The Austin Chronicle

Whole Foods Kicks Off 2014 with New Domain Store

By Virginia B. Wood, January 4, 2014, 4:30pm, On the Range

Whole Foods Market has had an outlet near the Domain on the drawing boards for several years but the build-out date kept getting pushed back while the homegrown natural foods giant completed stores in burgeoning Southwest neighborhoods. The opening date of the long-awaited Domain store is now set for Wednesday, Jan. 15.

Prior to the grand opening, Whole Foods will host an all-day media tour on Jan. 10 and a $10 per person preview party benefiting local non-profit radio stations KUT 90.5 and KUTX 98.9 on Jan. 13. The store will open with a traditional bread breaking ceremony at 7:30am on the morning of Jan.15 and the first 500 early-bird shoppers will receive special bags stuffed with the store brand 365 Day Value products. All day long, customers will be treated to special events, vendor food samples, sales items, and live music. It just so happens we’ve got some inside scoop on what they’ll be seeing. The current model of combining dining experiences with grocery shopping will be well represented in the new store. Look for such innovative venues as Texas Ramen, where guests can enjoy the hearty Japanese soup sensation with a Texas barbecue spin; Draft Shack, an indoor, charcoal-grill oyster bar boasting 45 beers on tap; and Public Domain, a converted freight train shipping container with an outdoor beer and bratwurst bar. In fact, beer seems to be a major focus at the new store, what with the two draft bars and a four foot “beer alley” stocked with 100 point-rated brews.

Whole Foods is also touting the Domain store as a showcase for local food products developed exclusively for them. They even have a Texas local forager scouring the state to discover and recruit culinary artisans for this program. Here is a list of just some of the new products to look for when the store opens:

Bearded Brothers – Outrageous Orange Kale Raw Foods Bar

Better Bites Bakery – Sunbutter Bites

Boomerangs Aussie Pies – Breakfast Pies (migas, southwest, sausage and egg, bacon and egg) and Vegan Green Curry Pie

Buhdda’s Brew – Blackberry Spearmint Kombucha

Daily Greens – Rejuvinate Juice: Tumeric, Guava, Greens

Food for Lovers – Hot Vegan Queso

Good Pop – Chocolate Milk Pop

LIVE Soda – Ginger Kombucha Soda

Living Raw – Hippie Hemp Truffles

Nada Moo – Vanilla Chai, Peanut Butter Banana

Paqui Chips – Salsa Verde Sour Cream Chips

Silverleaf International – Ghost Pepper Salsa Mustard, Garlic Mustard, and Traditional Whole Grain Mustard

Smart Flour Foods – Sundried Tomoao & Escarole Gluten Free Pizza

Thunderbird Energetica – Super Seed Champion Bar

Treasured Earth Foods Bakery - surprise

Skull & Cake Bones Bakery – surprise

When plans for the Domain store were initially discussed, the overall scheme called for closing the smaller Gateway store, now the oldest store in local Whole Foods Market chain. However, Southwest Regional President Mark Dixon recently announced that loyal Gateway customers and team members will not lose their store but instead get a remodeled and refreshed outlet. The Gateway store will temporarily close on Tuesday, Jan 12 for a renovation and green efficiency update and re-open in late February. During the renovation, team members will relocate to other outlets in the chain and help out with the opening of the Domain store.

Preview party Monday, Jan. 13, 5-8pm

Grand Opening Bread-breaking Ceremony, Jan. 15, 7:30am

Whole Foods Market - Domain

11920 Domain Drive 512/831-3981

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