Hundreds gathered at Westford Valley Marketplace on Wednesday morning to officially open Westford’s new Whole Foods location.
The beginning of the new store was highlighted by a “bread breaking” ceremony that the chain has used to christen all of its new stores across the country.
In that ceremony, Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karen Polito said that the store serves as an anchor not just for the plaza, but for the entire community, attracting other high quality businesses to come near it.
The opening also attracted customers from a distance as well. Gail Comeau and Deanna Fitzpatrick of Leominster would travel elsewhere in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or even Connecticut in the past to get to a Whole Foods.
While they were satisfied to an extent with the Market Basket in their community, certainly specialty items were just not available within driving distance until now.
“This is great to have a Whole Foods so close to Leominster, we don’t have much of a variety,” said Comeau. “We wanted to come out and see it and support it.”
They weren’t alone. Melissa Burgio of Lowell frequently used to shop at Whole Foods before moving to the area. That was over a year ago, and she went as far to say that she had “Whole Foods withdrawal.”
“We don’t have any organic-type grocery stores in Lowell, so I think this is fantastic,” she said.
Plenty of Westford residents were shopping on opening day as well. Peter Berson has been driving to Bedford and Nashua, NH’s Whole Foods stores on a weekly basis for awhile.
“When we moved here nine years ago, (we thought) when were they going to open a Whole Foods in Westford?,” he said. “The climate was right for the store.”
In addition to the ceremony, five percent of profits from the day are being given to Sustainable Westford, the Paul Center in Chelmsford, Friends of the East Boston Camps, the Lowell Humane Society and the Greater Lowell Community Foundation.
According to Sustainable Westford Founder Gloria Gilbert, expects approximately $1,000 from the day for her group, which will help everything from the Westford Farmers’ Market to a presentation on solar panels occurring later in the evening.
More information on Whole Foods Westford is available on their Facebook page.