whole foods

Whole Foods Market in Jacksonville. 

Gainesville shoppers will be able to create their own acai bowls after Whole Foods Market opens next month.

The 40,000-square foot supermarket will open May 9 in Butler Town Center at 3490 SW Archer Road, said Mario Torres, the future store’s manager. The health-food store, which will be the first in North Central Florida, will have a self-serve hot and iced coffee station with tea, pressed juice and natural sodas. It will also have lockers to pick up and return Amazon packages inside the store.

The store will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and employ about 140 full-time and part-time employees, Torres said.

Torres, who is a UF alumnus, said the first 500 people in line at the store’s opening will receive store gift cards ranging in value from $5 to $500. At least 100 customers will also get a reusable bag.

The Gainesville location will be the first store to have a ramen station and sell Lionfish, a fish invasive to Florida, in the seafood department, Torres said.

Morgan Goldwich, a UF women’s studies and health education and behavior freshman, said she looks forward to ordering juices at Whole Foods and having more vegan food options than those available in UF dining halls.

“The cost is the only thing that would prevent me from going there, but if I won the lottery, I would exclusively shop there,” the 19-year-old said.

Contact Robert Lewis at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @Lewis__Robert.

Robert Lewis, a UF journalism sophomore, covers the crime beat for the Alligator. He enjoys spending time with family and friends in his hometown of Miami, Florida. Robert has not let his dream of being funny die, though several friends have urged him to.