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Wednesdays at Whole Foods – Spa Time, 365 Makes it Official, and Back-to-School

Wednesdays at Whole Foods - Spa Time, 365 Makes it Official, and Back-to-School

On the first Wednesday of every other month, I have a column called Wednesdays at Whole Foods. It showcases the most interesting news, products, store events, and happenings at the company. GETTING PAMPERED In its willingness to constantly test out different concepts and offerings, Whole Foods Market decided to try something that it had never done […]

Wednesdays at Whole Foods Whole Foods
LivingMaxwell.com

On the first Wednesday of every other month, I have a column called Wednesdays at Whole Foods. It showcases the most interesting news, products, store events, and happenings at the company.

GETTING PAMPERED

milk-honey-spa-chairs-boston-whole-foods-market-ink-block

In its willingness to constantly test out different concepts and offerings, Whole Foods Market decided to try something that it had never done before – it opened a spa at its new location in Boston earlier this year.

Figuring that when shoppers come in for cheese or spinach, they might also want the convenience of booking a manicure, waxing, hot shave or shoe shine, using all natural and organic ingredients.

Austin, Texas-based milk+honey operates this spa, a “store within a store”, at the Ink Block development in the South End on Harrison Avenue, a location which also happens to be the former building of the Boston Herald, a long-time newspaper in the city.

Located in an enclosed section of the store, near the beer, wine, and Whole Body departments but far away from dairy and meat, the spa does an excellent job of both integrating itself yet not interfering in the slightest with the traditional food shopping experience.

I don’t know if the spa is doing something to the energy of the store or if I am just very drawn to the appealing amenities, layout, and design of this new location, but this is by far my favorite Whole Foods Market store in the entire chain.

I look forward to going there like no other.

milk-honey-spa-inside-boston-whole-foods-market-ink-block

milk-honey-spa-products-boston-whole-foods-market-ink-block

milk-honey-spa-exterior-boston-whole-foods-market-ink-block

PUTTING DOWN ROOTS

A few months ago, the company created massive news when it announced that it would open up a lower-priced supermarket chain under a new name. Co-Founder and Co-CEO John Mackey said that this chain would be “hip, cool, and tech-oriented”.

A short time after that, we learned that this new brand would be called 365 by Whole Foods Market, and just last week, we got more details.

In the second half of 2016, the first five locations of 365 by Whole Foods Market will open in:

  • the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles (the first to open)
  • Houston, Texas
  • Santa Monica, California
  • Bellevue, Washington
  • Portland, Oregon

365_WF_Logo_COLOR

Not surprisingly, each of the new 365 stores is opening in a market where it currently operates, which will allow it to leverage an existing team member base and infrastructure. From an operational perspective, this makes a lot of sense.

The company also announced that it will double the number of 365 by Whole Foods Market store openings in 2017. Based on the selection of the first five, I would expect most, if not all, of these stores to be located on the West Coast.

green-valley-organics-kefir

ON THE SHELVES

The following products are exclusive to Whole Foods Market and cannot be found elsewhere. They will be rolling out to stores over the next month.

Green Valley Organics has introduced a lactose-free Green Apple Kale Kefir. This creamy smooth cultured milk is made with no lactose or added sugar, and it contains 10 live and active cultures.

This kefir is certified organic, Certified Humane®, certified kosher, and gluten-free, and is made in a solar-powered creamery in Sebastopol, California. The product’s milk and cream come from certified organic family farms in the heart of Sonoma County, located north of San Francisco along the California coast.

Garden of Eatin’ has launched Tuscola County blue corn tortilla chips made with organic whole corn kernels. The product is Non–GMO Project verified, gluten-free and certified kosher, and is available both in Sea Salt and Tomato & Cilantro.

And what’s Tuscola County? Well-known for its high quality fruits and vegetables, it is an agriculturally diverse area located in the “thumb of Michigan” and is surrounded on three sides by Lake Huron.

Candle Café, a fixture in the organic restaurant scene in NYC for decades and a regular destination for media titans and celebrity vegans, has launched its own line of empanadas.

They come in three flavors – Plantain & Black Bean, Chili Tempeh Vegetable and Chipotle Vegetables – and are made with 70% organic ingredients. And, naturally, they are vegan. Congrats, Joy!

Empanada Black Bean and Plantain

If you have any young children in your family, they are in serious luck. In a back-to-school partnership with PBS Kids, Whole Foods Market is now offering 100% organic cotton backpacks.

Made by Esperos, these backpacks have machine washable and adjustable straps, the hang tags are made with recycled materials, and they contain interior and exterior pockets.

pbs kids backpacks

LAST BITES

In my October 2014 column, I wrote about how the new store in Houston would have its own brewery.

Well, now this brewery will be taking the Whole Foods Market brand of beer on the road. The company plans to sell its own line of beer in all of its Texas stores.

The company’s small producer grant program has given money to help fund 36 food and body care start-ups in Northern California.

If you ever live in Miami Beach, which I did for three years, one name that constantly pops up when it comes to new condo developments is Chad Oppenheim. This highly sought-after architect now is involved in the design of the new location on South Beach, and Architectural Design magazine recently did a feature on its sleek design.

Whole Foods Market is celebrating social enterprise in Africa through the work of some amazing brands, including LIFE Line, Alaffia, Madecasse, and Allegro Coffee.

Lastly, Whole Planet Foundation (WPF) just funded its 1 millionth loan for poverty alleviation.

As someone who has experienced first-hand the incredible work of WPF, I am thrilled to see this piece of news.

