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The Latest News from Wheatsville

Posts by Dan Gillotte

Sunny Days at Wheatsville

Lots of things are happening at our 4001 South Lamar store! From painters to electricians, we've got everyone working hard to help us get to our doors open mid-September. After so many months of planning and care, we're finally rounding the corner into the homestretch and all of us are starting to get really excited. Now that we have our grocery shelves, ceiling tiles and registers in place, it's starting to feel more and more like an honest to goodness store!

One of the most awesome green features at the second store is that we have SO MUCH natural light. We've got a handful of bright skylights, but the bulk of the sunshine directed into the store comes from over 35 Solatubes. These state-of-the-art green "lights" use highly reflective fiber optics to carry sunlight from the outside - inside. They use ZERO energy and act like mini skylights all over the store without making Swiss cheese out of our roof. In fact, the majority of the light you see in the picture below are Solatubes and skylights! The rest of our lights are LED's and will auto-adjust, giving us just what we need, when we need it! So, not only will we have a brightly lit store, but we'll be saving energy for years to come! WOOHOO!


Making our Vision Concrete

Lots of times, folks don't realize just how complicated a modern grocery store really is. But the infrastructure it takes to run a store like ours efficiently is actually quite elaborate. My managers and I recently had the chance to see for ourselves just how complex the systems are that run our store as we walked around the construction site planting well wishes from you! The dirt floor is carved up with a maze of trenches that are laid with plumbing, refrigerant lines and electrical conduit. These will run all the systems that provide the products that you want from our coolers, freezers, kitchen and bakehouse.

Later this week, all of these things will be covered with our new concrete floor! From there things will really begin to move as interior walls get put up, equipment starts to arrive and get set up, our sinks and bathrooms get installed and so much more!

We're all so excited to be moving ever closer to opening our store at South Lamar and we really appreciate your enthusiasm, support and yes, patience. As with most contraction projects, we have encountered some delays that are going to push our opening back to late August. As much as this disappoints us, it also gives us even more time to prepare our internal systems so that when we do open, you and all the new folks visiting get the most amazing experience possible. We really want to hit a home run with this store, so taking a little more time to do it just right seems worth it!

I also want to take the opportunity to thank all of you who wrote well wishes to us. It means a lot to get such an outpouring of good wishes and love to help us set 4001 South Lamar off on the right foot. And, those well wishes will forever be a part of the new space as they will soon be embedded and covered by concrete!

One more  thank you to all of the amazing Investor Shareholders. As of this writing, we have raised over half a million dollars from 50 Owners who are able to invest in their co-op. We really appreciate their commitment! It's not too late to invest. If you are a current Wheatsville owner and able to invest $5,000 or more and would like a packet of investment information please email Christine at

More photos from our recent trip to the new store can be found on FaceBook. Or keep up with us on Instagram!


Welcome Rory, our new Guadalupe Store Manager!

Since Bill Bickford is changing jobs from Guadalupe store manager to 4001 South Lamar store manager, we needed to fill his role and we didn't have to look far! Rory Alexander is our new Guadalupe Store Manager and he is probably familiar to you, since he's been our Operations Manager for the past 15 months. Rory was a natural choice to step up to this role, some of you may know him from his days working as the store manager at the Whole Foods Gateway store. Rory ran that store for several years and after a short break decided to get back into the grocery business at a store that was more in line with his values. And we've been delighted to have him come over to "our" side!Rory is very quickly transitioning to his new role and you will likely see him roaming all parts of the store. As Bill and I and some of the other long time faces around here turn our attention more fully on opening the South Lamar store Rory is being charged with making absolutely sure that the experience of shopping and working at Guadalupe is as good or better than it's ever been. Rory and his team are aiming to delight all of you with an excellent shopping trip every time you come in the store and Rory wants to know if we're missing the mark, so don't be shy to let him know (but give him a few weeks to ease into the job a little, if you can!) Rory will also be glad to accept your praise when we get it right, too! Of course, you can also always tell me how thing are going! I'm still around!

All in all, I couldn't be more delighted with the team at Guadalpue and look forward to seeing great things from Rory and his crew!


Hold on South Austin! We’re coming as fast as we can!

April 5, 2013
Today, I put the final order in for our food bar and the vent hoods for our kitchen and bakery areas! Earlier this week we made final decisions about the colors of our refrigerated display cases (silver outsides, black interiors for those of you keeping score) and secured a soda fountain from our friends at Maine Root (they’ll be selling us their locally made fountain beverages and lemonades)! These are just a few of the decisions that we’re making every day to build the best possible co-op store for ’04 and beyond. 

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Meet the Manager!

Bill is heading South! I am pleased to announce that Bill Bickford, our recent first-ever Store Manager at 3101 Guadalupe is also going to be our first Store Manager at 4001 S. Lamar! Bill is the perfect candidate for this position, as he will be very good at bringing the Wheatsville Way to our new store when we open this summer.

We will be hiring for a new Store Manager at Guadalupe shortly, and as soon as we have that candidate selected we'll let everybody know. I'm so delighted that Bill is willing and excited to head up our team at the South Lamar store. And he can't wait to see you down there!

Congratulations, Bill!
- Dan, Wheatsville GM


Thanks Dan!  I couldn’t be more pleased to be chosen to open the new South location.  Opening a brand new store from scratch is both a daunting challenge that I look forward to meeting and an exciting opportunity to play an historic role in Wheatsville’s continuing growth and success.  There’s a LOT to do between now and July, but I am very much looking forward to taking Wheatsville’s culture and values South, where they can be appreciated by even more of this great city’s residents.  Keep checking back for more news as things come together!

- Bill, 4011 S.Lamar Store Manager


Demolition Pictures!

Whoah! The demolition crew has been making some good progress at 4001 South Lamar! This picture shows where the huge bank vault used to be.

In the next couple weeks full on construction of our incredible second store will begin in full. We can't wait! Check the website for updates on progress!

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