[Editor's note: This is a letter from Laura Derba, North Atlantic regional president of Whole Foods Market.]
Dear Jamaica Plain Residents,
We’re excited to say that we’ve received the keys to , and our renovations are under way. As I promised in my last letter, I want to share with you our latest developments. We’ve received hundreds of calls and emails from people expressing their support and enthusiasm about our upcoming store opening, which we greatly appreciate.
We are currently completing our demolition phase inside the building and finalizing our design plans. As previously stated, we will not be making any changes to the structure of the building or to exterior features that make the building so unique. However the interior of the building requires extensive work in order to bring it up to code. This process will likely take up to six months, so we anticipate a fall opening date. To stay up to date on the progress, follow us on Twitter at @WFM_JP. We already have over 270 followers!
Perhaps our most exciting update is that we have hired the leadership team for the store. I’m proud to introduce Mike Walker and Wanda Hernandez as the Store Team Leader and Associate Store Team Leader of the JP store. Mike has been a Whole Foods Market team member since 1994, most recently as the Store Team Leader of our Symphony store. Wanda has been with Whole Foods Market since 2005, most recently as the Associate Store Team Leader in our Wellesley location. Mike and Wanda both have ties to the Jamaica Plain area, and share a great vision for creating a community market that becomes an integral and seamless part of the neighborhood.
Your Community Market:
We’ve been inspired by the great showing of community involvement that we’ve witnessed in the past few months. It is wonderful to be part of a community that cares so deeply about what’s happening in their neighborhood! I’d like to share with you some exciting updates on our community partnerships:
Supporting Local Organizations: Just last month, our Brighton and Symphony stores raised over $8,500 for the during a 5 Percent Day, thanks to the amazing support of the community! We will hold 5 Percent Days to support local nonprofit organizations quarterly.
Healthy Food in Schools: The Boston Latin School will be the first school in the city of Boston to launch their salad bar funded through our Salad Bar Project initiative. From there, we will extend the program to the , where we plan to donate another salad bar to help encourage healthier lunch options through access to fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.
Local Growers and Producers: This summer, we are hoping to host farmers’ markets in our parking lot so that local growers and producers can have a place to sell their food free of charge. Once we officially open our doors, we will also try to support these local producers and many others by carrying as many local products as we can.
Town Hall Meeting:
As promised, we will hold our on Thursday, June 2 at the from 7:00 - 8:30 pm. We are looking forward to formally introducing ourselves and our store leadership team, as well as presenting our plans for the store. There will also be a 30 minute Q&A period that will give community members an opportunity to ask questions about the store, as well as making suggestions of ways we can best serve as Jamaica Plain’s neighborhood’s community market.
We are looking to you to tell us what products you would like to see in the store. Our buyers are working diligently to stock a wide range of products that meet our strict quality standards. We want to hear from you! We’ve created an email address, JP_Products@wholefoods.com, and we will be handing out self addressed post cards at our Town Hall Meeting so that the JP community can tell us what products you’d like to see on our shelves.
As we proceed with renovations and get a clearer idea of when we will open, we will begin the hiring process for the store. We will be conducting interviews from a trailer on the store’s property. We plan to hire around 100 team members (approximately 70 full-time, 30 part-time) and hope that many of them will be from the local JP community. More information on becoming a Whole Foods Market team member will be available at the community meeting.
We look forward to the meeting on June 2. We are eager to introduce ourselves and share with you what Whole Foods Market is all about!
North Atlantic Regional President
Whole Foods Market