—-

(Whole Foods Market is a sponsor of pressedjuicedirectory.com)

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10 Comments

  • I, Terri, personally have been eating an all organic lifestyle for the past 50 years. Way back when I 1st took control of ulcerated colitis on my own, it was not until I changed my lifestyle and buying all certified organic foods did I start to reverse this awful illness I had since I was 14 years old. Many doctors told me that one day I would end up with colon cancer. No way, I told everyone of them. I no longer suffer with this awful illness. Some supplements I do take, but mainly 80% raw and 20% cooked (dinner) I feel fantastic and when I had a colonoscopy 3 years ago I was told I had a colon of a 30 year old women. I was just 68 last month. I have found that the 365 is not all certified organic. Whole foods is very expensive, Wegman’s and Giant have much better organic produce and much less in cost. We also buy a lot of our organic foods from a local CSA. We can reverse 75% of sickness w/food as well as prevent from getting sick in the 1st place.

  • Leila says:

    I am new to your site so apologies if this was answered somewhere.

    The new 365 stores – you say they will be a “lower priced” supermarket. Will they be offering the same products as the regular Whole Food stores? How can they provide “lower price” if they are the same product? Why not just lower the price in their current stores?

  • Max Goldberg says:

    There are a lot of negative comments here, and let me give my position on the company.

    Whole Foods is not perfect. But, I’d love to know who is perfect? I am not perfect. You are not perfect. No one is perfect. Yet, somehow people expect Whole Foods to be perfect.

    Do I wish they were 100% organic? Of course, but they are not. Even though they may never be 100% organic, I believe that they are increasingly moving in that direction.

    All that being said, the organic industry would not be where it is today if it weren’t for Whole Foods. When I go to the organic trade shows, the first thing that organic food companies tell me is how many regions of Whole Foods they are in. Whole Foods is so important to these young organic food companies that you cannot imagine. Whole Foods does amazing work with its non-profit arms, plays a ridiculously vital role in the organic industry, declared that all GMOs will be labeled in its stores by 2018, and the list goes on and on. The senior executives that I know at the company are extremely committed to organic, non-gmo, gmo-labeling, and biodynamic.

    While every multi-billion dollar company has its flaws, including Whole Foods and all of the rest, this is a company that I stand behind and will continue to write about and promote.

    Thank you for being supporters of organic food.
    Max

  • Kris says:

    After the breaking news of wholefoods cheating consumers thousands upon thousands of dollars by mislabeling weight on food, and being fined $800,000.00, I am certainly not going to shop there. Sure they got hit with a big fine, but that doesn’t pay us, the consumer back for their stealing our money. How could we ever trust them again? Max I am shocked you are being such a big promoter for them, yet you won’t promote a great local raw food small business because they have used honey in their food.

    • Mechelle says:

      There were other stores that had weights and measures violations. Whole Foods is being highlighted because they said the fines were too steep. You should know that the violations were human error and in no way an intentional rip off to the customers. In fact many of the violations were to the customers advantage. Specifically there are many items that are priced out as $X.XX each and the containers may be over packed so that if anything the customer was getting more for their money. Other items like feta chees packed in brine may initially weigh more but when the liquid brine evaporates the container with product weighs less… so science was at fault. Yes there were some errors because humans make errors. Whole foods goes out of its way to please the customer and has changed some of its weights and measures practices which now costs the customer even more in some instances. No more of that $X.XX each.
      It would be nice if people did their research before throwing their hands in the air and assuming the worst.

  • Jeanne says:

    I agree with Virgina above. Why are you promoting Whole Foods regarding their recent practices and being called on by Natural News. 365 is not organic. I do my shopping at Whole Foods but now I am more cautious about what I buy. When I first starting going there the produce section sells ready made fruit containers and thought I was buying organic fruit. One day I decided to ask the produce employee is this fruit organic and he said no. I was furious. I said you mean I’ve buying this fruit this time thinking its organic and its not! I asked to see the manager. Now they label fruit containers as organic! But I dont think I believe it. Also the self serve food buffet and all the prepared foods “made” by Whole Foods is not organic its all commerical I asked the employees behind the counter. What do you call that! So if you think you are eating healthy organic prepared food–you are not! I also dont like the fact which is the recent issue they are being critized for is allowing produce with pesticides and chemicals to be sold in their store with a sign letting you know it was grown with a new food rating system. Read Natural News June 16, 2015: The organic industry is in shock after learning that Whole Foods new food rating system can put pesticide-laced foods at a higher ranking than organics! As far as I am concerned they are opening new stores with 365 to make more money on commercial products and oh yeah throwing in a few organic products to convince you they are doing you good! So its no surprise they are not using organic fruit for their juice bars. I am disappointed with Whole Foods on many different levels but they are the only place that I can one stop shop for organic food. Please explain Max before I unsubsribe.

  • Virginia says:

    In your Whole Foods column, please warn Whole Foods customers that the juice bars at Whole Foods stores do NOT use organic produce in their juice. This means they are really harming people, since the pesticides and chemicals are much more easily assimilated into the body when juiced than when just eaten. Also, how can you be a Whole Foods cheerleader when they are having such unacceptable practices, and harming peoples’ health by having a “juice bar” that is using conventional produce. Since you are a passionate advocate for pressed juices and everything healthy, I cannot understand your support of such harmful practices by Whole Foods. They could do so much better. They could go organic and still be hugely profitable. Why are you promoting them? Please warn people of the importance of drinking ONLY ORGANIC juices, and explain why. Thank you.

  • Sharon Abraham says:

    We are getting a Whole Foods 365 here in Akron, Ohio sometime in 2016.

  • Rebecca says:

    I would never buy 365. Even though it may say it is organic the quality is far from other brands. I buy brands that are not 365. I don’t trust Whole Foods!!!! Will not shop at 365 and I rarely shop at Whole Foods any more!

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