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Grocery Store Wars

A new salvo in Houston's grocery store wars: Giant chain debuts new specialty perks and H-Town firsts

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Whole Foods Market Champions exterior
The new Whole Foods Champions store at 10133 Louetta Road has a glass exterior. Photo by Jeanette Webster.
Whole Foods Market Champions sign
The Whole Foods Market Champions store is the newest Houston-area location. Photo by Jeanette Webster.
Whole Foods Market Champions brick oven
The Whole Foods Market Champion store offers wood-fired pizza which you can buy whole or by the slice. Photo by Jeanette Webster.
Whole Foods Market Champions Cup of Fantastic
The Whole Foods Market Champions store includes a juice and coffee bar with a Strada espresso machine.    Photo by Jeanette Webster.
Whole Foods Market Champions sustainable seafood
The Whole Foods Market Champions store offers ready-to-cook sustainable seafood. Photo by Jeanette Webster.
Whole Foods Market Champions exterior
Whole Foods Market Champions sign
Whole Foods Market Champions brick oven
Whole Foods Market Champions Cup of Fantastic
Whole Foods Market Champions sustainable seafood

The grocery wars are heating up — and becoming more specialized. Whole Foods is upping its game in Houston as it rapidly increases the number of its stores in the region.

Whole Foods' new 44,000-square-foot northwest Houston supermarket, which opens Wednesday in The Vintage development, includes a Peruvian chicken grilling station. That's a Whole Foods first for Houston. The store will also boast a vast all-natural candy aisle. Other specialty perks include a wine and beer bar with 16 beer taps, a wood-fired pizza station and a juice and coffee bar.

There will also presumably be groceries.

 The idea fits in with a mixed-use development that is trying to establish itself as something of a foodie destination. 

Then again, the perks seem to be where it's at. The much-anticipated new Whole Foods in BLVD Place in The Galleria area will have its own in-house brewery. That's a Whole Foods first for the entire chain.

Pity the new Woodlands' Whole Foods, which broke ground Tuesday. More than 40,000-square-feet in the new Hughes Landing development on Lake Woodland and not a super perk announced yet. But there's still time before the expected 2015 opening.

The just opened Vintage Whole Foods includes a personal shopper service.  Outside the Loopers will no longer have to worry about trying to fit time into their busy schedules to go grocery shopping. You can call in or email a grocery list to a personal shopper who will collect the items and then load them into your car when you arrive at the store.

The service starts at $7 and requires a 48-hour notice. The idea fits in with a mixed-use development that is trying to establish itself as something of a foodie destination. As CultureMap detailed, Torchy's Tacos has already claimed a space near the new Whole Foods.

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