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Whole Foods, an Austin-Based Store with Over 400 Locations in the U.S. and U.K. - Being Purchased by Amazon for $13.7 Billion


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I needed some preparations for the DR picnic tomorrow and was running errands in Tysons so stopped in the Whole Foods on the way back to Arlington. I picked up a huge 4lb package of strawberries for $6.99. What amazed me is I bought about 7-8 items and it cost me the same or less than it would have at the Harris Teeter (maybe even Weggies). That never happens to me. And I got a nice wine sample... mmm.

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Having a little bit of experience with Whole Foods and out of stock situations, the probably culprit is probably the automatic reorder system. Amazon is trying to impose a just in time inventory model

Today I walked over to H Street and bought some groceries, using my $10-off-a-$50 purchase coupon. I figured $50 from Whole Foods would fit in a  backpack and a WF paper bag I brought along. Since I h

There are commenters on The Washington Post grousing about Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump dining at the lavish restaurant, Kinship.  All I could think of was, 'Not only could they order anything

Whole Foods now has the best price I know on small bottles of maple syrup. McClure's at something like $4.99 at Silver Spring.

There was a special this week on Colavita's Tuttafrutta evoo, with a $1 off coupon around its neck. Though I hadn't bought the brand for years, I thought, why not? While I still long for a not-so-costly, assertive unfilitered oil, this is quite nice.

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The new WF in Friendship Heights has a fresh pasta bar, freshly ground nut butters, fill your own honey, a pizza oven, pick your own granola, and a barbecue meat section. It's pretty darn impressive.

And don't forget a burger bar and a kabob/mezze counter (where I got a big plate of food the other night--a protein, rice or salad, pita, and one mezze--for the reasonable price of $9).

This is a huge store. They literally have a wall of yogurt that left me astonished with the sheer number of different yogurt products available on the market today. Lots of indoor parking (though they want you not to bring your cart out to your car--either carry your bags or swing your car through the pick-up lane. We'll see how that goes around holiday time.).

Beats the heck out of my regular nightmare of a WF on River Rd.

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This is a huge store. They literally have a wall of yogurt that left me astonished with the sheer number of different yogurt products available on the market today. Lots of indoor parking (though they want you not to bring your cart out to your car--either carry your bags or swing your car through the pick-up lane. We'll see how that goes around holiday time.).

Beats the heck out of my regular nightmare of a WF on River Rd.

The architectural setting kind of reminds me of Boca Raton.

More later. Meanwhile, after a trip to Tenleytown's WFM:

Grrr: Back-to-School Display. Products, products, products, individually wrapped. Whole Foods Market?

Happy Dance: today's (only) sale on Parmesan. $10 lb. and ten times better than the wedge of younger stuff I had at home.

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The Glover Park Whole Foods had several signs posted yesterday touting their special shrimp offer. The signs advised me the the shrimp were "perviously frozen" and had been "peeled and divine". I actually expect better of Whole Foods, although I couldn't say why.

Some cultures veinerate crustaceans.

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I can't believe I'm having a hard time finding nicoise olives with pits intact! Available at P St. or other locatons?

The entire olive bar in Silver Spring is rather disappointing--I get the impression that the team in the Cheese/Specialty Foods dept. wasn't formed out of people who are really into the stuff they buy for the store. Almost all the olives they carry are pitted or stuffed or Kalamata. No Lucques, either.

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I can't believe I'm having a hard time finding nicoise olives with pits intact! Available at P St. or other locatons?

The entire olive bar in Silver Spring is rather disappointing--I get the impression that the team in the Cheese/Specialty Foods dept. wasn't formed out of people who are really into the stuff they buy for the store. Almost all the olives they carry are pitted or stuffed or Kalamata. No Lucques, either.

Bethesda almost always has the niçoise. Never seen the Lucques, though.

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I recently have had a run of spoiled meat from Whole Foods in Tysons and Vienna. On one occasion veal chops from Vienna, on other occasions spoiled Turkey and Chicken from Tysons location. Has anyone else had a similar problem? BTW, I wrote to them two weeks ago and have still not had a response

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I recently have had a run of spoiled meat from Whole Foods in Tysons and Vienna. On one occasion veal chops from Vienna, on other occasions spoiled Turkey and Chicken from Tysons location. Has anyone else had a similar problem? BTW, I wrote to them two weeks ago and have still not had a response

Take it back to customer service, encourage them to smell it for themselves (they never do), and demand a refund.

