WICHITA — The final phase of converting Wichita's Whole Foods Association stores to GreenAcres Markets is happening Wednesday when signs at the three stores will be replaced.
That includes the Whole Foods Association store in the Clear Lakes shopping center near the southwest corner of 21st and Amidon and the one near the southwest corner of 21st and Maize.
It also includes the Whole Foods Association store in Normandie at Central and Woodlawn. That sign had been looming over the center about three decades.
"It was there forever," says GreenAcres owner Barb Hoffmann. "If you look at it, it looks like it was."
In January, Hoffmann and her husband, John, purchased the Wichita Whole Foods Association stores, which have no affiliation with the larger Whole Foods Market, which opens Sept. 3 at the Waterfront at 13th and Webb.
In May, the Hoffmanns and Whole Foods Market announced that they struck a deal for the Austin-based chain to use the Whole Foods name here instead of the Bread & Circus name it looked like it might have to use.
Next up, Hoffmann says she has expansion and remodeling plans for most of her new stores.
She's expanding the Clear Lakes store from 3,500 square feet to 6,500 square feet.
"We'll start it here in the near future," Hoffmann says. The idea, she says, is "just more offerings" for the neighborhood.
"It's a real ethnic store. We'll have a lot of ethnic items."
The 6,000-square-foot far-west-side store will undergo an expansion next spring, though Hoffmann isn't sure how much it will increase by yet.
Hoffmann says she's also remodeling the 23,000-square-foot GreenAcres in Oklahoma City.
At the original GreenAcres at Bradley Fair, Hoffmann is remodeling the bathrooms but won't do major remodeling until spring. For now, she's focusing on the newer stores.
"We're really thrilled we have these stores," she says. "Every one has such a unique customer base, and we have just really enjoyed learning all the parts of the city."