Whole Foods Brings New Concept to HTX

The new Independence Heights Whole Foods 365 store celebrated its grand opening this past weekend, bringing a much-needed grocery store to the up-and-coming neighborhood. Residents of Independence Heights have long lamented the lack of food options other than convenience stores, categorizing the neighborhood as an urban “food desert.”

Image c/o Marc Longoria, Swamplot

Test Concept in Texas

The store is part of a test concept for Whole Foods, focusing on the 365 store brand and offering lower price points than Whole Foods stores. The Independence Heights store is one of only ten Whole Foods 365 stores in the nation and the first one in Texas.

Whole Foods 365 stores are smaller than Whole Foods and marketed toward younger, less affluent shoppers, while still providing a huge variety of fresh, organic produce and other high quality, health conscious items.

What’s In Stock?

The 30,000 square foot store features a fresh food bar for quick meals, as well as 400 produce items (200 of them organic), 75 cheeses, local specialty products and a full selection of meats and seafood. There’s also a Peli Peli Kitchen, South African cuisine, and Houston’s first Juice Society, a coffee and juice bar. Our favorite feature of the Whole Food 365 store? The wine section has touch screen with a built-in scanner allowing buyers to use a wine bottle or beer’s barcode to learn about its flavors and pairing suggestions.

Image c/o Melissa Phillip, Houston Chronicle

Whole Foods vs. 365 by Whole Foods

Last year Amazon purchased Whole Foods, so Amazon Prime members are given a 10% discount on many items at Whole Foods and 365 stores. Technology and labor-saving design considerations allow Whole Foods 365 stores to run a more cost-effective operation and keep prices lower, than Whole Foods typical outlets. One example? You’ll be using machines to label bags for your produce, bulk items and pantry staples. There is also a greater focus on self-checkout.

The retail center anchored by Whole Foods 365 is also home to a Verizon store, Fajita Pete’s and Orange Theory Fitness. Many Houstonians were initially puzzled by the decision to put a Whole Foods in Independence Heights. In the past, the company has opted for high-income zip codes. The chain is excited about this fresh concept and bringing a variation of Whole Foods to a new demographic. Whole Foods, jokingly referred to as “Whole Paycheck”, appears to  be working to change that perception. R. Carson Wilson IV, a partner in the Independence Heights development project:

 “365 was a Whole Foods growth vehicle at the time and they wanted to pattern it as a concept for younger family and millennials, which we felt would be perfect for the surrounding communities.”

Image c/o Whole Foods 365

Whole Foods 365 is located at 101 N Loop West, at the Loop and Yale.

Are you interested in moving closer to Whole Foods 365? Circa Real Estate would love to help. Our experienced agents can also assist with selling or leasing! When you have finished grocery shopping, stop by our office on 19th Street and say hello!


Featured image c/o Marc Longoria, Swamplot