It was originally supposed to open years ago to replace the Palatine store, but it just didn't happen. Now, Whole Foods Kildeer is days away from opening and I weaseled in on a media tour. I contacted Tanya, the marketing maven there, weeks ago and have been waiting for this very special invite.
This store is going to knock your socks off, ya'll. I know some people are all sad panda about the Palatine store closing, but trust me when I say it won't be missed. This Kildeer store is a spotless, sparkling little gem. It's also 12,000 square feet bigger than Palatine.
Like all Whole Foods, this location will focus on local produce, products made in-house (like bread, cookies, guacamole, salsa, juices and pizzas) and will provide a plethora of house-brand products. What I didn't realize was that 365 Everyday Value brand, which is Whole Foods' house brand, has the highest manufacturer standards for inclusion in the store. Plus, there's basically a house version of anything you're interested in buying, from organic oreos to 50 kinds of olive oil (exaggerating, but not by much). Tanya pointed out her favorite pastas in the freezer case that are the house brands, and I must go back and get them. Plus, the house brand is an affordable option.
What I'm really excited about in this store is the Cooking section, which used to be known as the bulk bins. This department is huge and includes spices, tea, grind-your-own peanut butter, granolas and grains, oats and dates. I love the bulk bins section because if you want to try something, you can buy 1/4 cup of it.
This store will also sell liquor, including locally made booze. Yum.
All of the signs in the store were crafted by local artists, including the sign for the new taco bar! I love me some tacos. There's also the standard hot bar, a sandwich bar, a bakery and pizza by the slice.
They have a million cheese options, all of which you can get cut down into smaller, more affordable portions.
What I'm really psyched about is the kitchen classroom. It can accommodate 15-25 people and is more than just a demonstration - each station will get its own conduction cook top, so participants can follow along. Tanya said the most popular classes Whole Foods offers are gluten free. The Kildeer location has several staffers who are GF, so it should be insightful.
I know a little baking buddy and I will be visiting this location for instruction soon!