OKEMOS — Two weeks ago, Meridian Township welcomed a new organic food market. On April 13, Whole Foods Market opened its doors for the first time, making it the first Lansing-area Whole Foods, and their seventh Michigan store. With the growing criticism of processed foods, organic food markets are well on their way to becoming a main-stay trend. “[Organic food shopping] definitely will become a lot more popular, it’s a lot healthier,” Barb Vuillemot, a shopper at Foods for Living in Meridian Township, said. “Right now, it’s still not mainstream, so it makes it harder for people to find.
In preparation for its early 2016 opening, Whole Foods in East Lansing will soon begin hiring. The new store, which has yet to announce an official opening date, is located at 2750 E. Grand River Ave. and looking to hire 120 part-time and full-time employees, said Whole Foods spokesperson Allison Phelps to the Lansing State Journal. Positions posted online require varying skills, from high-level food preparation to customer service positions that require no previous experience. Phelps reported to the Lansing State Journal that interviews should be held in March.
A new branch of popular health food chain Whole Foods Market is scheduled to open for business on East Grand River Avenue this April, which will mark the third natural food store to open in or around the Meridian area within a five-mile radius. The market will join the ranks of 18-year-old local business Foods For Living and Meijer-invested Fresh Thyme, a Midwest chain that opened its first Michigan store in East Lansing last year. With Whole Foods Market opening less than half a mile away from Foods For Living, experts expect a disruption in competition to alter business transactions among the health food stores in the Meridian area. Thomas Page, former Meridian Township resident and Associate Professor within Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business, said he expects corporate-owned Whole Foods to take a notable slice of consumer traffic. “Whole Foods is expensive, but it’s also a much bigger store and it’s going to draw a bigger influx of customers just because of the fact that it’s much more well-known.