Friday, March 23, 2007

Trip to new Cleveland Whole Foods Market

We made it to the new Cleveland Whole Foods Market today that just opened on Wednesday this week. If the crowd at the store this Friday evening was any indication of the pent up demand for such a store here, then the future is looking bright for Whole Foods!

The place was utterly packed with shoppers! Though, from what we were told, the Grand Opening day just two days earlier made our shopping group look small by comparison. They even had police directing traffic in the parking lot to keep things flowing today - I can not imagine how heavy the crowd was earlier in the week. After entering the store, it seemed like half the time we could not even move our shopping cart until a few around us did the same.

I do not typically care for shopping in such a busy place, and the only other store I regularly go to that is so busy is the local Trader Joes. The experience today was not unpleasant, but rather just a bit too busy feeling for me. But, the workers were all very friendly, and they were handing out reusable canvas type shopping bags to each visitor as they entered the store. Those bags sure came in handy later when I discovered that I could easily put 40 pounds of the heavier goods into one bag without worrying about it ripping like plastic or paper would have done :)

Now, I must admit, I will put up with crowds at Whole Foods to gain access to a few more gluten-free and specialty items I have not found elsewhere. There is a particular Thai Chilli sauce (gluten-free) that my wife found at the Columbus Whole Foods Market a few months back that we just ran out of - and we use it on all sorts of things (really wonderful on BBQ ribs! mmm!) Laura checked the Chicago Whole Foods for the sauce when she was there on business last week, but they were out of it... luckily, the new Cleveland store had it and we stocked up.

There were also a few very timely promotions/sales that I took advantage of today. They actually had the Enjoy-Life gluten-free granolas that I really like on sale for basically half off ($2.25/box)! Needless to say, the local store (as of a few hours ago) no longer has any of the cinnamon variety in stock - unless they had more in storage somewhere :)

I also stocked up on some other wonderful products I like that I plan to write a bit more about here in my gluten-free blog in the coming days. Some were on sale, others were just "must haves" for me regardless.

After a much-delayed opening, I can now finally welcome Whole Foods to Cleveland, and instead of going to Columbus once every 6 or 9 months, I can conveniently just drive about 1/2 hour to the new store whenever I get the urge (which, will certainly be once every couple months at the most). Perhaps the initial crowds will die down a bit by then, though who knows -- this region has been starved for some great shopping alternatives.

Lately, after Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFMI) announced their intentions to purchase rival Wild Oats (NASDAQ:OATS), their stock price has not really shown much investor enthusiasm for the acquisition. Perhaps all this Cleveland enthusiasm for their new store will also spark a bit of investor interest as well? Time will tell. Until then, it's time to simply sit back and at least enjoy the food they sell here in Cleveland now :)


Dianne said...

Lucky Mike .... but my new store is coming soon! Unfortunately though, mine is in central London and isnt going to have the luxury of a parking lot! So I shall be going there by train, initially!

Lynn Barry said...

Sounds like a hectic but good outing. Glad to read that you can get to the needed products in a shorter time now. YEAH!

Columbus Foodie said...

If the Whole Foods store here in Columbus is any indication, the crowds will die down once the novelty wears off. Ours opened almost 2 years ago, and the crowds are often the same or less than we see at any other grocery store in town. Did you get there early enough to get any of the freebies they normally hand out during their first few days?

Green Fertility Marie said...


We used to live in Oberlin--try getting anything GF there. I almost cried when we moved to Providence and I found out there were *2* WFs here.

p.s. some doctor told me there are no celiacs in Korea because the diet is so gluten free (rice based). DO you know if this is true?

Gluten Free Suzi said...

Mike I drive 2 hours to visit Whole Foods in Vancouver. I was just there this afternoon and paid over $7 for Enjoy Life cereal! Oh well, it just means that it is a treat rather than my everyday cereal.