Outside Ideal Market, the new Whole Foods spinoff at 11th Avenue and Emerson Street in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. (Josie Sexton, The Denver Post)
Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood on Wednesday finally saw the return of Whole Foods at 11th Avenue between Emerson and Ogden Streets.
After three years shuttered at the same location, the Amazon-owned grocery chain has returned with a completely different brand and a refreshed layout. The store is now called Ideal Market, named after the iconic Boulder grocer that Whole Foods took over back in 2007.
But this second, Denver ldeal Market is the first of its kind, with aspirational design to match its name, including an entire pink and white corner dubbed “beauty bar” with skincare, makeup, jewelry and more.
A similarly stylized “bottle bar” also sits at the front of the store, selling craft brews in bottles and cans — including about 10 local Denver brewers — and offering seating for customers wanting to hang around.
You’ll of course recognize the typical Whole Foods’ coffee bar, bakery and meat, cheese and seafood counters, but with an updated look and feel and digital signage promoting local vendors all around.
One store clerk said that this Whole Foods spinoff stocks more organic produce and more local brands across its aisles, allowing for some more buying freedom than, say, the original behemoth brand.
Whether that turns out to be true, one thing is for certain: Ideal Market has really nailed the neighborhood and clientele and maybe even the pandemic with this reinvention.
This new Denver grocery store feels like the happiest place on earth right now, from its inspirational neon (“your ideal meal”) to the employees and their (genuinely?) positive attitudes.
Neither the store’s manager nor Whole Foods’ regional corporate office responded to requests for comment, though.
Ideal Market Denver, 900 E. 11th Ave., 8 a.m.-9 p.m. daily and from 7-8 a.m. Fridays for customers 60 and older, at risk or with disabilities, wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/idealmarketdenver and joinourline.com on busy days.
Subscribe to our food newsletter, Stuffed, to get Denver food and drink news sent straight to your inbox.