar and fresh salad bar.
A nod to our very own Bull Mountain, in the prepared foods area:
You can also find me in their outdoor seating area complete with fire pit, heat lamps and a covered area – so us Portlanders can enjoy it year round. The indoor and outdoor seating accommodates approximately 80 people, and was designed as a gathering place for the community.
To cap off our tour, we were given Whole Foods shopping totes filled with swag – including chocolate bars. I used these Tanzania Schoolhouse Project organic dark chocolate bars to make truffles. Mmm:
cinnamon chocolate almond truffles
YIELD: 25-30 truffles
dairy, egg, soy and gluten free, vegan
2 bars (7 ounces) Dark Chocolate Almond bar
1/2 cup coconut milk (canned)*
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder (for rolling)
*Without shaking, open can of coconut milk, spoon out 1/2 cup of the thick portion at top of can for this recipe.
In saucepan, bring coconut milk and cinnamon to a boil, reduce to simmer and stir continually for several minutes. Remove from heat, add chopped chocolate, whisk until smooth. Remove from heat, cool. Cover and transfer to refrigerator to set (1 – 2 hours).
Sift cocoa powder into a bowl. Using a teaspoon, scoop chocolate and roll into small ball. Roll through cocoa to coat, set on a baking sheet with parchment. Repeat with remaining chocolate, place in refrigerator to set (1 hour). Store in airtight container up to a week, or freeze to enjoy later.
alternative to rolling truffles in cocoa powder – melt more chocolate (about 3 ounces) and coat them…
hello locals – Whole Foods Greenway opens this Wednesday, May 21, at 9 am. There is a breaking bread ceremony at 8:30 am. The mayor of Tigard, along with Portland area Whole Foods team leaders, local suppliers and members of the community will help kick off the grand opening festivities. Gift cards will be given to early guests on opening day, and all 365 product will be 25% off all of Wednesday and Thursday, May 21st and 22nd.
Come find me in the juice bar?
Whole Foods Greenway
12220 SW Scholls Ferry Road, Tigard, OR 97223 – Greenway Town Center
Open every day from 7 am to 10 pm
The Meatless Monday ingredient this week is xocolatl – the Aztec word for chocolate. Yes, I admire the creativity and any reason to create with chocolate. This recipe was submitted to Meatless Mondays A to Z – visit Heather to see what others did with xocolatl.
I also shared this recipe with Healthy Vegan Fridays.