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Bethesda almost always has the niçoise. Never seen the Lucques, though.

Thanks. Funny, I don't even know where the store is in Bethesda. Lucques are back in Silver Spring along with more intact olives [VOs].

And since I gripe more than I praise, let me add that you should look for the clam shells of Turkish pinenuts that are sold in the bulk section. More than twice the price of the ones loose and from California, but quality is just amazing. Pretty as can be, too.

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And since I gripe more than I praise, let me add that you should look for the clam shells of Turkish pinenuts that are sold in the bulk section. More than twice the price of the ones loose and from California, but quality is just amazing. Pretty as can be, too.

They were out of pine nuts for what seemed like quite a while, which I presume has to do with suppliers and the pine nut mouth problem. I agree. These Turkish ones they have now are wonderful.

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Just back from some out of town surgery, so I thought I'd go to my local WF (Tyson's) for what I think is some of the better (and easily accessible) Hot & Sour soup I can find around me , flavorful with no cornstarch glop. And I get two good bowls for $6.50.

I arrived at the take away section to see that their usual variety of soup is reduced (at least yesterday) to about 4 or 5 different soups, in containers that look much more institutional than the ones they used to have. Same pricing.

Hot & Sour was not in the lineup. Pout.

I did see Brandied Wild Mushroom, and my spirit rose. I heated it up last night, took a taste. Added some dried Thyme and Sea Salt. Better. Had a bowl. Found one piece of mushroom that was just inedible, which went down the disposal. Finished the bowl, but thought....meh.

When I consume the leftovers, I'll put a hit of dark soy sauce in for some umami boost. But really, if this is their new line of soups, I'm pretty disappointed.

On edit: had the rest of it this afternoon, added the dark soy. But the problem that can't be overcome with tinkering is that the mushrooms, while plentiful, are just plain chewy.

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The new Whole Foods on Rockville Pike across from White Flint opened today. Some nice additions - bulk spices, a burger bar. The traffic (vehicular and pedestrian) has been amusingly insane.

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Made my first visit to the new Rockville Pike location today. It's a really nice store with some great features -- the bulk foods are what I'm most excited about: a very large and wide assortment of foods available in bulk. And while many of these kinds of foods are available in bulk elsewhere, the sheer number and variety available at this store was impressive.

Dried beans: Many, many varieties of hard-to-find types of beans. Some beans I've never even heard of. Guess I can close my account at Rancho Gordo now.

Salts

Oils

Syrups and honeys

Wheats

Rices: many kinds

Legumes of all varieties

Dried mushrooms: many different kinds

Spices

Dried fruits

Seeds and nuts

Teas: Rishi brand: organic and fair trade

They have 4 mills available so you can grind your own wheat, bean and rice flours. Two mills are wheat-dedicated; two are for beans and rices only.

A bit of orientation: the entrance to the store is actually on Woodglen, which runs parallel to the Pike, one block west. The entrance to the parking garage is also on Woodglen. There are several parking garage entrances on the 4 sides of that new complex, but only the one on Woodglen is for WF shoppers. Parking right now is free -- don't know how long that will last. After that, it will be 2 hours free with validation.

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They have 4 mills available so you can grind your own wheat, bean and rice flours. Two mills are wheat-dedicated; two are for beans and rices only.

So, is there actually discernible benefit to grinding one's own flour? [DR: get your mind out of the gutter.] Grinding one's own coffee is, of course, common place, and I think makes a difference. But I can't say I've heard much about grinding flour.

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Made my first visit to the new Rockville Pike location today. It's a really nice store with some great features -- the bulk foods are what I'm most excited about: a very large and wide assortment of foods available in bulk. And while many of these kinds of foods are available in bulk elsewhere, the sheer number and variety available at this store was impressive.

The extensive bulk/"cooking" section is pretty cool. Had some things you rarely see, like tarbais beans. Some photos in the slideshow here.

