Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

One of Our Hidden Gems: Unionville in Ontario

With over 340 stores (and counting!), we’ve got a lot of hidden gems out there. Get the story behind the store in this eight-store series. Maybe your store will be featured next!

Read on to find out how you could win a $50 gift card to Whole Foods Market®. UPDATE: Thanks to everyone that entered. Congrats to our randomly chosen winner, Ken!

Today we’re talking with Christina Dallimore the Marketing and Community Relations Team Leader at the Unionville store in Markham, Ontario, Canada.

What’s the best kept secret at your store?

We just opened HWY, our licensed bar, and the bar menu features a fantastic pulled pork sandwich and has a great selection of local beers and wines.  We also have a green roof made of sedum that helps regulate our building temperature and reclaimed wood paneling that covers the front walls of the store.


Got any community donation stories you can share?

We’re passionate about our community and currently donate food weekly to a local not-for- profit organization called Pathways for York Region and to The Varley Art Gallery’s weekly yoga classes.

Tell us about one rock star team member?

It’s hard to pick one, so we picked two! Siobhan Banon, our energetic and spirited Customer Service Supervisor, goes above and beyond every day to serve our customers.

Stop by our coffee bar and meet team leader, Julio, he serves the best lattes in town!

Black Tie CakeWhat’s the most crav-able thing in your bakery case?

Definitely our Black Tie cake! It’s filled with raspberry jam and ganache goodness. A must try recommendation from our Bakery team members.

What’s the popular local product your store carries?

Belly Ice Cream is a Team Member favorite! It’s all natural with no funky artifical preservatives – just fresh and foraged flavours like black locust flower and Saskatoon berry that change with the seasons and right in time for the warm weather around the corner.

Whatcha got going on with local schools or non-profits?

We are currently providing weekly fruit donations to Ressor Park Public School in Markham for their Fruity Fridays.

Mark your calendars because our next 5% Day is on March 27th, and 5% of the days sales will go to a not-for-profit organization called B-Strong. We’re also a proud sponsor for their 2nd Annual B-Strong Walk on April 21.

B-Strong was founded by Lindsay Bolger and her family, shortly after Lindsay was diagnosed with a rare form of brain tumour in April 2005. Lindsay remained positive and determined despite her many challenges during her illness.  She was always thinking of creative ways in which to support research and also help others who were facing similar challenges.

Got any long-timers? What’s their story?

Melissa, our Prepared Foods Team Leader started at Whole Foods Market back in 2004 at the Yorkville location as the hot bar cook, she was then promoted to Sous Chef and 5 years later she was promoted to Associate Team Leader. When the opportunity came up to be Team Leader for the new Unionville location opening October 2012, Melissa couldn’t miss out on the opportunity. She is always thinking outside the box and creating delicious meals for you to enjoy! Be sure to check out her favourite item, cheese garlic bread, on the HWY bar menu in our café.

What’s your monthly don’t miss event at your store?

Every month our Whole Body department features two events as part of The Whole Body Health Expert Series. The series focuses on answering your health and nutrition questions.  Last month Joy McCarthy nutrition expert from Global TV’s Morning Show was featured and provided healthy heart tips. Stay informed on upcoming events by visiting our website or grabbing an in-store calendar.

Now that you know what makes our Unionville store shine in Markham, Ontario – tell us: what makes your local store a hidden gem?

Share your comment below by Sunday, March 31 and you’ll be entered to win a $50 Whole Foods Market gift card. Enter once on each “hidden gems” blog post, running from March 20 – March 29, for more chances to win.

The fine print: No purchase necessary. Promotion ends 3/31/13, 11:59 PM CDT. Must be a legal resident of the US or Canada (except in Quebec, where it is void) age 18 or older to participate. Taxes on prize, if applicable, are the responsibility of the winner. Employees of Whole Foods Market, Inc., are not eligible. Void where prohibited.

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j.J. says …

The staff is always friendly at the Kentlands

janet c. says …

so happy to see my local Unionville store featured here! My Saturday mornings are incomplete without a trip to my local WF since it lets me stock up my kitchen and be pepared to have a healthy week ahead. my trip isnt complete without a (somewhat) guilt-free, fresh baked treat to kick-off the weekend!

Erin Barker says …

LOVE Whole Foods! Haven't been to the Unionville location, but am dying to go check it out. I think the hubby and I might go this weekend, and check out HWY for lunch, then do some shopping for our Easter Sunday dinner... Make a day of it!

Audrey says …

my hidden gem is the Unionville Whole Foods. I love that I can get all of my vegan foods there as well as fresh organic veggies. I am heading there this afternoon

Harp says …

I work and live near the Unionville store and its been a great addition to my lunch/grocery routine. I finally have some great food options to share with my family!

Irene Kerr says …

My hidden gem at Whole Foods, is the delicious breads - the pecan is my favourite. My hidden gem at The Village Grocer in Unionville is the Homemade chicken pies. My hidden gem in Barrie Ontario is the lovely bacon from The Happy Mango.

Mary says …

Shopping at Whole Foods has become a weekly routine we look forward to going with our young children.

Jenny Diep says …

As luck has it, my local store is the Unionville location! My husband and I regularly visit this store at least twice a week to stock up on fresh organic vegetables, fruits and meats. We also go to get inspired by taking a stroll down the many great aisles to see what the latest health trends are, sample the great variety of snacks/foods/beverages available, and last but surely not least - speaking to the many great Employees who are always professional, knowledgeable and courteous. Not only has Whole Foods made our daily grocery shopping experience enjoyable, it has given us a new found appreciation for a healthier lifestyle! Thank you for making an impact on the community and especially to the people who live within it.

Beki M. says …

I love that my local Evanston whole foods always has milk, eggs, fruits and veggies from nearby by Midwest farms.

Jessica Jenkins says …

Love wholefoods, has made my allergen free lifestyle and breastfeeding manageable and stressfree

Belinda Abraham says …

I really like the One Day Sale on Wednesdays. I'm sure every store has this, but I really like it and hope it never stops. I can get local and non-local things that normally cost just a little too much for me. I have found so many gems on Wednesdays at Whole Foods.

Stefano says …

Local Store "Hidden Gem" Factor: Wedderspoon Organic/Raw Manuka Honey.

Danielle says …

Loving the 365 Everyday Value brand products. Super high quality and affordable.

Cimbria says …

Love the all natural shave ice at our local Kailua store!

Caroline says …

A hidden gem at my whole foods is the kids healthy choice- where they can pick a free healthy snack. My 2 1/2 year old daughter picked an orange. I asked her what does it smell like? She replied: Happy

Ken says …

Portland- Can bring bags and plastic containers for recycling. My wife loves whole foods and wants to win a gift card.

Robin says …

Hello...my husband and I were at your store in Oakville. This was our first time visiting Whole Foods Market. We were "blown away" with this store! My husband sked why I didn't tell him about this place sooner. Anyways, we live in Whitby, Ontario and wonder if you could pass the word on to head office that we need a Whole Food Market out in Durham Region. The population out here could certainly use a store like yours. This includes, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa, Bowmanville, Newcastle, and Uxbridge. Thanks very much. Heading out to your store tomorrow to check it out. I am sure we will enjoy it as much as Oakville. Would you please be so kind as to pass on the word to head office? Thanks! Robin