WholeFoods

9 May

I previously stated this week’s post was going to be about marketing on social media – well I’ve changed my mind.  In recent months I have written numerous posts about social media, particularly Twitter, in addition to discussing my recently released satirical black comedy, Necropolis.

This week I am going with something quite different, namely my recent WholeFoods experiences.  If I had been on safari in the Serengeti, I would no doubt blog about the big cats, and the herds of galloping zebras kicking up clouds of dust that I saw there, but I haven’t been anywhere that exciting, so my WholeFoods experiences will have to suffice.

WholeFoods

For those unfamiliar with WholeFoods, it is an American supermarket chain specialising in natural and organic foods.  It opened in 1980.  I had never been in a WholeFoods, and I was intrigued on entering the newly opened store near my house.  On entering WholeFoods I noted that the interior really does look like a farmers market.  Majestic fruit and vegetable items are the norm in WholeFoods, as these resplendent apples (see below) that emit not even the faintest whiff of pesticide testify.  One is forced to wonder whether the apples in the Garden of Eden were as tempting as these.

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An aproned staff member brimming with vitality approached me.  He was holding aloft a tray piled high with bread.  He looked like he had come straight out of a Soviet propaganda picture of communal farm workers.

Smiling widely, he said,  ‘Would you like to try our gluten free, organic, environmentally friendly, wholesome wholegrain bread?’

Me: ‘Where is the Coca Cola?’

Beaming Staff Member: ‘We don’t sell Coca Cola, but we do have a range of fructose drinks.’

I had been expecting him to say something like, next aisle on the left. Walking away from the self-righteous wholegrain bread I continue through the market.  The dizzying array of exquisite food items included apricot gammons, wild boar salamis and immaculately presented sushi. They were as tantalising as anything that Tantalus would have experienced in Tartarus.  The other customers, their mouths agape, were evidently also astonished.

In WholeFoods you select your own eggs.  How nostalgic, it reminded me of being a child on my godfather’s farm, though the cynic in me assumed they were sold individually to make them appear less expensive.

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Next up was the whole grains section (see picture below).  I must confess to not being overly familiar with whole grains.  Standing in the whole grains section I felt like a cockatiel – perhaps that is the idea.

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An exuberant staff member skipped gaily past, a beaming smile upon her countenance.  Stopping her with an outstretched hand I asked,

   ‘Is your home brand milk pasteurised?’

   ‘Our 365 Organic Everyday Value Milk is pasteurised utilising the short time HTST method.  We never ever ultra-high temperature UHT pasteurized. Through this method we destroy harmful bacteria in the milk without compromising the integrity or taste.’

A yes would have sufficed.  Oh, and in case you were wondering, 365 Organic Everyday Value Milk does not contain synthetic growth hormones.

Before I was even out of the door I was already partaking in my first WholeFoods consuming experience.  It was a free range, organic egg and environmentally friendly watercress sandwich.  I was impressed.

In a subsequent visit I discovered what I named the organic, free trade, regional farm diversity and economic stability supporting chocolate slice thing.  This bourgeois chocolate slice may be frightfully pleased with itself, but for good reason, it tastes amazing.  I was lost for words – how could something taste so divine, and support sustainable farming practices. Consuming WholeFoods chocolate slices became a daily occurrence, sometimes even twice a day.  The photograph below illustrates that I was not the only customer with a growing dependence on them.

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A close up of a caramel slice (see below).

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This is a WholeFoods hotdog (see below), originating no doubt from a harmonious, organically fed porker, blissfully unaware that it was hotdog bound.  These hotdogs come with my personal recommendation.

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A grey day in London at the beginning of May found me in the WholeFoods queue, clasping a caramel slice thing and a few other items – not many, as I did not want my bill to amount to the GDP of a small African country.  I was surprised to see this bowl of suncreams by the till on such a wet, grey, dreary day in early May.  I can only assume this is a symbolic statement about the thinning of the Ozone Layer.

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It is said that a picture tells a thousand words, and I believe that this jar on the counter of WholeFoods does exactly that.

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15 Responses to “WholeFoods”

  1. dydywriter May 9, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

    Thanks for sharing Guy. I don’t think Whole Foods as reached as far as Manchester yet – not to my knowledge anyway. It sounds like an interesting experience though and I’m sure there will be a market for it with current concerns about what is being put into our food. I would certainly like to sample some of their produce although I don’t know whether I would extend to a full weekly shop if they are as expensive as you suggest. :)

    • guyportman May 10, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

      I suspect a WholeFoods will appear in the centre of Manchester at some point. There is certainly a big market for organic produce these days. WholeFoods are going to face increasing competition. Thank you for the comment. Have a good weekend.

  2. davidprosser May 9, 2014 at 7:21 pm #

    Not heard of this in North Wales either Guy but I’ll keep an eye open for it. Anything chocolate gets my vote.

    • guyportman May 10, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

      I know you are a big fan of chocolate David. Can’t imagine WholeFoods will be going to North Wales anytime soon. At any rate you have your own local produce, which is no doubt just as good and less expensive.

  3. John W. Howell May 9, 2014 at 10:43 pm #

    We love Whole Foods so much we have to drive two and one half hours to pick up some favorites. We call it Whole Paycheck which is what can be spent there.

    • guyportman May 10, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

      I’m going to start referring to it as Whole Paycheck now. Two and a half hours is a fair way, but evidently worth the effort. Have a good weekend.

      • John W. Howell May 10, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

        When you live on an island everything is far away.

  4. bobbiecook May 11, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    We have one of these stores in Cheltenham Guy which we love to visit when we’re there. I love the aroma of the spices which greets you at the door……I always feel I’m in a healthy environment there surrounded by all those lovely organic products……not so healthy for my purse though,I could easily spend a fortune in one go! :)

    • guyportman May 11, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

      Cheltenham is a lovely town. I used to go there for swimming competitions against Cheltenham College in my school days. WholeFoods (Whole Paycheck) know exactly how to appeal to the customer. Thank you for the comment.

  5. patriciaddrury May 12, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    I reblogged this Guy, excited to have my own Whole Foods soon… great read!

    • guyportman May 12, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

      Thank you for the reblog Patricia. I hope you enjoy your new WholeFoods. Don’t forget the caramel slices.

  6. June Lorraine May 12, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

    I have left large amounts of cash at Whole Foods so I try not to shop there too often. Now I see they have caramel slices…I pray that they sell them in the UK only and not on this side of the pond. Fun post Guy and thanks for liking my post on Noir at the Bar.

    • guyportman May 12, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

      WholeFoods might yet consider dropping the price of their organic produce, due to concerns over competition. At least this is what some experts are saying. Thank you for the comment June.

  7. Gus Sanchez May 24, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

    Whole Foods is the bane of my existence, as it exposes my hypocrisy. I swore I wouldn’t shop there after reading their CEO’s horrible op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal in which he bitterly complained about having to pay for his employees’ medical insurance, and suggested that healthcare is really a privilege and not a universal right that governments or employers should have to pay for. On the other hand, WF has an extended selection of gluten-free foods that my daughter, who has celiac disease, can enjoy. I feel like I’m making a deal with the devil every time I shop there.

    • guyportman May 24, 2014 at 7:00 pm #

      I didn’t know about the CEO’s position on employee medical insurance. It appears that though SmugFoods support sustainable farming they do not support sustainable employees. You obviously have a better reason to shop at WholeFoods than me Gus. Can’t imagine there are any better places for gluten-free food than WholeFoods.

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