Whole Foods

Whole Foods Market located in downtown Columbia will open Aug. 20. (Dylan Singleton / / March 26, 2014)

The Whole Foods Market located on the downtown Columbia lakefront is set to open on Aug. 20, the grocer announced Tuesday.

The approximately 50,000 square-foot store, the first in Howard County, will open in the iconic, Frank Gehry-designed former Rouse Company building -- which underwent an extensive renovation to acommodate the tenant.

“With such an energetic community, beautiful building and scenic location – we truly hope to embody the meaning of Lake Kittamaqundi, which translates to ‘meeting place’,” said Svetlana Piskounova, Store Team Leader at Whole Foods Market Columbia. “We can’t wait to open our doors to our new neighbors. And in the meantime, we’re venturing out to meet them ahead of time in hopes of building lasting relationships. Come say ‘hi’ when we’re at the lakefront for Fourth of July.”

The Whole Foods will include the following features: a vegetarian diner; grab-and-go bagged meals; Popsicles made from fresh, cold-pressed juices; a cooking department; specialty pickle, olive, antipasti and pasta bars; a cheese bar; fresh market seafood; a bakery; a wood-fire pizza oven; a meat department; and a DIT body care section. 


Sign up to receive our free daily email newsletter: Columbia Today

Whole Foods employees will be organizing and attending events around Columbia in the coming weeks -- including the Independence Day festival on the lakefront -- according to a news release.

In addition to a Whole Foods, the mind-body wellness retreat operated by the Columbia Association is also planned for the building. CA originally had hoped to open the facility in tandem with Whole Foods -- which has been contracted to sell food at a cafe in the retreat. The project has since been delayed, and is expected to open toward the end of the year.