AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) – The first Whole Foods Market in Western New York is set to finally open its doors at the Northtown Plaza on Sheridan Drive in Amherst Friday morning, a day area shoppers have been anxiously awaiting for years.

With less than 24 hours to go on Thursday morning, store employees were stocking the shelves with wholesome foods the likes of which consumers here have rarely seen, and now those days of listening with envy, as friends visiting other regions of the country have sung Whole Foods’ praises, are over.

Mark Wilkins, the Amherst store’s team leader described the organic offerings, “All of our products are free of any chemicals, additives, preservatives, artificial colorings, artificial flavorings. We promote lots of organic food, as well as local products.”

Wilkins added the upscale supermarket will offer a large variety of fresh foods and high quality prepared foods for the public.

The store also offers a coffee and juice bar, hot and cold food bars, a bakery, an ice cream bar, and baked goods from DiCamillo’s.

Visitors will find a bocce court as the enter the front of the store, and there will be plenty of customer service associates on hand to help customers get a firm grasp on the store’s novelties.

Whole Foods has also done its homework, with a bar called ‘1818’ which was the year the Town of Amherst was founded, and Wilkins described some of the liquid refreshments it will offer, “we will have 10 local beers on tap, a local kombucha. We’ve got a pool table, three TV’s that will be showing football games and other great events.”

As part of Whole Foods commitment to the community, they are dedicating 5-percent of opening day net sales to the Massachusetts Avenue Project, to provide healthy eating education, and food access resources to Buffalo’s West Side.