Groundwork Coffee — whose 10 retail locations throughout greater Los Angeles and Portland include a mobile truck, a convention center space and a regular farmers market stand — has opened two more locations in each of those markets.
Last month, the LA-born company opened inside a new Whole Foods 365 store in Lake Oswego, Ore., just south of Portland, and yesterday was the grand opening of a new Groundwork bar inside another new Whole Foods 365 store in Santa Monica, Calif.
The Whole Foods 365 store concept, which has been unveiled in numerous markets throughout the country, was designed to be a cheaper alternative to traditional Whole Foods stores while still meeting all the company’s quality standards — whatever that means. The stores also boast additional tech-based shopping features such as advanced check-out kiosks and digital ordering of fresh-made items.
In some cases, the concept has been thrown into question since Amazon announced in June that it was acquiring Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. The buildouts of the Lake Oswego and Santa Monica 365 stores were well underway by the time the deal was announced.
Most traditional Whole Foods and Whole Foods 365 stores indeed have coffee bars, which to this point have almost exclusively been manned by Whole Foods subsidiary Allegro Coffee, or its premium offshoot, Allegro Coffee Roasters. Whole Foods did not respond to requests for comment on the decision to partner with Groundwork for the two new 365 stores.
“When Whole Foods Market created the 365 store concept and invited us to be one of their friends, it was an obvious yes,” Groundwork Principal Eddy Cola said in a Groundwork announcement regarding both openings. “With our shared values and a partnership spanning more than 10 years, this opportunity was a perfect extension of our relationship and a natural fit for our brands. With this new partnership, we’re committed to creating amazing experiences and continuing to exceed our customers’ expectations.”