(Destin, FL) – Whole Foods Market, the leading natural and organic food retailer, will welcome its first location in Destin, Florida on Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Located at 4402 Legendary Drive, Whole Foods Market Destin marks the first store in Okaloosa County.

Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market is the nation’s first national certified organic grocer. Today, the company has more than 400 stores throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. They employ more than 88,000 team members and have been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 19 consecutive years. Nearly 200 team members will be employed at Florida’s 26th location when it opens its doors this spring and brings something truly unique to the Okaloosa marketplace.

“After many years of scouting the right location, we are excited to be expanding into the heart of the Florida panhandle with the first location being in Destin,” said Juan Nunez, president of the Whole Foods Market’s Florida Region. “Knowing that Destin is a community rich in culture, food and surrounded by the beautiful Emerald Coast waters, we are looking forward to offering residents and visitors the highest quality food experience in town.”

Like all stores across the nation, the 35,520-square-foot Destin location will be a grocery mecca that welcomes customers into its Produce department – an oasis offering an extensive selection of the season’s freshest organic fruits and vegetables. In 2014, Whole Foods Market launched its Responsibly Grown rating system, which uses well-regarded scientific input to rate fresh produce and flowers based on farming practices that impact the environment and human health.

Customers can follow the smell of freshly baked goods to Whole Foods Market’s in-store Bakery. Shoppers will be able to pick something up for any occasion – from elegantly designed cakes, more than 40 varieties of cookies, muffins and pastries, and even handcrafted breads from around the world baked fresh daily. Shoppers can choose from hundreds of 365 Everyday Value® products – Whole Foods Market’s private label that provide shoppers with high quality organic products at everyday value prices – in the store’s Grocery department. There, they can also select Florida-made packaged goods, frozen meals, Whole Paws pet food products, and home and cleaning products bearing the Eco-Scale™ label indicating environmental impact.

Seafood and Meat and Poultry departments are unparalleled, offering the highest quality standards in the business. Whole Foods Market consistently offers the freshest, highest quality seafood from the best sources locally and around the world, whether it’s wild-caught or farmed. All seafood adheres to their strict Quality Standards, the highest in the industry. Whole Foods Market is the only national retailer with full traceability from fisher or farm to store. Strict quality standards carry over to Meat and Poultry by ensuring that only meat and poultry from animals that were raised without added hormones, animal byproducts or antibiotics are offered. All of the beef, pork, chicken and turkey in the meat department comes from farms that have achieved certification to Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating program. This unique program encourages suppliers to strive for continuous improvement in farm animal welfare and provides transparency at the meat counter by giving customers a visual explanation of how the animals are raised for the meat they are buying. Furthermore, every store has classically trained butchers and meat cutters who can deliver custom cuts-to-order based on any budget, size or time.

Customers looking to skip meal prep can head over to the Prepared Foods department, where Destin’s Whole Foods Market chefs will work in the in-house kitchen creating handmade pizza – whole or by the slice and custom-made sandwiches as well as meals-on-the-go. Prepared foods will include a rotating hot bar with 20 selections, an all-organic salad bar and iconic cuisines from around the world. To complement the offerings, the store’s Cheese and Specialty department will feature a handpicked wine collection of more than 700 wines, with eco-friendly and biodynamic wines, starting at $2.99 per bottle. The department will also feature 32 feet of chilled beer with an assortment of local craft beers, domestic favorites and unique imports. Customers can also sample from a comprehensive selection of raw, grass-fed, farmstead and artisanal cheeses that can be cut to order.

Last but not least, customers can shop for their beauty and wellness needs at Whole Body. Selections include alternatives for conventional personal care products – none of which are tested on animals and many of which are made with organic ingredients. The department also boasts a large selection of protein powders, supplements and clothing. All supplements sold at Whole Foods Market are free of artificial colors, flavors and hydrogenated oils; and products with the “Premium Body Care” seal meet the strictest standards for quality sourcing, environmental impact, results and safety.

Whole Foods Market Destin will encompass all the offerings that make Whole Foods Market America’s healthiest grocery store. More than a grocery store, Okaloosa County’s newest addition will cater to the community and inject funds to Florida’s panhandle via programs like Five Percent Days where stores give back at least five percent of a day’s net sales to local educational or nonprofit organizations.

For over 30 years, Core Values have propelled Whole Foods Market’s unique culture, growth and success. Whole Foods Market prides itself on selling the highest quality natural and organic products available; aims to satisfy, delight, and nourish customers; and serves and support local and global communities. The company’s unwavering Quality Standards are a top priority when it comes to serving the community. Only premium goods make it on the shelf, and only after each and every product is carefully evaluated. Whole Foods Market believes that food is in its purest state when it is void of artificial flavorings, sweeteners, colorings and preservatives, and to do that, the team scours the globe to find the best tasting and most nutritious food available. Every store seeks out and promotes organically grown foods, and provides food and nutritional products that support health and well-being. Whole Foods Market Destin will be no exception.

The store will open at 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 20, following a bread-breaking ceremony with team members, Destin’s mayor, city officials and the community. To stay up-to-date on all grand opening news and events, follow the store on Facebook or @wholefoodsdestin on Instagram.

Whole Foods Market Destin will be located at 4402 Legendary Drive, Destin, FL 32541. Telephone: (850) 269-7400.

About Whole Foods Market® 

Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (wholefoodsmarket.com, NASDAQ: WFM), is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America’s first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” by Health magazine. The company’s motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company’s more than 85,000 team members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 18 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2015, the company had sales of approximately $15 billion and currently has more than 436 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. For more company news and information, please visit www.wholefoodsmarket.com.