This Whole Foods won’t consume your whole paycheck.
New York City’s first Whole Foods Market 365 — a cheaper offshoot of the upscale supermarket chain — opened its doors to the public Wednesday in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
The 40,000-square-foot store on the ground and basement floors of a new high-rise at 292 Ashland Pl. plants a flag for the brand just blocks away from the Trader Joe’s at the City Point retail complex, which dropped anchor in June.
Both the Whole Foods Market 365 and Trader Joe’s grocery chains are targeting the budget-conscious foodie: In a news release announcing the opening date for 365’s first location on the East Coast back in December, president Jeff Turnas stressed it would “provide a fantastic combination of convenience, quality and value to families, students and commuters alike.”
The new supermarket in the 300 Ashland luxury apartment building is stocking Whole Foods Market products, including the economical 365 line, and independent brands, too, Whole Foods spokesman Ted Kwong said. New Yorkers can expect to see grab-and-go items, organic produce and sustainable seafood on shelves and in fridges.
While Trader Joe’s puts an emphasis on “great” food (a slippery adjective the company doesn’t define on its website), Whole Foods promises shoppers an inventory “free of artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, preservatives and hydrogenated fats.”
The company’s latest 365 outpost at the intersection of Ashland Place and Lafayette Avenue features a coffee bar and artisanal bakery by the Upper East Side-born Orwashers, the vegan burger chain Next Level Burger's first East Coast location and a Juice Press bar — perks the Downtown Brooklyn Trader Joe’s can outsource to its neighbor, the DeKalb Market Hall.
Other novelties to look out for: digital price tags; a pour-your-own beer and wine station with 12 taps, touch screens and RFID cards; and a digital beer-pairing kiosk in the beer cooler section.
Who might win in the Whole Foods 365 v. Trader Joe’s showdown?
Kwong declined to weigh in: “We’re just excited to provide a great source of convenient natural and organic foods at great value to the Fort Greene community,” he said.
News of the Whole Foods 365’s arrival first broke in January 2017, when the developer behind 300 Ashland announced its ground-floor tenant.