By Mina Williams For The Herald
LYNNWOOD — More than 150 Whole Foods Market employees met up with 60 farmers, ranchers and artisan producers during a training session recently. They’ll meet again March 15 when the new location opens in Lynnwood.
The store, the sixth Whole Foods in the area and the first for Snohomish County, will be staffed with equal numbers of new recruits, current employees from the area and company employees from other parts of the country.
The Austin, Texas, company has more than 310 stores nationwide.
“Snohomish County and Lynnwood are terrific areas,” said Denise Breyley, regional local forager for the stores in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia. She is charged with finding local growers and purveyors to stock the shelves of the Northwest stores. “Located near Alderwood mall and at the crossroads of north King and south Snohomish counties, the area is a destination spot.”
Whole Foods Market’s 37,000-square-foot Lynnwood location is at 2800 196th St. SW, the former home of Circuit City.
The store will cater to active families who, if they are not already improving their diet, will be looking for natural and organic options.
Busy professionals, seeking a healthful alternative for lunch or dinner with grab-and-go selections, are another group the store seeks to attract.
The local producers introducing their products to the new Whole Foods Market team represent just a portion of the hundreds of natural and organic producers in the store’s mix.
“We want our staff to know that our vendors are members of our family and understand that there are real people behind these products,” Breyley said. “We are proud of the relationships. For 32 years local producers have been a part of what we offer.”
Whole Foods Market’s green practices are reflected in the repurposed construction elements of the unit. LED lighting and reclaimed Douglas fir is used throughout the store.
The Lynnwood location is the first Whole Foods Market in the Pacific Northwest to use glycol as a refrigerant to reduce the amount of chlorofluorocarbons produced by the store.