Whole Foods to Open Store, Add 125 Jobs in Maple Grove

The new location at The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove will be Whole Foods' sixth in the Twin Cities.

Whole Foods Market announced Wednesday that it plans to open a new location at The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove-the retailer's sixth in the Twin Cities metro area.

The 34,000-square-foot store is slated to open in mid-2013, and Whole Foods will hire approximately 125 in connection with the new store opening; approximately 80 percent of its staff members work full time.

The new store will be located at 12201 Elm Creek Boulevard, a site previously occupied by now-defunct electronics retailer Ultimate Electronics. It will also be close to a Trader Joe's store-which sells specialty groceries.

Whole Foods stores feature natural and organic foods that are free of artificial ingredients and hydrogenated fats. They sell fresh and organic fruits and vegetables, various meats and poultry, everyday pantry staples, and sustainable seafood. The Maple Grove location will also contain a separate liquor store that will sell specialty beers and wines.

The Maple Grove store is one of two Whole Foods locations in the Twin Cities that are scheduled to open in 2013. A downtown Minneapolis store-at the corner of Hennepin and Washington avenues-is also set to open that same year; plans for that store were announced in February.

The company currently operates four stores in Minnesota-one on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, one in Calhoun Commons in Minneapolis, one in Minnetonka, and an Edina location that opened last month.

“The Twin Cities continues to be an area of growth for us,” Michael Bashaw, Whole Foods' regional president for the Midwest, said in a statement. “We're extremely excited to expand our offering of natural and organic products to an even greater customer base and to do so in a bustling area such as Maple Grove.”

The Twin Cities has a high concentration of grocery co-ops that sell organic and natural foods. Among the most well known are The Wedge, Seward Co-op, and Mississippi Market.

Earlier this year, food and lifestyle website Organic Authority reported that Minneapolis is one of the nine cities in the country where residents can most easily lead an “organic foodie lifestyle.”