At Santa Clara’s Whole Foods Market (at 2732 Augustine Dr. #1600) on July 28, a number of store patrons came dressed in tropical prints to recognize the supermarket’s first birthday celebration. Apparently they got the memo that the first 100 people to come to the store wearing Hawaiian attire during the evening would receive a free gift—Two-Bite Coconut Macaroons.
“We opened last year on July 26,” said Tina Manickam, South Bay Metro Marketing and Community Relations Lead for Whole Foods Market. “We [wanted] to celebrate and throw a party so customers can win [prizes through a raffle and a prize wheel]. We split the celebration into two days. On Sunday, we [had] a cake cutting and a performance in the store. We [had] a non-profit called the Sangam Arts come here to do an Afro-Cuban dance.”
On July 28, store patrons picked up little blue birthday party passports that listed eight sample stations. Patrons were encouraged to visit the eight stations to sample appetizing food or beverages, get their passport stamped, and then turn their fully stamped passports into the customer service desk. A store representative drew a winner for a $100 Whole Foods Market shopping spree.
At one sample station, a store employee shared tangy fruit salsa made from mango, pineapple, red onion, jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice and salt. At another station, store patrons consumed chewy beef jerky and turkey jerky, both of which were free of hormones, antibiotics and artificial preservatives. The store’s new poke (fish salad) bar offered savory ahi tuna poke and cooked shrimp poke prepared with green onions, white onions, sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil and organic tamari (similar to soy sauce). Being given away near the bakery were moist wedges of pineapple upside down cake containing canned pineapple, buttermilk and brown sugar, among other ingredients.
The following evening on July 29, Santa Clara’s Whole Foods Market hosted a “Best of Summer” dinner spotlighting local producers with recipes planned by Top Chef finalist Melissa King.
Whole Foods Market was not the only store in the Santa Clara Square Marketplace celebrating its anniversary. On this weekend, Lula’s Chocolates (at 2712 Augustine Dr. # 140) gave out juicy strawberries covered in dark and milk chocolate. In addition, this confectioner hosted a drawing for giveaways, which included fantasy chocolate dream baskets. On July 29, Books Inc. (at 2712 Augustine Dr. # 120) handed out champagne, cupcakes and snacks and ran a pajama story time. Some patrons came to the independent bookstore bearing anniversary cards.
Santa Clara Square Marketplace is located between Bowers Avenue and San Tomas Expressway.