Monroe County

Is Whole Foods finally coming to Brighton?

Rochester, New York – Wegmans currently has 109 stores nationwide, and most of them, 48, are located in the state of New York. For the majority of residents of the Rochester metro area, Wegmans is the first choice when it comes to grocery shopping, as the company is well-known for always offering fresh food at affordable prices. With a total of 16 stores in the Rochester metro area, it’s easy to assume why Wegmans is the top choice for many local residents.

With dozens of donation events held every year, Wegmans as a company is also known to support the local community and those in need. Headquartered in Gates, Wegmans is also among the largest employers in the area, offering great salaries and benefits to its workers. From a neutral point of view, Wegmans seems to be the perfect company for everyone, for both customers and employees. Everyone loves Wegmans, and Wegmans loves everyone except the potential competition.

When Whole Foods Market, the largest American chain of supermarkets that specializes in natural and organic foods, revealed its plans to open its first store in Brighton in 2014, no one expected that many local non-profit organizations and thousands of local residents would oppose the idea. Years later, the company still hasn’t opened the store, but it looks like there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Supply chain issues, the COVID-19 pandemic, and numerous lawsuits prevented the Daniele Family Company from developing and building the Whole Foods Plaza facility on Monroe Avenue, down from Twelve Corners. Although Wegmans has denied involvement in the case over the years, some of the local non-profits that have been opposing the idea are funded directly by Wegmans. Currently, Wegmans remains the only company with no competition to offer fresh food in the area, and it’s easy to understand why there is no “warm welcome” for Whole Foods.

Over the years, project contenders have been repeatedly saying that the Whole Foods Plaza facility would make the traffic in the area unreasonable and encroach into residential zones. On the other side of the story, the project supporters believe that the facility will create additional job positions and will boost the local community. In addition, the facility housing Whole Foods will also bring what they consider to be much-needed amenities to the area. Last but not least, having Whole Foods in the area will potentially result in lower fresh food prices, which will be a benefit to everyone.

The Daniele Family Company had faced a total of 23 lawsuits regarding the Brighton project since the project was first announced in 2014, but the company now only has 1 active lawsuit after a New York State Supreme Court judge in September threw out 22 of the 23 lawsuits against the Whole Foods Plaza construction. Daniele Family Company will be presenting their argument in the last lawsuit on Monday.

WellNow Urgent Care, Fidelity Investments, Jersey Mike’s Subs, another food-related tenant, a chiropractor’s office, and a medical spa facility are among the tenants who are about to open stores in the plaza. Daniele Family Company in September said that some of them would probably open by the end of the year, but no more details were then given.

If everything goes as planned, Whole Foods is expected to start operating in the first half of next year, while hiring should start as early as January next year.

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