CLARK, NJ – Whole Foods, the anchor store of the new Clark Commons shopping center, celebrated its grand opening on Friday with a bread breaking and great fanfare. Store officials welcomed Clark Mayor Sal Bonaccorso, Union County Freeholders and other officials, and a large crowd of eager shoppers.
The 41,000 sq. ft. store is the second Whole Foods in Union County and the 14th in New Jersey. Whole Foods is known for its selection of high quality natural and organic foods, unique dining options and community-centered focus.
“This store is really reflective of the wonderful community that we’re in,” Whole Foods Regional President Christina Minardi said in her remarks. “I think many of you are going to be very excited about what you see in this store.”
Unique to the Clark store is the “Clark Bar,” a full-service restaurant and pub. Chocolate and caramel lava cakes can only be found in the Whole Foods bakery, Minardi said, as can the in-house smoked beef brisket. Both are in keeping with the store’s “first-to-market” philosophy.
"Whole Foods provides healthy alternatives," said Scotch Plains mom Jennifer Ciampa, one of the first shoppers in the store. "We're going more organic. We want to live a healthier lifestyle, so this is the way to do it."
Clark Mayor Sal Bonaccorso pointed to developer Bill Krame for his vision in bringing the store and the Clark Commons to life.
“This old abandoned industrial site is now a center that is vibrant, that has brought jobs to Clark and to Union County,” Bonaccorso said. “I hope when you look at this beautiful center, you see that a lot of thought was put into it. It’s not just some buildings with some stores and a parking lot."
Shoppers crowded into the store, quickly fanning out among the many departments to explore the new store and enjoy special sale pricing, giveaways and free samples.
Although stores have been opening in Clark Commons since early June, this weekend marks the center’s overall grand opening. Many stores in the shopping center are participating in a weekend-long tent event and there are other ribbon-cutting and store openings in the next several days.
- Blaze Pizza is holding its welcome to the community by offering free pizza all day on Friday, August 7. Its one-size, made-to-order pizza cooks in just three minutes. They also have fresh made salads daily and a s'mores dessert.
- The eagerly-anticipated Home Goods will hold its official grand opening on Sunday, August 9.
- Arts and crafts store Michaels holds its ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sunday at 9:30 a.m.
- Red Mango opened on Wednesday. It opens every day at 7 a.m. for healthy juices, smoothies and coffee.
- Visionworks is running a buy one/get one special and is offering a coupon for $45.00 off a pair of glasses.
- Modell’s is raffling off two Yankees tickets every hour this weekend.
- Party City was one of the first stores in the center to open. Stop by the tent for free candy coupons and discounts on customized banners.
- Chipotle is anticipating a September 29 grand opening. Representatives were on hand offering chips and salsa to passers-by. The restaurant is hiring in anticipation of its opening.
- Dress Barn is slated to open on August 21.
- PNC Bank, still at an early construction stage, was well-represented at the tent with a prize-wheel and giveaways. They are anticipating a fall opening.
The Clark Commons shopping center is located at 1255 Raritan Road between Central Avenue and Walnut Avenue.