Whole Foods on Market Street opening November 6

This morning, like the grocery geeks we are, Matt and I took a tour of San Francisco’s newest Whole Foods, opening next Wednesday, November 6. It’s located at 2001 Market Street @ Dolores, the site of the former S&C Ford dealership.

Photo tour (click on any image for a larger version/slideshow):

A few nuts & bolts first…

Number of Whole Foods Markets in San Francisco: 7

Approximate square footage of new store: 27,000

Number of parking spaces for the store: 63

Number of those that are for electric cars: 2

Hours of operation: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm every day

Official opening day/bread-breaking: November 6, 9:45 am (They don’t cut ribbons, they break bread. Cool, huh?)

While the Safeway across the street continues quaking in its staid corporate boots, I’ll describe some of the unique features of the new Whole Foods.

Just to the left of the main entrance is a two-seat shoeshine stand, operated by a local vendor called A Shine & Co., adjacent to a wall of what our tour guide called “man products.” By which she meant “men’s grooming stuff,” like shaving gear and skin care. The shoe shine stand will be open daily until about 6:00 pm.

Now for some unique-to-this-store food items. Oh, Whole Foods, you had me at sausage on a stick, made in house and available in the grab-and-go section. There will also be locally made gelato with flavors like Blue Bottle Coffee (Ok, you had me at sausage on a stick AND Blue Bottle Coffee gelato). The bakery will put out mini foccacia in a variety of flavors daily.

Every Whole Foods has a hot bar, but this one amps it up with an entire section of the hot bar with all Paleo foods. If you’re throwing a cheese tasting party and you need 250 kinds of cheese from around the world, they’ve got you covered. They’ll also sell honeycomb from Steve’s Bees in Orinda and tell those of us who are unfamiliar with honeycomb how to pair it with cheese. Who knew?

Now I’ve got to bust on Whole Foods a little bit for a cake with a big ol’ carbon footprint. They’re selling cakes called Baum cakes and they’re flying them in from Denver. DENVER. That’s far away from San Francisco, even though a layer cake cooked in a rotisserie sounds really damn cool.

Goodbye Ford, Hello Whole Foods

It’s finally happening! After years of planning, waiting, hoping, and dreaming, the former site of the Ford dealership on Market @ Dolores is finally being demolished. And what will rise in its place? Not a new Ford dealer, but instead a food dealer. To be more specific, a Whole Foods.

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As you can see from the photos above, demolition is well under way and in a few years shoppers in the neighborhood will no longer have to endure the stale hell that is the Safeway on Market street. Instead, they’ll be able to fill their locally-sourced sustainably-farmed hemp grocery bags with all sorts of organic fruits and vegetables from the local foodshed. Or Cheerios, because believe it or not you can actually buy Cheerios at Whole Foods!

As you may know from my stalking of The Madrone I’m a big fan of demolition and construction photos. I’ll try to get by the site on a regular basis (given its central location, how could I not go by on a regular basis?) and keep a running update with new photos and movies as the months go by.

What do you think of the building? Is it a location that you’d be willing to live? Are you “meh” about the condos but happy about the grocery store? Will the presence of the Whole Foods do serious damage to Safeway’s business? Will we gain one grocery store on the south side of Market street only to lose the other one on the north side of the street? (In my fantasy world , Safeway closes and Trader Joe’s takes over their location.)

Regardless of your feelings about the Whole Foods condoplex being built, I have to say I’m glad to see that the empty site is finally an active construction site. In the long run, I think it is a great addition to the neighborhood and can’t wait to see it grow.