Al Dente

Whole Foods, an Austin-Based Store with Over 400 Locations in the U.S. and U.K.

691 posts in this topic

squidsdc said:
Which market had the baby artichokes? Those are so hard to find in the local stores in my area--we had to go shopping at Wegmans in Fairfax yesterday to get some! (and a few other things as well, of course)

 
Not a farmer's market obviously, but Whole Paycheck (Foods) has had purple baby artichokes. I've seen them at a couple of locations-- P St, and the one down in Annandale.

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Bad:  Picking up a package of Whole Foods premade meatballs to make a quick dinner for the kids and getting them home to find the supposed fresh meatballs are turned.  Bleah.  They well within the "sell by" date.  Ordinarily they would go straight back to the store, but it was 5:30, I had already dragged both kids to the store once and wasn't going to do it twice in one day.  Into the trash.

 
Heather, which WFM? I've occasionally had the same trouble at P Street. I'll bag up the bad stuff, throw it in the freezer, and return it to them in a solid block the following week's shopping run. Could be $4 worth of chicken or $40 worth of steak.

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Bad: Picking up a package of Whole Foods premade meatballs to make a quick dinner for the kids and getting them home to find the supposed fresh meatballs are turned. Bleah. They well within the "sell by" date. Ordinarily they would go straight back to the store, but it was 5:30, I had already dragged both kids to the store once and wasn't going to do it twice in one day. Into the trash.

 
same thing just happened to us w/ some Whole Foods guacamole...although to be fair they are very good about returns - we just called em - said it was bad and they said they'd credit us for it next time we're in

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whole foods has a problem with pricing. this summer i have encountered coffee that rings up at $1 a pound more than the price on the shelf, and italian pasta (different types at different stores) ringing up a couple of dollars more. it took at least six weeks for the coffee problem to be corrected at the p street store, even though i pointed it out to them every time at the cash register (once i had become aware that i was being overcharged). getting management involved in this doesn't necessarily work either; correcting the pasta price problem at the wisconsin and calvert store required an okay from the corporation, i was told.

you also have to watch out for items that don't have a price, and they are all over the place. these typically will cost more than other brands of the same items around them.

several years ago, this problem was worse than it is today, and in many cases it was obvious that shoppers were being scammed. i thought they had cleaned up their act, but now i am beginning to wonder and beginning to see some of the same sorts of things reappearing.

these stores are a good example to me of why grocers should be required to go back to putting prices on individual items. it's clear that it's too easy to get away with this in a store where money really isn't the object. i don't have much experience at other chain stores to know if this is a problem there as well. i would love to bring this to the attention of a consumer office in dc, but somehow i think this would turn out to be a big waste of time.

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Well I was in Whole Foods today and noticed that they are now selling various spices pre-packaged in pretty large volume. There was a rather large selection, everything from 'butcher's grind' black pepper to BBQ rubs to pickling spice. Anyway this was new to me and thought I would share.

One odd thing that I saw was cream of tartar in 1/2 lb. containers! What on earth are you going to do with that amount?

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Latest atrocity was a $10 Whole Foods tuna steak that was supposed to be my dinner. I wound up having just green beans. :P

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While you make a good point, johnb, notice the many times people have posted about problems at Whole Foods. Myself, I just purchased last week at WFM, 2 Portofino "salad in the bag" as they were on special 2/$5. Sell by date Aug 28. Opened pkg 1 yesterday, and the lettuce was all wet and slimy. :P Pkg 2 does not look promising, either.

(I even had a cooler with me last Sunday when I purchased the salads, since I was bringing home fresh seafood)

This is not the first time I've had problems at Whole Foods...when will I learn?

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While you make a good point, johnb, notice the many times people have posted about problems at Whole Foods. Myself, I just purchased last week at WFM, 2 Portofino "salad in the bag" as they were on special 2/$5. Sell by date Aug 28. Opened pkg 1 yesterday, and the lettuce was all wet and slimy. mad.gif Pkg 2 does not look promising, either.
(I even had a cooler with me last Sunday when I purchased the salads, since I was bringing home fresh seafood)

This is not the first time I've had problems at Whole Foods...when will I learn?

 
Funny you should mention that. I recently saw a WF employee at the P Street store dump a bagged salad into the large hopper of the "bulk mesclun mix." So that obviously tells you the source of the bulk stuff. Danger Will Robinson!

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Picked up some Jumbo Lump crab at the Whole Foods in Clarendon. The price label had fallen off (they pack them in crushed ice, the water makes it hard for the label adhesive to stick. The cashier asked the manager what to do, he said 'guess it's on us'. That's a nice $36 freebie :lol:

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Picked up some Jumbo Lump crab at the Whole Foods in Clarendon.  The price label had fallen off (they pack them in crushed ice, the water makes it hard for the label adhesive to stick.  The cashier asked the manager what to do, he said 'guess it's on us'.  That's a nice $36 freebie  biggrin.gif

 
No doubt there will now be hoards of rockwellians headed to WF, stripping price labels off of crabmeat (and goodness knows what else), and heading for the checkouts.
tongue.gif

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Picked up some Jumbo Lump crab at the Whole Foods in Clarendon.  The price label had fallen off (they pack them in crushed ice, the water makes it hard for the label adhesive to stick.  The cashier asked the manager what to do, he said 'guess it's on us'.  That's a nice $36 freebie  biggrin.gif

 
i didn't know whole foods hired managers with sherwood forest on their resumes. maybe this can become an urban legend. i've never experienced anything remotely like it and i'm at that store constantly, though seldom in virginia.

