Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Thing #166--"Disney World For Foodies"

The title comes from an article in last week's POST-DISPATCH about the opening of a new Whole Foods Market in Town and Country. I've been excited for this store to open; it's only a 10 minute drive from my house. Before today, the closest Whole Foods was a half-hour away, and trips there were reserved for special occasions, or when I happened to be in the area. There have been ads for the last week touting today's opening ceremonies, so today I went to the grand opening of a store.

I wasn't sure what to expect at a "Bread Breaking Ceremony", as the store called it. I arrived about 20 minutes early, and there were already a couple of hundred people there! The store served snacks to the people in line, and we got free tote bags. I could hear (but not see) the bagpipe band that was playing near the front door; I heard occasional applause from the front of the line, so I suspect there was the usual compliment of store officials and politicians speaking as the doors were opened. The line had almost doubled in length by the time they let us in.

It actually took about 10 minutes to get in the store once the line started moving--people had to stop and get shopping carts, which slowed everything down. I was planning on just looking today, as I figured the checkout lines would be swamped, so I just gathered my goodies in my tote bag.

The store is huge (55,000 square feet), but it was very hard to navigate with all the people who were there. They had lots of free samples-every department had something they were showcasing. I tried to make it down every aisle to see what the store's inventory was like, but it was so crowded it was hard to browse.

Partway through my shopping, I noticed that my tote bag was turning my arm red! I found an associate, who explained to me that the ink (that was either plant- or water-based) probably was reacting to my sunscreen. I swapped out the tote for another one, and went to the bathroom to clean the ink off my arm.

As I was leaving the parking lot, there were still a lot of cars coming in. They actually had an associate directing traffic! I bet the store will be very busy for the rest of the day.

I'll still shop at a variety of stores for my food (price is important to me, as is shopping at the hometown chain grocery stores), but I'll definitely include Whole Foods as one of the stops.


  1. Love Whole Foods. It's pretty much my only grocery store. I occasionally visit my local grocer to buy some staples, and my cat's chicken, but for produce and meats, you can't beat Whole Foods.

  2. Were there people dressed up like fruit? She'll correct me if I'm wrong, but my friend Ashley coordinate this event, I believe. So, seriously? Were there fruits? How did they look? Did they make you want to buy fruit?

  3. Christy, I did see a person dressed as fruit. I believe there was a banana, an apple, and a bunch of grapes. It occurred to me that might be a fun activity to do sometime :-)

    Dk, I don't know if we're just lucky to have a real variety of grocery stores here...there's two local chains (Schnucks and Dierbergs), as well as discount stores and Wal-Mart (where I won't buy groceries).

  4. Kathy,

    Had I known that you planned to go to the Whole Foods opening, I would have introduced myself. I was there coordinating the fruits! I actually caught my grapes lighting up a cigarette and nearly died of embarrassment.

    Next time I have a mascot promotion, I'll let you know. What a fun thing to check off your list! And I suspect you wouldn't be tempted to light up mid-event.


  5. Hah! I was in the car with that grape costume last evening! You and I are now 2 degrees separated.

  6. Oh, we have LOTS of grocers here, but most of them are not to my liking. We have some boutique grocers too, as well as Trader Joes. We also have quite a few farmer's markets as we are right in the heart of the food capital to the world. Whole Foods buys from so many of the local growers that I feel like it's walking into a farmer's market each week.

    I love their prepared foods because it's all organic and preservative-free. I have so many food allergies. We shop at Whole Foods in San Mateo and San Francisco when we are in those areas. We started with Whole Foods in Berkeley when our daughter was in graduate school there. She got us started and we've been fans ever since. Our daughter says she would live in Whole Foods if given the opportunity.