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So, is there actually discernible benefit to grinding one's own flour? [DR: get your mind out of the gutter.] Grinding one's own coffee is, of course, common place, and I think makes a difference. But I can't say I've heard much about grinding flour.

Unless we're talking about dry-aged meat, wine or cheese or fermented or pickled foods, when it comes to many comestibles, fresh is best. Flour, especially whole grains with the germ intact, can get rancid pretty quickly, and should be kept refrigerated. Bean flours can be very hard to find, unless one searches out an Indian grocery store, and then freshness isn't guaranteed.

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So, is there actually discernible benefit to grinding one's own flour? [DR: get your mind out of the gutter.] Grinding one's own coffee is, of course, common place, and I think makes a difference. But I can't say I've heard much about grinding flour.

You should read some of the bread boards that I do. Many, many folks grind their own grain. I have not made that leap yet.

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^To the grinding discussion above, I'll add: I ate some freshly baked bread at a farm recently where the baker had combined a number of whole grains to grind her own flour mix and the results were really, really good most likely due to the fact that she is an excellent cook to boot. Second, freshly stone-ground cornmeal is so much better than old stuff. Not sure the store's machine matches results, but 'twould be worth a shot. Certainly if the proper ingredient were around, one could do in the store what some of the commentators here do with their Vitamix to make fresh tortillas, no? Finally, note that among the exotica in bulk were white lentils which a sign indicated were hulled black lentils that, in combination with rice are ground to make dosas. Think of the fun projects...

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I'll also add a hear, hear to the praise of the bulk section. Wandered around the store and it was this one area that stood out the most. Please don't give up on Rancho Gordo, but both the selection of dried beans and rice were truly impressive. Wasn't sure the wild rice would have met Ari's standards at Zingerman's, but there were a number of S. East Asian selections and Chinese, including a stubby rice made green with bamboo extract. Problem for short people is the arrangement since a lot of the bulk items were so high up I couldn't reach the handles without losing control of quantities spilling out at the very least.

Coffee beans out in open barrels I didn't like and some of the quantities of spices--and way they were stored in plastic bins in the middle of the floor with slide-back lids any kid could reach a hand or spit into--bothered me. On the other hand, the degree of trust was refreshing. The antidote to "Sealed for Freshness" measures on packaged foods. All in all, there was an interesting harkening back to the food co-op origins of the company grafted onto privileged American consumerism. My kind of cult. Among other things, I ended up with a wee bag of pink peppercorns and another of intensely aromatic black-truffle infused sea salt, the former to make tea with cardamom, the latter to dry-brine a chicken for roasting.

Most of other sections of the store seemed just a little more ample, though the grocery aisles had a few rare treats such as bulk teas next to lovely little Japanese ceramic teapots and cups. Trickling Springs heavy cream a pale yellow in shade. Pasta bar like the one in the huge, new store in Friendship Heights. Many scheduled events geared towards teaching you how to cook more healthfully with purchases from the store, 1% Wednesdays benefiting a variety of non-profits/causes. Enthusiastic, nice guy hanging out in bulk section, part of new Cooking program there to help and advise.

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Question: is there a way for them to clean the machine? A reason why I always hesitate to use store machine grinders is due to many bean residues staying inside. Wouldn't multiple use create cross-contamination?

If there is a dedicated grinder for making bean flour, what sort of cross-contamination are you concerned about? Is there a type of bean that you aren't allowed to eat? In that case, I wouldn't use a communal mill. Generally, if you tap the machine before you put your product into it, any residual will come out. There might be a miniscule amount of another type of bean, but so what? It's not like your bean flour would be ruined.

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If there is a dedicated grinder for making bean flour, what sort of cross-contamination are you concerned about?

Ah. I think I misread somewhere, perhaps. I was thinking about gluten cross-contamination, as in someone used a grinder for bean then another for grain, but didn't know there was a dedicated one for each...

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A lot of parking on Security Lane this Saturday afternoon. It just south of the Whole Foods and runs perpendicular to the Pike. Because you know, parking garages are evilllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll.

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The store out in Colorado Springs has this "Spanish Cocktail Mix": corn nuts, pistachios, almonds, fava beans (!), chickpeas, veg oil, rice flour, sea salt.

