Whole lot of fuss

COUNCIL leader Jim Fletcher claims the arrival of Whole Foods Market in Giffnock makes East Renfrewshire “the foodie capital of Scotland”.

He told The Extra: “Combined with the recent arrival of Waitrose, this is a major coup for the community.

“Inevitably, this injection of business will have a positive knock on effect on the rest of the area in terms of the economy and jobs”.

Local foodies were in heaven yesterday as the new upmarket gourmet chain opened its doors.

To much fanfare — including a performance by the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and a speech by rural affairs and environment cabinet minister Richard Lochend MSP — the store officially opened.

Giffnock community council chair Hugh Moore believes the supermarket could “put the heart back into Giffnock”.

“This space has been lying vacant for too long. People forget what a hub of activity the town used to be. It will provide a focal point.

“However, traffic could be a problem and that is something that will need to be monitored so I would encourage people to use public transport”.

Darren Campbell has been parachuted in from the organisation’s flagship store in Austin, Texas to manage the store.

He dismissed the possibility of any negative impact on small local businesses: “We hope our store will help bring foot traffic into Giffnock,’’ he said, “and it can turn the town into a destination”.

“We differ from the local shops around us. Our competitors are big supermarkets.

“It’s a place to shop where everything is freshly made, locally sourced, mindful of the seasons, Scottish wherever possible and always of the very highest quality”.

Shopper Andy Powell, a 28-year-old from Hyndland, was immediate evidence of the store’s potential ability to bring people in.

He told The Extra: “It’s a long way to come for a weekly shop, but much of what they stock is different to anywhere else”.

The business showed willingness to engage with local people by installing a community TV screen which will display local news and event listings.

Community council chairman Mr Moore added: “This will give passers by and people travelling into the area a flavour of Giffnock.

“It will also provide the community with up to date information about what’s happening in the area”.