CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Before the doors can open at 9am on Wednesday, there's still a fair bit of work to be done inside Charlotte's first Whole Foods store.
"Right now we're working on getting everything just right. There's still some staff training going on and we're stocking the shelves," said store manager Trevor Barhydt.
The lease was signed to build on the corner of the South Park crossroads of Sharon and Fairview two years ago. Now the store is nearly set for it's first customers.
When WBTV visited for a sneak peek inside, packaged foods were being placed on the shelves. Produce, meat, seafood, and other fresh foods won't arrive until Tuesday or Wednesday morning right before store opening.
Our tour included the coffee bar, the wood fired pizza oven, the sushi station, the gelato case, all of which is made in-house.
There's also a bar which includes wine and local beers and on the third floor a cooking school upstairs where classes will be offered.
All of this before you even start grocery shopping.
"It goes back to focusing on the experience because why should grocery shopping be a chore," asked Barhydt.
Everything stocked here is all natural with no artificial ingredients. That kind of healthy shopping can get expensive.
"It depends on what you purchase. We have everything from value to the highest end. We do competitive pricing with every retailer in the market and we look to match or beat those prices," Barhydt added.
For Charlotte-area shoppers the experience may seem less like shopping at Bilo or Food Lion and more like a stop at Earthfare.
As for parking there are a few hundred spaces including a new underground parking ramp that you can access from Fairview Road.
The staff does expect large crowds and backups in the first few weeks of the store opening however they are asking shoppers to be patient.
"It won't always be that way," Barhydt said.
Whole Foods is offering some public tours on Sunday and Monday for a $5 donation to charity. Most of the spaces are filled but if you'd like more information, click here.
Copyright 2012 WBTV. All rights reserved.
On Your Side
Weather & Traffic