The Checkup: Whole Foods Employees Spill on How to Save Money

The new produce section at Pennsylvania Avenue's new Whole Foods Market | Photo by Adjua Fisher

The new produce section at Pennsylvania Avenue’s new Whole Foods Market | Photo by Adjua Fisher

• I will never tire of learning ways to cut down on my seemingly always astronomical Whole Foods grocery bill (I like overprice kombucha — sue me). If you are constantly looking for ways to stop your receipt from inducing tears, take note of these money-saving tricks and tips from Whole Foods employees. [Thrillist]

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The Checkup: Whole Foods Is Getting in on the Meal-Kit Delivery Business (Whole Foods Addicts, Rejoice!)

• Yesterday, the folks over at Grub Street let us all know that Whole Foods will be taking its rewards program nationwide (I know, we’ve already got that in Philly — yawn). But that’s not the only change Whole Foods is making. They also have plans to up their meal-kit game, with Whole Foods’ CEO John Mackey saying in an earnings call that more ready-made meal solutions are a comin’ and folks will be able to buy them in stores (which you can do at Whole Foods’ new Pennsylvania Avenue location already) or have them delivered to your door. Ooooh! [Grub Street]

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There’s a Free Group Run to the Shiny New Whole Foods This Weekend

Who loves running and Whole Foods? My hand is raised as high as my shoulder will let it go right now. If yours is too, take note: This Saturday, November 5th, the Fairmount Park Conservancy is hosting a five-ish-mile run that starts at the shiny new Whole Foods Market at 2101 Pennsylvania Avenue, taking runners through East Fairmount Park and ending back at Whole Foods for complimentary snacks and specials on drinks like local draft beers and kombucha and lattes for the non-boozy brunchers among us.

Amazing, we know.

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What the Philly Grocery Store Boom Is Really About

Photography by Jeff Fusco

Photography by Jeff Fusco

In early 2008, not long after I came out of a not-excellent relationship, landed a new job and moved to Philadelphia, I found my soul mate at the supermarket. Okay, my soul mate was the supermarket — specifically, the Trader Joe’s around the corner from my apartment.

Like most affairs, this one didn’t really start with love. I just felt lucky that I had such a decent place to shop so close by, even if the cramped store always felt like blizzard shopping, all bumper-carts and panicked grabs for the last box of Puffins. (I once watched a man in the middle of a line so long it wrapped around the store heave a sigh, abandon his basket on the floor — milk and all! — and stomp out the door. As one friend says: “The lines and the parking lot there are like you’re on Candid Camera.”)

But as time went on, I found that it wasn’t just about the convenience of geography: I adored the happy-go-lucky vibe and the friendly (stoned?) dudes in Hawaiian shirts, the punnily named products (“Hold the Cone” mini-ice creams! Adorable!), the famously well-edited selection of frozen meals, the planet’s most addictive chocolate-pistachio toffees. So what if Trader Joe’s didn’t carry fresh shrimp or Ben & Jerry’s or contact solution? The whole store felt like me, or the person I fancied myself to be. Organically inclined, but not overly crunchy. A little more special than Acme, but not as upmarket as Di Bruno’s. Good-humored, not terribly experimental, disinclined to excess and preciousness, with a tendency to overdo it on the snacks and the avocados.

When I moved across town to Fairmount a few years later, I bravely tried to transfer my loyalties to the Whole Foods, which was much closer to my new place and boasted a cult of followers (many of them my friends) so staunch, they made the Scientologists look like Brownies. Somehow, though, it just never took. Sure, the place was gorgeous, the bakery’s cakes were light as air, and the olive selection was basically the eighth wonder of the world. And I was happy enough to pop in for the pre-formed grass-fed burger patties (the best in the city). But I never really felt like I fully belonged amongst its gluten-aware, multi-tattooed denizens. I mean. These people actually remembered to bring their own bags.

“Whole Foods is bullshit,” offers a colleague of mine. “All that effort going into feeling authentic and romanticizing food shopping when the place is all about Ayn Rand-style capitalism.” He prefers Aldi, where “you’re shopping in a gray box with no music; they barely even have shelves. What they have is great stuff, cheap, for which you trade money. That, my friend, is a pure experience.” Read more »

Shop Like The Chefs Do At The Center City Whole Foods

The new produce section at Pennsylvania Avenue's new Whole Foods Market | Photo by Adjua Fisher

Baldor Specialty Foods has long been one of the produce suppliers used by chefs looking for rare, seasonal or weird ingredients. Need sea beans, Bulgarian sevruga caviar or a case of cactus pads? Baldor can get that for you. Whole frozen rabbits? Yeah, that, too. Problem is, for all of you home cooks out there, it’s always been tough to get your hands on some of these ingredients.

At least until now.

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Dizenpitaphobia Leads To Magic Pretzel & Hummus Mashup

Hummus + Pretzel = Magic

Hummus + Pretzel = Magic

A while back we tweeted about Dizenpitaphobia – the fear of running out of pita before you finish your hummus at Dizengoff. The retort was fairly unanimous, bad on us for not preemptively ordering a second pita. And we’ve taken that to heart when we lunch at the Sansom Street hummusiya. But on Sunday a post-Eagles crew rolled into the new Whole Foods for some celebratory beers and hummus from Dizengoff and we came up with a genius new solution to Dizenpitaphobia.

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The Checkup: The Secrets to Saving Money at Whole Foods

• Fact: I spent three hours and way too much money at the brand spankin’ new Whole Foods yesterday. In the future, I will be consulting this list (and you should too!) of insider tips — like asking to try anything before you buy, and buying everything hand-cut — before I hit the aisles to avoid falling into the Whole Paycheck trap. [Bon Appetit]

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What You’ll Be Eating and Drinking at the New Whole Foods

The new Whole Foods comes fully stocked with beer, hummus, ramen, pasta and even vegan cheesesteaks.

The new Whole Foods comes fully stocked with beer, hummus, ramen, pasta and even vegan cheesesteaks.

The enormous new flagship Whole Foods is now open at 22nd and Pennsylvania Avenue and it is impressive. It’s by far the biggest supermarket in downtown Philadelphia but that’s only a part of the story. It’s also food destination with tons to tempt, even if you don’t put a single thing in your reusable canvas bag.

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6 Things to Know Before You Shop Philly’s Giant New Whole Foods

A very wide aisle in the new Whole Foods store | Photo by Adjua Fisher

A very wide aisle in the new Whole Foods store | Photo by Adjua Fisher

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.

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Whole Foods Callowhill Is Having a Moving Sale With Big Markdowns 

The current Whole Foods at 2100 Pennsylvania Avenue | Google Street View

Whole Foods Callowhill | Google Street View

Prepare to call out sick on Wednesday — you’re going to be too busy bum-rushing the aisles of the Whole Foods Callowhill store to get any work done. The store, which is moving to its new location at 22nd and Pennsylvania Avenue on Friday, October 14th, is having a moving sale and the discounts are prettttty sweet.

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