I know this stuff is probably horrid to eat, but it's also frighteningly addictive, particularly the favas. Has anyone seen it at a local WF, preferably P Street? I mean, it's not that I don't want to schlep back to Colorado to get some, but that seems like a helluva carbon footprint...

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On parking at area Whole Foods locations: http://www.tbd.com/blogs/market-report/2011/06/the-horror-of-parking-at-whole-foods-11320.html

The slideshow provides documentation. I've only been to three of the stores, but I don't have as many problems at the Old Town location (the one I go to most) as the author of this piece did.

She's got the Clarendon location's number. I typically will not go unless I can get there at 8am when it opens. If I must go at another time I park back in the residential area and walk in. Yes, there is free parking back there that is not zoned for residents if you know where you are going. My lips, however, are sealed. B)

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She's got the Clarendon location's number. I typically will not go unless I can get there at 8am when it opens. If I must go at another time I park back in the residential area and walk in. Yes, there is free parking back there that is not zoned for residents if you know where you are going. My lips, however, are sealed. B)

Clarendon is bad. That's the one I go to second most often, but it's a very distant second. I don't like parking in the garage across the street because you then have to leave your cart at the store to go get the car from the garage to load it or try to get the cart across the street to the garage. I only took the cart to the garage once, not even knowing if it was allowed, but I saw multiple Whole Foods carts scattered there. (I took mine back.)

I usually take my chances on the surface lot. I tend to have the best luck in that little strip to the Pottery Barn side of the store that exits out onto whatever that back street is, but I'm rarely there after noon with a car.

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On parking at area Whole Foods locations: http://www.tbd.com/blogs/market-report/2011/06/the-horror-of-parking-at-whole-foods-11320.html

The slideshow provides documentation. I've only been to three of the stores, but I don't have as many problems at the Old Town location (the one I go to most) as the author of this piece did.

This piece strikes me as the work of someone who's scrambling to come up with *any topic* and a tendency toward whining. What an empty piece. I park regularly in the Tenleytown WF lot and I've never encountered any of the 'problems' mentioned. Also, many of the things described are hardly unique to WF lots -- you can find these kinds of issues in virtually any parking garage in the DC area.

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Doesn't even mention the disaster that is the River Rd store on the weekends. I particularly like the off-duty cops who are there to prevent road enraged soccer moms and dads from bashing into each other. I wouldn't be surprised to see WF close that store at some point. Just not enough parking, a small store to begin with, and reasonably close to the new Friendship Heights store. Friendship Heights, on the other hand, is just as the story depicts. A parker's dream. We live a few minutes closer to River Rd, but we go to Friendship Heights every time.

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On parking at area Whole Foods locations: http://www.tbd.com/blogs/market-report/2011/06/the-horror-of-parking-at-whole-foods-11320.html

The slideshow provides documentation. I've only been to three of the stores, but I don't have as many problems at the Old Town location (the one I go to most) as the author of this piece did.

I find the parking attendant at Clarendon very helpful, sometimes I have to wait a few minutes, but it normally doesn't bother me. I have never had any problems in Alexandria, but I normally go for lunch.

It would infuriate my Hubby to no end probably, but I am pretty peace loving, chill about parking.

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The store out in Colorado Springs has this "Spanish Cocktail Mix": corn nuts, pistachios, almonds, fava beans (!), chickpeas, veg oil, rice flour, sea salt.

I know this stuff is probably horrid to eat, but it's also frighteningly addictive, particularly the favas. Has anyone seen it at a local WF, preferably P Street? I mean, it's not that I don't want to schlep back to Colorado to get some, but that seems like a helluva carbon footprint...

I'm pretty sure I've seen it in the Old Town store.

The parking at the flagship store in Austin isn't a whole lot better than most of the stores around here - but they do have an awesome cart ramp to/from the garage.

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The parking at the flagship store in Austin isn't a whole lot better than most of the stores around here - but they do have an awesome cart ramp to/from the garage.

