Whole Foods unveils its next-generation store

Grocer's core values are on full display within the organic retailer’s latest format, which opened in Tampa, Florida, on July 7
Whole Foods unveils its next-generation store

Whole Foods Market‘s latest format opened in Tampa, Florida, on July 7. It is a 48,000-square-foot store at the intersection of Dale Mabry Highway and Midtown Drive, and it is based on the 40-year-old core values of “nourishing people and planet” with healthy and natural foods in a sustainable way, according to Progressive Grocer. After all, signs right above the cheese case read: “Our core values are: We sell the highest quality natural and organic food. We satisfy and delight our customers. We care about our communities and the environment. We promote team member growth and happiness. We practice win-win supplier partnerships. We create profits and prosperity.”

At the front end of the new Whole Foods (owned by Amazon), there’s traditional and self checkout but no Amazon Dash Carts or Just Walk Out cashierless technology, as found in many of the Amazon Fresh stores that Amazon has been opening across the country (13 have opened so far). In fact, there’s few signs of Amazon’s ownership at the Midtown Tampa Whole Foods, save for a few promotional cards indicating sale prices for Amazon Prime members. This new format is not about Amazon’s alleged aspirations to dominate the grocery industry. It is all about showcasing the next evolution of the natural foods retailing standards that CEO John Mackey put in place when he founded Whole Foods in Austin, Texas, in 1980.

Shoppers browsing the rest of the new Whole Foods in Tampa will see other signs consistent with Whole Foods’ messaging: “Our purpose is to nourish” “How animals are raised matters” “Seafood standards like nowhere else.”


Innovative features of the new Tampa Whole Foods store include:

  • A full-service seafood counter with a focus on locally sourced options;
  • Prepared foods department with a wide and local-focused selection of hot and cold food bars featuring salad, soups, pizza, charcuterie, fresh packed pasta, ready-to-heat meals and new gourmet salads. Four large hot and cold food bars feature international and plant-based cuisine;
  • There’s a ‘daal’ station for Indian food lovers, and a ‘quinoa’ station. Nearby, charcuterie, pizza and sushi stations tempt the shopper also;
  • A cheese department overseen by an in-store American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional who can offer expertise and recommendations for any occasion and create custom boards;
  • The center store features local treats such as toffee from Pinellas Park’s Toffee to Go and chocolate from 5150 Chocolate, as well as endless plant-based and better-for-you options that are free of many artificial ingredients, which the store calls out in signage;
  • The Bake Shop department offers custom cakes, patisserie and special diet options. Local items include tres leches cake from Momma’s Baked Goods and cookies from Cosa Duci Italian Bakery;
  • An expansive Wellness and Beauty section features products in the body care, supplement and home categories that include products from local suppliers.
Whole Foods-Amazon-organic-sustainability
Whole Foods-Amazon-organic-sustainability
Whole Foods-Amazon-organic-sustainability
Whole Foods-Amazon-organic-sustainability
Whole Foods-Amazon-organic-sustainability
Whole Foods-Amazon-organic-sustainability
Whole Foods-Amazon-organic-sustainability
Whole Foods-Amazon-organic-sustainability
Whole Foods-Amazon-organic-sustainability
Whole Foods-Amazon-organic-sustainability
Whole Foods-Amazon-organic-sustainability
Whole Foods-Amazon-organic-sustainability
Whole Foods-Amazon-organic-sustainability
Whole Foods-Amazon-organic-sustainability

Other features of the store (see photo gallery above) include: parking spots for grocery pickup, a flight information board at the front end for shoppers heading to nearby Tampa International Airport, an expanded bulk foods department, a juicing machine that makes fresh juices, a vast dining space lined with flatscreen TVs, grab and go kiosks featuring breakfast, gourmet and plant-based items, and a floral department featuring locally grown orchids.


As it expands its footprint and community of employees, Whole Foods is broadening its product portfolio, too, launching 950 new local brands, 10,000 local items and 650 new exclusive brands last year. More are planned for 2021.

As we look to the rest of 2021 and beyond, we are excited to resume services that were suspended due to the pandemic and continue serving more communities, leading the way in shaping the future of grocery retail and advancing our purpose to nourish people and the planet for many years to come,” a company statement read. The first national certified-organic grocer, Whole Foods has more than 500 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

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