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New Whole Foods Grocery Store Could Open in 2014

Plans are in the works to open a Whole Foods natural foods grocery store in Clearwater, according to officials with Westfield Countryside Mall.

Plans are moving forward to bring Pinellas County's first Whole Foods Market to Westfield Countryside Mall, officials with the mall recently confirmed.

“From what we have seen and are allowed to speak about, Sears is working directly with (Whole Foods),” said Lauren Clark, spokeswoman with Westfield Countryside Mall. “We don’t have a date on exactly but we do know they are looking to move forward.”

Whole Foods officials said they do not have a specific location in mind yet but are planning to open a store in Clearwater sometime in 2014.

An architecture firm, which does not represent Whole Foods but has completed similar projects for Sears throughout the country, presented plans on subdividing 37,000 square feet for the grocery store to city officials last week. They could submit official plans before Dec. 25 with the first plan review 21 business days after it is submitted.

The idea of the natural foods grocer coming to Westfield Countryside Mall sits well with officials who have worked to create a town hall appeal for the retail mecca through a $12 million renovation, including the addition of a movie theater and destination restaurants.

“It will fill a great need in this area,” Clark said. “It will be a great addition to the center as well.”

What do you think? Would you drive to Countryside Mall to shop at Whole Foods? Let us know in the comments section below-

Jason Defant November 29, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Too much traffic there already. Who wants to look for a spot at a mall to do their food shopping? Real PITA.
Marie Casano November 29, 2012 at 02:35 PM
I do all my Organic food shopping at Earth Origins in Palm Harbor. They have everything I need. They're clean and convenient. I'm not a mall shopper.
Gary Cradick November 29, 2012 at 04:03 PM
I heard one shopper of these stores call it Whole Paycheck
Jason Bartolone November 29, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Sounds like there aren't too many Whole Foods fans in Palm Harbor!
Mona Chiles November 29, 2012 at 10:04 PM
I love Whole Foods, wish they had gone in the old Publix spot that Sweetbay took in Eastlake!
Jerry Hannon November 29, 2012 at 10:59 PM
I'll wait for the Trader Joe's to be established in Tampa (or maybe Clearwater?), and in the meantime will make periodic trips to Sarasota (if I have other reasons to drive there) for non-perishables. Whole Foods is an interesting store, but are grossly overpriced on most items. I still don't understand why Trader Joe's are going next to Gainesville and Tallahassee, and reportedly to somewhere south of Miami, before coming to this major metropolitan area. The first one was in Naples, and I really don't understand that small city selection. Are you listening, Trader Joe's?
Mia Culbertson November 30, 2012 at 01:08 PM
If I need natural foods Natures Food Patch is more than equipped, and local. I don't want to worry about mall traffic and big business.
Mia Culbertson November 30, 2012 at 02:55 PM
You should try Natures Food Patch in Clearwater, its an amazing store! I'v been shopping there for a really long time! Though I do miss Trader Joe's brands sometimes from my north Florida days.
Deb Reedy April 28, 2013 at 12:58 AM
I am a small town girl and do appreciate local "mom & pop" shops. Earth Origins is fantastic. Their people really know there stuff and have helped me on countless occasions. However, I do also think there is a place for Whole Foods. They offer a variety of options and interesting earthy hemp fabric. I'm all about options. Looking forward to Trader Joe's as well. Can't beat their two buck chuck wine!

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