About 200 people gathered outside the entrance of the brand new Whole Foods in Gowanus this morning for the grand opening of the chain’s long-awaited arrival in Brooklyn. Complimentary coffee, apple cider, fruit and Kind Bars greeted the cold masses as Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz gave a speech and broke bread (challah, naturally, shared with anyone who wanted a piece) to officially open the store before the throngs rushed in at 9am. Free Whole Foods canvas tote bags were given to the first 250 people through the door.
The atmosphere was festive; I’ve never witnessed more excitement for a friggin’ supermarket. One self-proclaimed “Supermarket Fanatic” traveled from Crown Heights for the event. The store’s staff was friendly and welcoming; the seafood department — which looks stellar — had the most exuberant workers of all, chanting their sale items and loudly proclaiming their love of all foods aquatic. The aisles were completely stocked, and all the store’s various specialty departments were in full swing: the salad bars, the cheese department, the coffee roasters, the pizza counter, the Yuji ramen stand, the bakery, the rooftop bar, and so on and so forth.
The greenhouse isn’t open yet, although the gardeners from Gotham Greens, tasked with running it, have planted the first few rows under the grow lights. A public unveiling of the greenhouse is scheduled for February.
Here’s a video montage of the event re-posted from @emilyida13′s Instagram:
It was quite the event! Here are some photos.