New Whole Foods store in Cheltenham to create 150 jobs
THE opening of a new grocery store in Cheltenham is set to create 150 full and part-time jobs.
Whole Foods Market is due to set up shop in Gallagher Retail Park later this year.
The company, which prides itself on only stocking products which are natural and organic - where possible, has taken on the unit formerly used by Homebase.
And the Cheltenham store will be its first in England outside London.
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Regional president Jeff Turnas said: "Whole Foods Market Cheltenham is an exciting move for us.
"It's the right size and location; meaning it will be easy for customers to shop for everything under one roof. "Cheltenham has a vibrant food community and, with England's larder on our doorstep, we are committed to connecting shoppers with the high- quality local producers safe in the knowledge it meets our exacting quality standards."
The company says the move will create 150 new local full and part-time jobs, with all employees being trained up.
The site will house a bakery, butchers, fishmongers, cheesemongers, greengrocers and all-natural health and beauty section. Work has already begun on the site and the shop is expected to welcome its first customers in September, although there is not yet an exact opening date.
The company has five stores in London and recently opened its first Scottish store in Glasgow. It will stock local produce from suppliers across the Gloucestershire and Cotswold region and says its products are free of all artificial flavourings, colours, fats and additives.
Cheltenham Borough Councillor Bernard Fisher (LD, Swindon Village) welcomed the news, saying: "It's great news for the area – especially in terms of jobs.
"We need all the jobs we can get. Employment figures aren't good – even for Cheltenham and Gloucestershire generally.
"It's the right kind of store. "There are a few empty places at Gallagher Retail Park but it has withstood the economic climate fairly well.
"It's a welcome addition and it's nice that we are the first store to be set up in England, outside London.
"It really does show that companies continue to think Cheltenham is a good place to do business, which it is."
The company says it supports good causes, with activities such as its 'community five per cent back' day where five per cent of a given day's profit is donated to a local charity. The Whole Foods Market's food donation programme also sees surplus food distributed to local charities.