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Whole Foods plans to open Bedford store next year

Whole Foods Market plans to open a 40,000-square-foot store in Bedford by the end of 2015, the natural foods retailer said Wednesday.

The news comes as the Austin, Texas-based grocer readies its first New Hampshire store, scheduled to open in Nashua on Aug. 19. The company had previously announced plans to open a store in Portsmouth.

Whole Foods announced the Bedford location in tandem with news it was also building a store in Shrewsbury, Mass.

“We have been eager to respond to strong demand for stores in central Massachusetts and New Hampshire for a long time,” said Laura Derba, Whole Foods Market’s regional president, in a prepared statement. “Finding the perfect location in Shrewsbury, as well as going from zero locations in New Hampshire to three in two years has been truly exciting for us.”

The Bedford location will employ approximately 150 full and part-time workers. Whole Foods did not provide information on where the store will be built.

The Nashua store is being built in the former Market Basket site at the Turnpike Plaza on Amherst Street, just west of the F.E. Everett Turnpike’s Exit 7.

Whole Foods Market has 35 stores in the North Atlantic region, with an additional five in development, along with Shrewsbury and Bedford, the company said. Whole Foods operates more than 360 stores in North America and the United Kingdom, according to its website.

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