GOWANUS — The new Whole Foods in Gowanus is still under construction, but the gourmet grocer is already hiring for employees to staff the new building.
Whole Foods is looking for more than 300 "team members" — the company's name for its workers — for its first Brooklyn store, which is slated to open by the end of the year on Third Avenue and Third Street, a spokesman said.
Whole Foods expects that about 90 percent of the store's workers will be Brooklyn residents, spokesman Michael Sinatra said. The company is working with the state Department of Labor to ensure that locals have first dibs on the jobs.
Fliers advertising the jobs were posted in State Assemblywoman Joan Millman's Smith Street office, according to the blog Pardon Me For Asking, which first reported the hiring spree.
"The more local the people are, the better we operate," said spokesman Michael Sinatra. "If a snowstorm happens we want people to live nearby so they can get to the store to open the store."
The jobs are listed on the Whole Foods website. Positions range from cake decorators to cashiers to customer service workers. Employees are expected to "greet customers with a smile" and "be a great listener and have patience," according to the website.
Sinatra said Whole Foods offers "exceptional" jobs in the retail grocery industry.
The majority of its workers are full-time with benefits. The lowest starting wage is $10 an hour and workers make an average of $16 an hour. The company strives to let workers move up the career ladder, and it's not uncommon to find store managers who started as baggers, Sinatra said. He noted that Whole Foods has appeared for 16 years running on Fortune magazine's Best Companies to Work For list, Sinatra said.
"We tend to buck the industry trend," Sinatra said.