Whole Foods opens in South Park

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Wednesday was a dream come true for many a foodie in Charlotte. Whole Foods opened the door to its Southpark store, and thousands came to check it out.

The upscale grocery is also a dream come true for dozens of local business owners. "Oh my goodness, it is huge, " says Brandi Jones.  Jones and her husband, Mark, began Honey Butter Bakery five years ago.  Now their cheesecakes will sit in Whole Food's famously tempting treat case. "As a small business owner, I could go into tears just telling you about it right now, because it really has made a difference in our business," she says.

Part of Whole Food's mission is to support local business owners like Todd and Suzi Ford.  They opened Noda Brewing Company, just ten months ago.

"We're very excited," Todd says. "They took the position that they really wanted to put the accent on North Carolina beers. They told us that from the start – they have a very knowledgeable wine and beer staff, and so they talked to us early on."

And that's another thing that makes this grocery store unique - they serve wine and beer here.

"The wine bar is fabulous," one patron gushed. "Wow. Too much."

The decadence can be overwhelming, but Whole Foods is also about providing the ultimate in nutrition.

Shabaka Amen is a healthy lifestyle consultant, and he says the place will even help support him. "I'll be bringing all my customers here for healthy food shopping tours," he says. "This is the place to be. It's hot."