Whole Foods arrives in El Paso

Kimberly Valle , Staff Reporter

Whole Foods Market announced 12 new locations, and one of them is making its way to El Paso and will open in late 2016.

The announcement was made a week ago and according to Heather Larrabee, Whole Foods regional marketing coordinator, the El Paso location will be on the southeast corner of Pitt and Mesa Streets on the Westside.

“El Paso is really an awesome place for us, because not only do you have folks living in El Paso, but you have Las Cruces and Juárez right across the border,” Larrabee said. “So there’s a ton of people that we are hoping will like the food and the things that we have to offer.”

Whole Foods Market is a healthy grocery food store known for their fresh and organic produce, locally sourced products including meat and seafood, which are cut fresh in each store location by butchers and fishmongers. Bulk products such as nuts, cereals and grains are available in addition to a coffee bar, bakery and a prepared food section with sandwiches, burritos, pizzas, rotisserie chickens, soup and salad bars and chef-made deli fare to go.

Representatives say there will also be alternative diet options, like gluten-free and vegetarian foods.

“We have really strict quality standards for any food that we sell in our store, so that comes down to ingredients,” Larrabee said. “We don’t allow anything that has high-fructose corn syrup or artificial color and preservation, hydroxylated fats, strict standard of animal welfare. We are really responsible to the environment.”

Like every Whole Foods store, El Paso’s will be different. Larrabee, along with other partners, went around the city to get a sense of what El Paso is all about. Larrabee also said that the location’s architecture will be a surprise. She said that there will be some UTEP spirit and different food cultures for people to explore, including Greek, Mediterranean and Korean.

“We know family is of huge importance in El Paso, very kid-friendly family,” Larrabee said. “You will definitely see some venues that we don’t have elsewhere based on the culture and food tradition.”

Many seem to be excited about Whole Foods coming to El Paso.  Diana Vasquez, junior multimedia journalism major, said she looks forward to shopping there.

“We don’t have something like this in El Paso, so it will benefit the residents here,” Vasquez said.

Diana Leon, junior multimedia journalism major, who stays consistent with her diet and work out routines, said she is thrilled about Whole Foods.

“I often struggle on finding all organic groceries for my meal preps, but I am happy El Paso is finally stepping up healthy wise,” Leon said.

Kimberly Valle may be reached at [email protected]