Whole Foods Fashion Island was buzzing Wednesday as more than 300 people celebrated its grand opening.
The Newport Beach location -- which is the grocery chain's 335th store-- opened it doors with an official bread-breaking ceremony, which is the Whole Foods tradition. Whole Food executives and team members were also on hand to welcome each visitor with a free demi-baguette treat. Other gratis favors included Whole Foods Newport Beach reusable grocery bags and Back Bay Tavern pint glasses with a minimum purchase.
"We couldn't be more excited to open in Newport Beach," Patrick Bradley, regional president of Whole Foods told the crowd. "I personally have been waiting 20 years for a store in Newport Beach."
Team members walked around the store, answering questions and offering recommendations in nearly every section.
"We are here to serve you. You will meet a lot of artisan people that take a lot of pride in their craft," George Khoury, team leader of the Fashion Island store, said. "We are going to have a great relationship, I will know all of you by name, that is my mission."
The massive 32,000-square-foot store features the Tea Hive Fusion Cafe and Bar, where customers can choose from green, black of oolong tea frozen, sparkling or iced tea. Customers can also dine at the Back Bay Tavern which serve 24 craft beers on tap, wine and spirits and a menu with beef, seafood, vegetarian and vegan meals. It also has flat screen TVs, a sliding door entrance and seats for visitors at its old fashioned mahogany bar.
"I am so excited! This store is amazing," resident Amy Stromberg told Patch. "This will definitely be my new local grocery store and hangout."
Whole Foods also boasts a cheese store, a butcher, a bakery with assortments of cakes, cookies, cupcakes and a liquor department with 48 feet of beer and over 1,00 wines and spirits. You can also get fresh rolled sushi, custom made pizzas, stop by the cafe and a wine bar. Organic juices and coffee are also served.
Whole Foods is located in Newport Beach at 415 Newport Center Dr.