New total for O.C. Whole Foods: 3 + 2 = 5

What would you guess Laguna Niguel and Fashion Island have  in common? Both are getting a Whole Foods Market in 2012. Laguna Niguel’s is slated to open mid-year, with Fashion Island’s to follow next summer. That will make five in O.C., counting the current three: Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and Tustin.

The Laguna Niguel store, 23932 Aliso Creek Rd., will have an expanded bulk section (good news—this is my favorite Whole Foods department!), and a cooking station where classes and events will take place. A wine bar will serve tap beer, with an emphasis on local wine and brews. Look for lots of seating for the comfortable consumption of the store’s prepared foods and coffee-bar items as well.

The Fashion Island Whole Foods will fill the space once intended for high-end New York grocer Dean & Deluca before that company scotched its O.C. plans in 2009. And I look forward to seeing this: as part of Fashion Island’s recent redesign, free trolley service between stores and parking areas will be added this month, with design “reminiscent of classic San Francisco cable cars.”

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