A friend of mine told me a few days ago that the Whole Foods in Pembroke Pines was finally going to open today. I looked online for details and decided to check it out. After all, free continental breakfast and giveaways are my thing. And the same friend told me that the store was opening with a strong beer selection, so I wanted to see that while it was still in untouched condition.
At around 8:30 am I arrived to a massive traffic jam in the entire strip mall’s parking lot. I considered leaving but ended up parking a quarter mile away from the store. As I approached the store with what seemed to be a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, I got my first glance of the atmosphere. The local high school marching band was playing, cheerleaders cheering, and the line of people waiting to get into the store when it opened at 9 am wrapped around the entire parking lot. Massive amounts of people.
I decided to get out my camera and (deservedly) played the journalist card. It was actually pretty easy as the crowd-control staff gave me zero issues for pushing my way up to the front near the speech-makers. At the same time, they were telling dozens of others to get at the end of the aforementioned line. Cameras are powerful, apparently.
I took a bunch of pictures, listened to a bunch of short speeches from store executives, and basically looked cool, LOL. Even Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis was there give a little speech about economic development for the city. They had a bread breaking ceremony to dedicate the store, after which the three huge loaves were ripped to shreds by the wolves from the line. Speaking of food, I never did find the continental breakfast, but I’m sure that’s my fault.
My media credentials got me into the store promptly. I took some pictures. I looked around. I bought the first beer that the store sold. My 40-year old self got carded! But by 9:05 am I was on my way out the door. I did not try for the gift bag since a ticket was required that I apparently didn’t earn by standing in that massive line.
Who would have thought that thousands of people would show up for a Grocery Store Grand Opening? If it was for the prize alone, I’d say that’s crazy. Anyway, Good Luck Whole Foods!
Whole Foods Market
14956 Pines Blvd.
Pembroke Pines, FL 33027
It’s just West of I-75 on Pines.