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Witnessed a Whole Foods opening today.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Not sure if this topic forum is the proper place since it does involve food.

Anyhow I have to say that after participating in 18+ new restaurant openings and one grocery store this was a treat.

Normally and because of the above mentioned experiences, I would avoid something of this nature like the plague but something drew me to the experience.

The first Whole Foods in the Richmond area opened with a bang and.....What a store. From the breaking of the bread to all the things they had set up inside. It was First Class all the way.

Beautiful produce (actually the department was set up similar to an AJ's in the Oro Valley near Tucson). Really set up well and Great selection. I can't wait for them to get into the groove and start bringing in some of the things I remember they had at the Overland Park KS store.

Anyway, I was the second one through the door and all I could do was sit back and watch the wave of folks make their way in. Got a free pineapple to. Actually just cut some of it up for ambrosia salad for the DD's lunch at school tomorrow.

They have a beer and wine selection like no other Ive seen and even a wine bar.

The seafood section was chocked full of regional selections and several things I hadn't seen in a while. So many things in fact I was a bit overwhelmed and can't remember half.

The meat case was........A carnivores dream. They have an in-house dry age cabinet loaded with strip and rib loins. They smoke their own meats and actually in talking to the district manager, they are trying to bring back the old style butcher service. If I can just get past the prices on some of the really nice stuff it'll be an adventure for the taste-buds.

The cheese section was just what I needed since the area is sadly lacking in any real choice. Bought a couple items most notably was a Provolone Mandarini Guffanti aged for 2 years. The second most notable was a Genuine Fulvi Pecorino Romano. In all honesty I hadn't experienced flavor like the two of those since my Grandmother (Fathers side) was alive. Been 36 years too.

Anyhow the place even has a full café so you can get close to a fine dining experience between the wine bar and "MRE" type foods and avoid the hassle of service (or lack there of it would seem these days)

Anyhow it does put a Whole Foods with-in reach since the two that we had to choose from were in Raleigh NC and Charlottesville VA. 103 and 97 miles respectively.

Funny thing is Trader Joe's is opening a store just a block away and it is about a quarter the size of the Whole Foods. I've always thought they were compatible stores but I guess I was wrong. :look:
post #2 of 6
It's all good and well that such a nice and pretty store opened there. Whole Foods does in fact have a beautiful layout, the fruits look yummy, the meat section is to die for, etc. However.....


Step out of WholeFoods and step into a local grocery in Harlem. No pretty displays, lack of organic foods, teensy weensy produce section... it goes on and on. Ideally they should rename every aisle "High Fructose Corn Syrup Aisle."

It is so bothersome to me that nutritious food that is organically grown is ONLY available to those with money to spare.

The life expectancy of our childrens' generations is actually lower than that of mine (I'm 32).

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #3 of 6
Ummm.... did you miss the Farmer's Market at Jackie Robinson Park, which is about as deep in Harlem as you can get? That would be the one open weekdays 9-4? Maybe where YOU live that problem exists, but not in Harlem.

If you're 32, on what statistics do you base your assertions? How can we compute a life expectancy for an unborn generation? Unless of course we begin to insert political discussions into cooking threads. (Please, for the love of Pete, no...)

Having been raised in NYC for 27 years, one of the things I miss most is the ready supply of fresh produce, organic if I want it.
post #4 of 6
That's not the case here - there are WF stores located in mixed areas (areas that border on low-income and high-income neighborhoods), and people from all neighborhoods shop at WF (and other organic and quality markets, including the local farmers' markets - and we have many of those in all sorts of neighborhoods. Methinks you're painting a generalization with too broad a brush.
post #5 of 6
This is not entirely true. Organic food is quite pricey, and is catered to the high end. Good old fashioned, genetically enhanced, pesticide protected food is equally nutritious and a lot cheaper. I often buy the organic stuff at whole foods because it IS higher quality, but the reason has nothing to do with organics being inherently better and all to do with greater care put in for greater price returns.

I'm afraid is rather early to make any extrapolations on this. I'm slightly older than you are and I don't recall food being 'better for me' in the late 70's and 80's than anything available today. If anything we were more likely to be fed extra sugar as sugar free alternatives were pretty new, and fresh produce was harder to find.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Whole Foods to us is a great place. It's also not a once a week store. Mainly given the distance to drive but for some of the reasons mentioned about price. When we lived in KCMO, Overland Park was 15-20 minutes to drive and gas was also 2.00 a gallon so once a week wasn't an issue. But now and the fact it's twice as far, it'll probably work out to be an every other week store.

We usually split the purchases between 2-4 different stores anyhow. Trying to get the best quality for the price. There are some things that we feel are necessities and if they happen to be more expensive that the "price you have to pay".

Whole Foods offers products that are not readily available at our Ukrop's, Kroger, Costco or on the low side Sam's. Their house brand (365) is also very cost effective and the quality is quite high.

So I guess I would have to say we use them for the more culinary items. Vinegars, oils, spices, some meats (they are the only store that sells a skin-on butterfly boneless breast of chicken and a Cap-on sirloin), sodas (again the house brand being reformulated with pure cane sugar), Cheeses and several produce selections.

I also often question the added cost for things because they are organic, healthier, whatever. Yet if you look back through time, health always costs more. Most folks entrenched and around the survival point don't often have time to think of or even prioritize about healthy food purchases. yet there are always exceptions so don't jump on that statement.

I guess it is what it is and until more things change than I believe are possible (this is the real world and ain't Star Trek TNG or......) it is what it is and we do what we can when we can.:cool:
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