Whole Foods closing Austin central catering kitchen, 93 jobs at risk


Whole Foods Market will close its centralized Austin catering kitchen next month, transferring catering operations into its stores here – a move that could result in up to 93 jobs being lost, according to a letter the retailer sent the Texas Workforce Commission.

Most of the employees currently working at the catering kitchen, at 6201 Bolm Road in East Austin, are expected to find work at Whole Foods stores in the Austin area, a spokeswoman said.

In Central Texas, Whole Foods operates stores in Bee Cave, the Arboretum area in Northwest Austin, The Domain in North Austin, Arbor Trails in Southwest Austin and its flagship location in downtown Austin at 525 N. Lamar Blvd.

Catering services provided after the centralized kitchen closes should be largely similar to those currently available, the company said.

“We’re shifting management of catering services in Austin to our five local stores, where culinary innovation and prepared foods are a major focus,” Whole Foods said in a written statement. “After May 1, each of our stores will work with customers across Austin on catering orders.

“We’re looking forward to enhancing the culinary services offered at our Austin stores and giving shoppers the added convenience of being able to place and pick up orders at their neighborhood Whole Foods Market.”

Whole Foods intends to continue occupying the space on Bolm Road, transforming it into an internal test kitchen managed by the company’s Global Culinary & Hospitality division.

News of the closure comes just a few weeks after Whole Foods said it would shutter three regional kitchens – in Everett, Mass.; Landover, Md.; and metro Atlanta – that employ about 500 people.

The items made in those kitchens, such as prepared foods, will be shifted to a combination of existing Whole Foods stores and outside vendors, the grocer said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Hiring surge, especially at schools, drops Austin unemployment rate
Hiring surge, especially at schools, drops Austin unemployment rate

Austin-area workers streamed back into the labor force and, for most of them, directly into jobs during September, pushing the metro-area unemployment rate back down below 3 percent, according to preliminary data released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission. The number of employed Central Texans surged almost four times faster than the typical...
Texas to receive $7.35 million in multi-state GM settlement

Texas will receive $7.35 million of a $120 million multi-state settlement with General Motors over allegations that the company hid safety issues stemming from defective ignition switches in some of its vehicles, Attorney General Ken Paxton said Thursday. The settlement with attorneys general in 49 states and the District of Columbia is the latest...
House hunters, here are 5 secrets to getting the best home loan
House hunters, here are 5 secrets to getting the best home loan

Getting a home mortgage loan is one of the most important financial commitments most people will ever make, since the terms of your loan can affect your finances in a big way for years to come. Start shopping for a loan before you actually begin looking at homes, since this lets you know where you stand and gives you greater negotiating power with...
5 key things you should know about car insurance
5 key things you should know about car insurance

Car insurance isn't something you probably think about often, but it's an important tool in protecting your assets. It pays to learn about your policy before you need it so you can take advantage of its benefits and avoid any unpleasant surprises. Whether you're shopping for a new policy or are wondering about the specifics of your current coverage...
Business digest: Austin gas prices drop 6 cents, AAA reports

TRAVEL Austin gas prices drop 6 cents, AAA reports Central Texas gas prices continue to fall from their Hurricane Harvey-induced spike. AAA Texas reports a gallon of unleaded fuel costs $2.30 this week in the Austin area, down six cents compared to a week ago. The statewide average is $2.26, also down six cents. Texarkana has the cheapest fuel in Texas...
More Stories