CANADA: Whole Foods latest addition to Hazelton Lanes rebirth
Whole Foods Market of Austin, Texas, has chosen Hazelton Lanes in the heart of downtown Toronto as the site of its first venture into the Canadian market. The chain, the world's largest retailer of natural and organic foods, will occupy a total of 45,000 square feet on two levels in the Avenue Road-Yorkville landmark building."The addition of Whole Foods is just the beginning of our long-term plan to restore The Lanes to its former position as a regular shopping destination," says Stephen Chan, president of Max & Co. Development Inc., the Lanes owner. "The company is to food stores what another Texas company, Neiman- Marcus, is to department stores. It offers both groceries and prepared foods of incredible quality, combined with what can only be described as superb service."The Whole Foods announcement is just part of an ambitious program of re- positioning and renovation now taking part at Hazelton Lanes, he continues. "The Lanes is no longer just a place to buy high-end fashions. It is the heart of an area that is now home to more than 10,000 residents. And, as that heart, it will become the place to go to meet daily needs as well as occasional shopping trips."What we will not do, however, is lower Hazelton Lanes standards for quality. Whole Foods is the perfect fit in those terms."Whole Foods Market now has more than 117 stores in the United States plus subsidiaries involved in coffee roasting and distribution, seafood processing and produce field inspection. Traded on Nasdaq, it employs more than 17,000 people in 22 states and the District of Columbia.Founded in 1980 by a trio of local businessmen who thought the growing interest in natural foods was ready for a supermarket approach, the company has grown at a dramatic pace, expanding to offer not just fresh, natural produce and meats but also prepared foods and specialty departments like European-style charcuteries and seafood.
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