Pennsylvania Avenue’s giant new Whole Foods Market, a 60,000-square-foot masterpiece at 22nd and Pennsylvania Avenue, opened this morning, but we got to traipse around before doors opened yesterday to get a peek at what shoppers can expect. Long story short, you can expect everything that ever inspired thoughts of “UGH, I wish they had [insert desire here]” when you were shopping at their old Callowhill store. (I had these thoughts often.)
To start, there’s double the parking (praise the lord), there’s an unbelievably giant prepared foods section (and that’s not counting the antipasto bar and the fresh pasta bar), there’s a huge bulk items section that includes bulk snacks and fresh spices, there’s a fancy-shmancy coffee bar that also serves tea-infused cocktails if you need to get your buzz on before braving a grocery-shopping trip (we don’t judge), there’s a Whole Body section that’s basically a mini gift shop, and there’s a juice bar. And don’t even get us started on all the extra foodie stuff (A full-blown beer shop (!!). Dizengoff. Cheu Noodle Bar) the store boasts. Our friends over at Foobooz have details on that.
In case you can’t tell, we’re really excited about the new Whole Foods. Like, really excited. If you, too, are counting down the minutes until you can run out of your office to go grocery shopping (solid Friday night plans, in my opinion), take note of these six things worth knowing before you step foot in the new Whole Foods Market of your dreams.
1. You should definitely go hungry. And thirsty.
You know that rule, “Never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach”? Forget that rule now. When you enter the new Whole Foods, you’ll find a beautiful coffee bar on the first floor that serves up everything from matcha cortados and lattes to tea-infused cocktails. Then, there’s the juice bar on the second floor, right as you come up the escalator — there, along with fresh-pressed juice, you’ll find acai bowls and a frozen-juice concoction they’re calling farm-stand freeze. And did we mention that the prepared foods section (complete with a pretzel cart) is 5,000 times bigger and better (okay, 5,000 times might be a bit of an exaggeration — but not by much) than the measly section of Callowhill’s past? Then, there’s the dining hall area that features Dizengoff, Cheu, Rich Landau’s new Wiz Kid, and more. So yeah, not going with room in your belly is kind of (definitely) a waste.
2. Snub the basket and go for a cart.
If you used to pick up a basket and lug it around the Callowhill store for fear of getting stuck in a shopping-cart bottleneck in the middle of one of their slim aisles, fear not: The new location has the wide aisles you’ve always dreamed of (photographic evidence here) so you can give your arms a rest without risking a shopping-cart traffic jam.
3. Before you make your grocery list, check out their doorbuster deals.
To kick things off, the store has tons of doorbuster deals going, which you can check out here. Noteworthy deals include fresh-cut pasta for $4.99 per pound, organic honey crisp apples for $1.49 per pound, avocados for 99 cents each and lobster tails at two for $10. Plus, as we were walking through the store yesterday, we noted many-a sale on favorites like Rao’s tomato sauce (if you aren’t eating this on the regular, you should be) and sockeye salmon.
4. If you need out-of-the-ordinary produce, they’ll help you get your hands on it.
Here’s something really neat about the new location’s produce section: If you are in search of something weird that you can’t find at the store — like, say, dragon fruit or prickly pear — they have a kiosk where you can order exotic produce and have it delivered to the store for pick-up. Cool, right?
5. Check the bulk aisle first.
Before you go for pre-packaged anything, you’re going to want to check the store’s huge bulk section to see if you can get that item by the pound. The new store features an expanded bulk aisle that includes goods like locally made snacks by the pound (hello, okra chips) and fresh spices, along with the typical grains, legumes and so on.
6. Don’t skip the Whole Body section.
It’s often easy to shop Whole Foods without stepping foot in the Whole Body section, but the new location’s Whole Body section is worth making a beeline for. It’s essentially its own mini store, complete with tons of gift-worthy items (think: campfire-scented candles) along with a slew of hand-picked local products like Vellum soaps and more. And note: During opening weekend, all body care is 30 percent off.
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