DESTIN, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Destin community is welcoming a new major food store that specializes in local, organic products coming straight from the community.
Whole Foods Market opened its doors Wednesday and Destin residents flooded into the aisles.
Stocked with products catering to a wide variety of diets, the 35,520-square-foot store located at 4402 Legendary Drive offers foods not usually found in traditional grocery stores.
"We have a large assortment of vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free that taste good, so that's important,” says Destin Whole Foods marketing specialist Jessica Foy. “So if you have any dietary needs, feel free to call the store and speak with our bakery chef and we will definitely do our best to accommodate that.”
The nation's leading natural and organic food retailer also focuses on supporting local farmers, producers and artisans. Each store features independent producers and local suppliers much like third generation bee keeper and owner of Honey Hutch, Amy Wright.
"To be a part of Whole Foods, they really work with the farmers locally here and I think are going to be a great thing for our community” said Wright. “It's amazing to start from bee keeping from our back yard and then to be here in a store like Whole Foods means a lot, so we are really excited."
Fresh seafood from Destin-based Harbor Docks seafood market, vegan products from Seaside’s Raw & Juicy, as well as all natural Florida beef from Adams Ranch, a 4th generation cattle producing ranch in Fort Pierce also contribute to products found in this location.
In keeping with the whole foods market's mission, they also plan to give back to the local community by giving a percentage of net sales to local educational and non-profit organizations through their “One Percent Days.”
Each quarter it plans to focus on different organization, but for the grand opening the team will celebrate with 5 local charities, each receiving 1%. Beneficiaries include Food for Thought Outreach, Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance, Lighthouse Family Retreat and Cultural Art Alliance of Walton County.
They also hope to contribute to local school through their nation-wide Whole Kids Foundation.
“The Whole Kids Foundation is great, it is basically a non-profit that provides education on healthy eating for children, and we are very excited to partner with our local schools and try to get them signed up for a garden grant or a salad bar grant that,” Foy admitted. “It just creates a lot of excitement with young kids, learning about lettuces and whole foods and we are happy to do that.”
Whole Foods Market Destin will be open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.