Hundreds of locals lined up for Whole Foods Market’s Port Chester grand opening this morning, eager to take advantage of the deals and to check out the new store.
“I am so excited,’ said Rocco Muto, a 44-year resident of Port Chester. “I have been shopping at the Greenwich store for my daughter who has a lot of allergies, so this is great for me and for Port Chester. It is great for the local economy.” Muto’s mother Maria Lagana, a 54-year resident of the village, agreed.
Port Chester Mayor Neil Pagano and Trustee Joseph Kenner joined Whole Foods leaders for a store tradition for grand openings, a ceremonial bread breaking rather than a ribbon cutting, at 8:30 a.m. in front of the store at 575 Boston Post Road.
“This store is 49,000 square-feet, employs 200 people and has been named one of the top 100 companies to work for and they chose Port Chester,” Pagano said. “It is great to have a high end retailer like this enter our local market. Their shoppers are sophisticated and know good food. This is a good shot in the arm for the village and I think we will see a transition in retail.”
Once the bread was broken, shoppers quickly entered the store. The first 100 received free special edition reusable totes on their way in, a 25 percent discount on Whole Foods private label 365 Everyday Value items, other discounts, and roses on their way out the door.
Whole Foods officials said they had to spend a few all nighters to get their doors open for this morning, but their sleeplessness paid off. An army of Whole Foods team members had the store fully stocked and ready for business. Despite the large influx of customers, lines were moving quickly, samples were passed out and questions were answered.
“I like the vegetables, the produce and their wide selection of Gluten free items,” said Irene Devore, a White Plains resident who has been shopping at the Whole Foods there, but who said she will probably now split her shopping between the two stores.
Devore lined up early at the new Port Chester store to take advantage of their 25 percent off of the 365 Everyday Value items.
Rosa Lagana, a Port Chester resident said she is not too familiar with Whole Foods, although she has shopped at the Greenwich location before.
“I am just here to check it out,” Lagana said.
Trustee Kenner agrees with Pagano that this will be an impetus for more high-end retail to move in to the vaillge.
“I think this will be the first phase of a total transformation of the whole shopping center,” Kenner said. “I liken it to the transformation of the Rye Ridge Shopping Center,” he said, referring to when Rye Ridge was redesigned.
"This is a good shot in the arm for Port Chester," Pagano said.
Click through the photos for a look at the new store and read more on opening day deals and Whole Foods’ mission in this Patch article.