You’ve got to hand it to founder John Mackey. He really knows how to throw a pre-opening party. He should. He’s opened over 321 Whole Foods stores since 1980. I was invited to the pre-opening party of one of his newest locations, and it was really fun and informative.
Fellow Divorced and Fabulous friends Bonnie and Debra attended with me. Driving up we could see red-and-white striped awnings covering vending (translation = free samples) tables. The entire parking lot was buzzing with people. At the front of the store, a line of folks were waiting to get a special guided tour and first peek.
Our complimentary valet parking was handled expertly by handsome young men. We jumped out of the car and into the free-for-all. “No need to sign in” is what I was told, for even though they had sent only 300 invitations, they stopped registration at 750 people one hour into the four-hour event!
That a hoard of people were interested in the new Whole Foods location doesn’t surprise me. It is, after all, one of my favorite groceries stores on the entire planet! Foodie-oriented and full of fantastical flavors and finds, Whole Foods has a concept and mission that makes food shopping fun. This new store will allow me to shop closer to home rather than at the Uptown location.
Things I love about Whole Foods are:
- Their focus on natural and less-processed foods
- Their support of local food producers and growers
- Their very excellent cheese department with an ever-present and helpful attendant
- That you can call on a team leader and ask to sample just about anything in the store
- They have a large variety of natural body and health care products, including bubble baths and essential oils
- They offer full seafood and meat counters that will cut and wrap to your specifications
- Their employees are ever-friendly and happy
I shop Whole Foods to get some of my favorite staples. Two are “Food for Life’s” Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Tortillas to go with the so-awesome “Sunbutter” Sunflower Nut Butter and “So Delicious” brand organic Coconut Milk to top my “Kashi” cereal with – yum! (Okay, that’s four favorites, really).
In the tents, vendors were offering samples of some local products that would be offered at the store. Two notables were Bee Free Honee and Salad Girl Salad Dressing (I tried the crisp apple maple). Both items were sweetly fantastic and Minnesota- made. If you go to their websites, their company stories are wonderfully interesting. By the way, both websites offer recipes, too – be sure to click on the links and check them out!
That was a fabulous new place and thing for the week for Debra, Bonnie and I. I’m counting it as the new eatery for the week too, as there is a cafeteria there and I’d indulged quite a few samples before we finished.
To close, I’d like to congratulate a few subscribers on their recent adventures in novelty. You may recognize these places as I have blogged about them in past weeks. Bonnie lunched at Eden Prairie’s Don Pablos for the first time last week and Debra checked out Blvd for Sunday brunch. Amy and Amanda took a camera to Lake Calhoun, had a great adventure and got some lovely photos of the fall foliage to share with us. Way to be fabulous, ladies – keep up the great work!
What new places, things and eateries have you experienced lately? (Rocky, mum’s the word, please!) What easy and fun adventure in novelty do you intend to have this week? Share with us, okay? We’d love to read your comment!