Several hundred customers arrived early for breakfast and the grand opening ceremonies Wednesday for the new Whole Foods store at Merchant's Walk.
The Pope High School band and cheerleaders from Walton High School and Lassiter High School greeted shoppers as the doors opened at 9 a.m., with plenty of samples and sales inside the 45,000-square foot store.
"I like having good things to eat," said Richard Doughty, a retired CNN news anchor and a 31-year East Cobb resident.
"How do you like your new look?" East Cobb commissioner Bob Ott asked, in reference to the overhauled shopping center, which has undergone massive changes leading up to the Whole Foods opening.
As the new anchor was preparing to open, renovations were completed in recent months at the existing Kohl's store and the Merchant's Walk Cinema.
Also new at Merchant's Walk are a Marlow's Tavern, Gigi's Cupcakes, Mirko Pasta and The Cook's Warehouse, which is opening later this summer.
"We are happy to give this community this shopping center," said Terry Brown, president of Edens & Avant, which is redeveloping Merchant's Walk and eventually will be its owner.
Please come back to East Cobb Patch for updated coverage throughout the day, with photos, a video report and more.