Whole Foods Coming to Minnetonka in 2011

The new Minnetonka location will mark the third Whole Foods store in the Twin Cities area, and the company previously announced plans to open a store in Edina by the end of 2012.

Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market, Inc., announced Wednesday plans to open a new store in Minnetonka next year.

The 32,000-square-foot supermarket will be located on Plymouth Road-and it will be the third Twin Cities Whole Foods location. The company also recently announced that it has plans to open a store on France Avenue in Edina by the end of 2012.

Whole Foods-which sells natural and organic foods-currently has locations near Lake Calhoun on Excelsior Boulevard in Minneapolis and on South Fairview Avenue in St. Paul.

“We look forward to adding to our existing locations in the Twin Cities,” Michael Bashaw, Whole Foods' Midwest regional president, said in a statement. “We haven't opened a new location in the Twin Cities in more than 11 years, and we are greatly looking forward to expanding our brand and offering our natural and organic products to an even greater customer base.”

The company anticipates that its new Minnesota stores will result in the addition of roughly 250 local jobs.

“These stores will allow us to deepen our connections within the community,” Bashaw said. “We look forward to building strong relationships with our neighborhood partners in our new communities.”

Whole Foods bills itself as the country's first national certified-organic grocery store operator. It employs more than 53,000, and it currently runs more than 280 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The company reported sales of about $9 billion in its most recently completed fiscal year.