Why do you shop at Whole Foods? Is it to take advantage of the newly slashed prices on previously expensive items (thanks, Amazon)? To pick up a few of your favorite all-natural beauty essentials? To buy all the accoutrements needed for a really good cheese board? Or maybe it’s because you trust nowhere else to supply your organic, cruelty-free chia seeds and don’t feel at home in a grocery store unless surrounded by kombucha and the subtle but inevitably present aura of pretension.
Whatever the case, there’s now another reason to add to the list: If the Bridgewater, New Jersey Whole Foods is any indication, the company may soon be rolling out lifestyle concept stores within existing supermarkets. According to Popsugar, the first such “store-within-a-store,” dubbed Plant and Plate, officially opened in March 2018.
The announcement officially came via the branch’s Instagram: “In addition to natural and organic food, your new Bridgewater store will also feature Plant and Plate, a lifestyle shop dedicated to beauty, garden, and home goods rooted in nature,” writes the post. “And, the shop will carry locally made products like pottery by Bridgewater, NJ local @keikopots!”
“We wanted Plant and Plate to be part of the overall shopping experience,” Genevieve Monette, the Whole Body Coordinator for Whole Foods Market’s Northeast Region, tells Domino. “We’ve always offered a variety of body care and lifestyle items in our stores; through Plant and Plate, we’ve been able to extend our home and tableware offerings.”
Chalk it up to a growing retail trend which necessitates companies to essentially be one-stop shops for everything in order to stay competitive. For proof of this, look no further than Whole Foods’ parent company, Amazon. It’ll ship literally anything to you at any time, but it will also operate a brick-and-mortar bookstore and even deliver your favorite fast food. The brand is constantly evolving; so it should really be no surprise that Whole Foods is following suit.
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In addition to natural & organic food, your NEW #Bridgewater store will also feature #PlantAndPlate, a lifestyle shop dedicated to beauty, garden & home goods rooted in nature 🌱🌷🌵🌻 AND, the shop will carry #locallymade products like pottery by #BridgewaterNJ local @keikopots! 👏 See you on opening day, 3/21, at 319 Chimney Rock Road! 🎉 #WholeFoodsBridgewater #SomersetCounty
The general idea is that when customers are finished grocery shopping, they’ll head over to find pieces to take care of the rest of their home. These pieces were carefully selected to follow the Whole Foods brand aesthetic—an emphasis on the local is evident, with Plant and Plate showcasing floral crafts from nearby Hoboken and Brooklyn-based Apotheke candles.
“We curated the selection of the Plant and Plate venue with our customers’ homes in mind. [By] bringing in new items that are trending, like handmade pottery, copper accessories, essential oils, and seasonal home decor pieces, we are adding another layer to our customer’s shopping experience,” says Monette, adding that Whole Foods will be constantly rotating its selection of seasonal goods, as well as adding in new items periodically.
Instagram photos of the store provide a bit of intel into exactly what the products look like. An abundance of greenery, particularly succulents, seems to play a key role; probably important given the “Plant” portion of “Plant and Plate.” We spot a few cooking accessories with which to make the most of your fresh produce, including Athena Calderone’s Cook Beautiful, which is worth the purchase if only for the pan-roasted chicken with shallots and dates recipe.
If you’re jealous (we totally are) of the Bridgewater community for having this gem newly planted in its vicinity, don’t worry. According to Monette, the Northeast regional team is currently working on expanding the concept within the NJ/NY/CT area—which means, if all goes well, it might be a reality for the rest of the country sometime in the future.
“Plant and Plate is a brand new concept for Whole Foods Market, and we are excited to see where it leads us in future store designs and concepts,” says Monette.
Plant & Plate at Bridgewater is currently open from 8 AM to 10 PM at 319 Chimney Rock Road.
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