Related convenience is also part of their new store in Rockville..though it's the kind of conveyance found at Target, i.e., your cart rides independently. Unfortunately, you have to listen to a creepy, recorded voice hope you have a pleasant shopping experience once you reach the top of the escalator, and as you leave, the same voice hopes you had a pleasant shopping experience. Even the word "pleasant" is one of the last things Hal would have retained in his vocabulary.

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What I like about the new Rockville store:

1) Quality of pinenuts in bulk section.

2) Plain tomato & cheese pizza just out of oven. Yes! Crust is floppy and wimpy, but when you're hungry and want only a slice, it's good!

3) The machine w chocolate chips and peanuts you can grind to make an antidote to Nutella: chocolatey and nutty, but not cloyingly sweet! Perfect off a spoon or on bananas that have just turned yellow.

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,your cart rides independently. Unfortunately, you have to listen to a creepy, recorded voice hope you have a pleasant shopping experience once you reach the top of the escalator, and as you leave, the same voice hopes you had a pleasant shopping experience. Even the word "pleasant" is one of the last things Hal would have retained in his vocabulary.

same thing in the Friendship Heights store. there are elevators in both stores without creepy recordings.

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The signs for the Foggy Bottom store at 22nd + I went up this week.

The proximity of this store to my commute is truly dangerous to my financial well-being. I already live above a very good Harris Teeter; to have a really awesome* Whole Foods at the other end of my Metro ride is gilding the lily.

*I just stopped in on my way home. I wasn't going to, because I was tired and figured it'd be mobbed, but the sunshine put me in a good mood and I figured I'd check it out. I didn't order any sushi or prepared foods, but the touch-screen kiosks for specializing your sushi (provided by Kaz Sushi Bistro, says the sign) made me think I'm going to be getting a lot of sushi dinners here. The produce, shelves, and meats/seafood are as you'd expect, although the staff, outgoing and friendly and knowledgeable, reminds me more of the staff at my WF in Colorado Springs than anyone I ever encountered when I used to visit P Street or Georgetown.

The olive bar has my all-time favorite olives that only Whole Foods carries, and they have cornichons, which are surprisingly hard to find with any regularity at other places in this town (TJ's has them sometimes, but we all know how our favorite items tend to disappear from Trader Joe's; occasionally my downstair HT has them, but one never knows; specialty stores are also weirdly hit or miss for me). Plus, I like the layout: the olives are by the cheeses are by the wine, but in a more navigable flow for me than P Street was. Honestly, they really crammed a lot into a smallish footprint, but if you remove the (inevitable, and given the location, inevitably student-heavy) crowds, it's really not claustrophobic.

The line system is a bit confusing: there are three areas to queue for three banks of checkouts, and there's an automated voice and sign announcing which checkout is ready, but you can go to any of the checkouts from any of the lines, so they have some people directing traffic. This has the potential to be very efficient, but right now it doesn't quite make sense (i.e., you don't go to the left-most bank from the left-most line). I mean, most of the world doesn't understand the right-of-way rules at a four-way stop sign; expecting them to get this right is really asking a lot of the typically crazed post-work grocery shopper. Or maybe that's just me. :mellow:

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There are things I know I can only get at Whole Paycheck. So, I either walk to the P Street store or take the Circulator bus, if I'm feeling lazy. I took the Metro to the (relatively) new one at Friendship Heights, but felt so humiliated by their check out lines, I haven't felt the need to go back there. I have to remind myself not to get any of their premade foods. Everything, with the exception of their tamales, has been shamefully awful, including the burrito I picked yesterday because I was hungry for reasons I won't go into. That sucker cost 7 bucks and half went into the trash. Undercooked beans? What's up with that? Still, they are the ONLY source for boned rainbow trout in the area and they charge HALF the price for Callebaut chocolate that Dean and Deluca does. They also have the only bags of frozen shrimp that aren't farmed in Asia and don't have preservatives. I have learned to shop very, very carefully there. The fig tree I bought THREE!!! years ago has yet to produce a single edible fig. :mellow:

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If you bought the LivingSocial $10 or $20 deal, present the voucher before you get rung up. I swiped my card and presented my voucher after the total, and it gummed things up a bit. I had to go to customer service to get $20 credited back on my card. They were very apologetic and nice, and corrected the problem swiftly, but just fyi to save you a bit of hassle.

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