The Lakewood Whole Foods will open — probably later than sooner — but when it does, say company officials, it will be one of the gems in the chain. “I’ve worked on the all the new stores in this area, including Park Lane, and this is the most exciting project I’ve worked on,” says Seth Stutzman, Whole Foods’ southwest regional vice president. “We’re making so many big stores, and it’s tough to make them feel like part of the community. But that’s what we’ve been able to do with this one.” Stutzman met with the Lakewood Neighborhood Association in July, and offered these details:
• The new store, replacing the Minyard’s on Abrams Road, could open as soon as February or as late as May in 2009. Stutzman said serious foundation problems were discovered during renovation, which is slowing the process.
• The store will be environmentally friendly, with LEED certification from the Green Building Council of America, 48 skylights, and energy efficient lighting and dairy and freezer cases.
• In-store features will include a barbecue stand, an expanded produce section, on-premise bread baking, and cheese made in-house.
• The store will be about 40,000 square feet, about twice as big as the Greenville Avenue location.
   Want to watch the old Minyard’s become Whole Foods? Visit advocatemag.com to watch the progress on our 24/7 Whole Foods web cam.