NH’s second Whole Foods store welcomes hundreds of customers in Bedford on opening day – See more at: http://www.unionleader.com/NHs-second-Whole-Foods-store-welcomes-hundreds-of-customers-in-Bedford-on-opening-day#sthash.bOFLxGqz.dpuf

Officials with Whole Foods Market and members of the Bedford Town Council break bread during the opening celebration of Whole Foods Market on Friday in Bedford. (KIMBERLY HOUGHTON)

BEDFORD — Whole Foods Market officially opened its second store in New Hampshire on Friday, greeting hundreds of eager customers at the former Wayfarer Inn location.

The store is just one part of a massive redevelopment in the Goffe Mill Plaza and old Macy’s site. As that section of Bedford prepares to undergo major changes, local planners will be presented Monday with updated conceptual plans for Bedford Place at South River Road, a future multi-use development project that abuts the new Whole Foods Market.

For now, area residents say they are pleased with the progress of the site, specifically the new grocery store that opened with its traditional bread-breaking ceremony on Friday morning.

“I am very impressed with the store. I like that it has such a large space,” said Lisa Wilcox, of Merrimack, who purchased some freshly baked baguettes during the opening hour.

Wilcox said she is drawn to all of the various organic options and fresh produce, which are ideal for making meals from scratch.

“We absolutely love Whole Foods. We go to the store in Nashua a lot, but this is much closer for us,” said Robin Katsalis, of Manchester. “The prepared foods are awesome, and the family meals that you heat and serve are so good.”

Katsalis is also a fan of the homemade soups, large produce section and locally sourced foods.

The 43,000-square-feet store housed at 121 South River Road is employing 155 workers. It includes a coffee bar, juice bar, bakery and Goffe’s Watering Hole, an in-store pub serving 21 craft beers, three draft wine selections and family-friendly foods such as pizza, salads and grilled items.

Town Councilor Kelleigh Murphy said she is thrilled about the newest Bedford business, and is excited to have additional organic food options for her children.

Five percent of the proceeds from opening day will be dispersed to five nonprofit organizations in the area, including New Hampshire Agriculture in the Classroom, Granite YMCA, Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire, Families in Transition – New Horizons and New Hampshire Food Bank.

Understanding the historical significance of the former Wayfarer Inn, Philip DeVito, store team leader at Whole Foods Market in Bedford, said it was important to celebrate and honor the significance of the historical hotel.

“We are proud to say that elements of the Wayfarer will live on within the walls of this Whole Foods Market store,” said DeVito.

Col. John Goffe originally developed the site in 1744, and now there is a new Goffe’s Watering Hole within the market to honor his memory.

Additional changes are about to take shape at the abutting former Macy’s site. On Monday, representatives from Encore Enterprises LLC, a real estate development firm based in Texas, will present updated conceptual plans for the site to the Bedford Planning Board.

Those plans include eight proposed buildings with retail, office, medical and restaurant space, including a potential hotel and movie theater at 125 S. River Road. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Monday at the BCTV Meeting Room, 10 Meetinghouse Road.

Read More at: http://www.unionleader.com/NHs-second-Whole-Foods-store-welcomes-hundreds-of-customers-in-Bedford-on-opening-day

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