A Whole Foods Market grocery opened its doors at Fashion Island. (Amy Senk, Daily Pilot / September 19, 2012)

A Whole Foods Market grocery opened its doors Wednesday morning at Fashion Island, drawing hundreds of customers who lined up for a chance to be among the first to explore the 32,000-square-foot shop.

"I'm just really excited about having [it] close by," said Pattie Scott, who was the first in line.

Scott was shopping with her cooking instructor, Susan Miller. The two planned to browse and explore with no set shopping list.

Linda Rigas of Newport Beach said she planned to look for groceries to suit her vegan diet, as well as to explore the Whole Body section of the store.

"They have natural brands, brands you can't find elsewhere," Rigas said. "What I love is they have testers out. You can test what the products feel like on your skin, and the staff usually [is] very knowledgeable."

Customers waiting in line received small baguettes. Then, the store's team leader, George Khoury, and Patrick Bradley, a regional president, gave short speeches to welcome everyone.

They and other Whole Foods representatives then broke an enormous loaf of bread — a tradition for each Whole Foods grand opening — and the doors opened to shoppers.

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NBPD blood drive

A Newport Beach Police Department Hoag Blood Drive is underway, police said in an email.

"Your blood or platelet donation goes directly to Hoag patients, and help[s] up to three people," the email blast said.

The drive will run through Friday. The hours are 8 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays and 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The drive will take place at 510 Superior Ave. Suite 130 in Newport Beach.

Organizers suggest making an appointment by calling (949) 764-5621.

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Flyover notice

The United States Navy has responded to a Newport Beach letter requesting advance notice for military flyover tributes, stating that no notice will be given unless the city code is changed to require it.

Mayor Nancy Gardner said she would suggest such a change at the next City Council meeting.

The issue arose after a memorial was held for a World War II hero John Francis "Jack" Callahan, who died Feb. 19 at age 94. Callahan was a decorated World War II flyer, and his son wanted to incorporate a military tribute as part of his service, which was at the Balboa Yacht Club on March 24.

No advance notice was given to city officials, and the unexpected appearance of four F-18s followed by two World War II T-6s startled many local residents, who flooded the police station with calls. Gardner said at the time that she thought the planes were going to crash into her house.

In April, City Manager Dave Kiff sent a letter to Rep. John Campbell (R-Irvine), asking for the congressman's assistance in working with the military to secure advance notification for future flyovers.