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(Cherry Hill, N.J.) – Mayor Chuck Cahn joined officials from Whole Foods Market and Federal Realty Investment Trust on Wednesday morning to celebrate the Grand Opening of Whole Foods’ newest location, inside Cherry Hill’s Ellisburg Circle Shopping Center.
The Mayor took part in a bread-breaking before the store officially opened its doors at 9 a.m., joined by Council President David Fleisher, Council members Jim Bannar, Susan Shin Angulo and Melinda Kane, Camden County Freeholder Jeff Nash, and hundreds of eager shoppers.
In his opening remarks, the Mayor touted the 45,000-square-foot supermarket as a powerful engine for economic development and revitalization in Cherry Hill and regionally. The store is Whole Foods’ 12th location in New Jersey, and one of more than 380 stores across the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.
“I’m proud to welcome Whole Foods Market as our newest neighbor in Cherry Hill,” Mayor Cahn told the crowd gathered for the 8:45 a.m. ceremony. “In addition to creating jobs for residents in our region, Whole Foods has injected new life and energy into the Ellisburg Shopping Center and has served as a catalyst for additional growth and reinvestment in our community.”
Whole Foods joins LourdesCare at Cherry Hill, which opened in early 2013, as the newest face at the former Ellisburg Circle. The two projects have led the transformation of the Route 70/Kings Highway/Brace Road corridor into one of Cherry Hill’s most vibrant and thriving locations.
With Whole Foods’ arrival, the Ellisburg Shopping Center’s management company, Federal Realty, capitalized on the opportunity to give the 267,000-square-foot shopping center a much-needed facelift, complete with a fresh façade, and new red-and-white signage. The move has helped to attract new tenants such as Honey Grow to fill vacant storefronts. With 1,344 solar panels on the store’s roof and energy-saving green doors in each department, Whole Foods Cherry Hill also serves as a centerpiece of sustainable development in town.
Whole Foods Cherry Hill contains a number of “firsts” for the grocer’s locations in the Mid-Atlantic Region, including The Hatchery, a pop-up space featuring local artisans and entrepreneurs; the only Whole Foods in the Mid-Atlantic Region to offer certified kosher fish; and an in-house “art space” where customers can watch the store’s artists at work. Other unique features include made-in-house game sausage, a pickle bar, bagels boiled and baked in-house, an organic espresso bar, DIY body care and cleaning products, and house-made mozzarella, seasonal salad dressings, kettle corn and tortilla chips.
“Whole Foods’ arrival has helped to reinvent Ellisburg as a prime location for shopping in the region, inspired growth and reinvestment across our community, and solidifies Cherry Hill’s reputation as a destination for major national and international retailers,” Mayor Cahn said. “Complete with its unique features and plentiful seating, I have no doubt that this will become more than a supermarket; it will serve as a gathering place for our community. This not your typical supermarket, and it’s not your typical Whole Foods – it is a special store to fit our special quality of life.”
Whole Foods is the world’s leading natural and organic supermarket and the country’s first national certified organic grocer. Wednesday’s bread-breaking capped a week of festivities surrounding the store’s opening, complete with food, fun and festivities, including live music and performances. Last Thursday, hundreds of residents turned out for a Food Truck Festival in the shopping center’s parking lot, and more than 1,300 people received a sneak-peek at the inside of the store during guided tours on Sunday and Monday.
“Whole Foods Market is thrilled to be a part of this community,” said whole Foods Market Cherry Hill Store Team Leader Joe Greenlee. “It means so much to be able to open the doors and welcome our new neighbors, customers and Team Members. We’ve already built many meaningful relationships in the community – and look forward to those only continuing to grow.”