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A sneak peek inside Houston's buzzy new supermarket: Ramen and wine heaven rock the grocery wars

A sneak peek inside Houston's buzzy new supermarket: It's wine heaven!

A busy six months for the Houston-area outposts of Whole Foods Market will draw to a close on April 8. That's the day the Austin-based organic grocer will open a new store on Voss that replaces the venerable, 22-year old location on Woodway, which will close April 3. 

At 45,000 square feet, it's more than twice the size of the current Woodway Whole Foods, and it's stocked with all the modern amenities that are featured at the two new stores that have opened recently on Post Oak and in The Woodlands: Sushi counter, wood-burning pizza oven, an extensive selection of organic and gluten free items and much more. A new bar features 24 taps: 20 dedicated to beer and four for wine.

Once the brewery at the Whole Foods Post Oak begins distributing, those beers will be available at Voss as well.

 On the retail side, the big news is the store's wine selection. It's the largest selection of any Whole Foods in Houston and one of the biggest in the U.S.   

In terms of prepared foods, a ramen station is the new addition. Just like the tacos, it's a build your own affair. Start by choosing flour or rice noodles, then select from about two dozen toppings. Add a protein: Chicken, beef, pork or tofu. Then choose either vegetable or pork stock and sauces like Sriracha and chili oil.

Fans of traditional ramen will probably steer clear — just like those who spend the money for omakase at Kata Robata probably don't purchase sushi from the store — but other people will likely appreciate that all three of the animal proteins are smoked in-house.

On the retail side, the big news is the store's wine selection. With 1,300 bottles at opening that will ultimately expand to 2,600, it's the largest selection of any Whole Foods in the Houston area and one of the biggest in the country. That capacity means the store will be able to feature unusual varietal and boutique selections. Look for a big push on rosé during the summer and wine dinners that feature different producers. 

The store hasn't neglected pet owners either. An expanded selection of pet foods and supplies has been bolstered with bulk dog treats that are available by the pound.

Watch the video above this story for a closer look. 

Want an in-person sneak peek? A limited number of tickets remain for a preview party on April 6. Proceeds from the $10 tickets goes to the Houston Blues Society. 

Whole Foods Market Voss Tour
At 45,000 square feet, the new store is twice the size of the Woodway location. Photo by Joel Luks
Whole Foods Market Voss Tour
The wine department features 1,300 bottles with room to grow to 2,600. Photo by Joel Luks
Whole Foods Market Voss Tour
Whole Foods Market Voss Tour