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Picked up some Jumbo Lump crab at the Whole Foods in Clarendon.  The price label had fallen off (they pack them in crushed ice, the water makes it hard for the label adhesive to stick.  The cashier asked the manager what to do, he said 'guess it's on us'.  That's a nice $36 freebie  biggrin.gif

 
A few months back (maybe even last year) I picked up some fresh porcini at WFM in Tenleytown. The cashier didn't know what they were, so I told her. When she couldn't find "porcini" on her codes list she shrugged and put them in the bag for nothing. I suppose I could have said "I think they're $39.95 a pound", but I kept silent. Was that wrong? Unfortunately I'd only gotten eight or ten of them.

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I've received meat free at Whole Foods when there was a price but no UPC code to scan. I told them to just enter it in manually. Nope--they had to give it to me for free.

On another visit I tried to buy a loaf of bread that had been given a sticker making it a $30.00 torte. They gave us the bread free too.

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Actually, just this past Saturday I was at the Tenley WFM, and noticed that some of the parmigiano reggiano had been mislabled parrano, for a $4/lb discount. I bought a couple of chunks.

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Bleah. They well within the "sell by" date. Ordinarily they would go straight back to the store, but it was 5:30, I had already dragged both kids to the store once and wasn't going to do it twice in one day. Into the trash.

This has happened to me more than once at Whole Foods in DC, but I just call or bring my receipt in the next time I go, and they have always given me a refund--even days later--no questions asked.

Bummer, though.

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I've received meat free at Whole Foods when there was a price but no UPC code to scan.  I told them to just enter it in manually.  Nope--they had to give it to me for free.

On another visit I  tried to buy a loaf of bread that had been given a sticker making it a $30.00 torte.  They gave us the bread free too.

 
i will have to take back what i said earlier about not getting anything for free from whole foods. i had been making the mistake of handling problems at the register instead of going to the manager's desk. of course, in my experience, you have to go ape to get anywhere with them.

yesterday, for the umpteenth time at the p street store just over the summer, a sale item, coffee, rang up for the full amount at the cash register. the cashier didn't know exactly what to do, so i went back to the shelves and returned with the label for the item showing that it was normally priced for $10.99 and on sale for $8.99. i would have been happy, i guess, to see $2 deducted from the bill, but the person who was called over to discuss the adjustment ticked me off by his attitude and a comment along the lines of "okay, give him the $2."

at the manager's desk, in exchange for practically having a stroke, i was rewarded with $11 in cash. was it worth it? not really. i tend to lose it in situations like this. for whatever the reason, you can count on running into these sorts of price discrepancies at whole foods. the coffee i bought was the last one on the shelf, so either this pricing problem had already been brought to the store's attention, or the people who bought it on sale and paid full price for it didn't really care. i don't trust them. at best, they are profiting from their indifference toward addressing this ongoing issue.

by the way, i knocked the produce at p street last week, and just want to say that it was much better at their store on wisconsin down from calvert.

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Unless I was hallucinating, I came across this guy in the produce section of Whole Foods today. I can't even remember what it was, but it was something in a clear plastic wrap alongside the potatoes and onions.

A continuation of a multi-year decline in quality for this chain?

Rocks

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Wouldn't surprise me. Whole Foods carries a number of mass market items, like Cheerios.

Or maybe Green Giant has an organic division? :lol:

Edited by Heather

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I showed this thread to a friend who is a former Whole Foods employee and this is her response:

"Yep, everybody is getting into the natural and organic foods...even Fritos now makes chips that have no hydrogenated oils. As long as the items meet Whole Foods Market quality standards, let 'em in! Plus, the larger manufacturers items cost less (thus lowering the "whole paycheck" aura). And finally, many of the larger manufacturers are outright buying the natural and organic producers (Muir Glen is now owned by General Foods). Natural and organic foods are the only growth industry in grocery...can't blame 'em!"

And for your reading pleasure: Whole Foods Market Quality Standards

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looks like they are going to have to pull an animal farm on the list of unacceptable food ingredients before sarah lee makes it into their freezer cases. (is this libelous, because i know nobody does it better?)

Edited by giant shrimp

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I think it speaks volumes that their national VP of purchasing is a bean counter, that one of their regional VP's of purchasing, a great and talented guy, is a distribution guy. I cannot think of a single person in their upper level management structure with the exception of one regional president whi is a true foodie and is willing to put that foodie credentials on the line.

Edited by deangold

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Wouldn't surprise me.  Whole Foods carries a number of mass market items, like Cheerios.

Or maybe Green Giant has an organic division?  dry.gif

 
WF also carries some variation of cheetos, ruffles & Lays potato chips.

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WF also carries some variation of cheetos, ruffles & Lays potato chips.

 
The irony of it all is that they are not great sellers. The number one chip by far is a local- Nana's. But the FL stuff has displaced some small producers who make good stuff.

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