Grocery Store Incompatibility

There are a lot of ways to tell if you are compatible with someone and which grocery stores you frequent is one way. I make my disclaimer right now, I am completely and totally in love with Trader Joes and have almost downright disgust for Whole Foods. Itís baggage, I admit, but I have my reasons.

I got grocery gourmet in Berkeley. First stop in that fair city was Whole Foods, which was nice and clean and had great selection and was expensive but itís all organic so itís worth it. So I buy my stuff and promptly get accosted outside. So much for Whole Foods in my mind. Then I discovered Berkeley Bowl, major selection, direct from farmers, 12 varieties of persimmons, a decent meat counter and bulk food craziness. How could I not fall in love? Then thereís Rainbow. Talk about being totally spoiled.

Then I move to LA and shock of all shocks, am unable to find my health food store fix. Santa Monica Co-op (of which I became a member on principle) was a disappointment. I dragged myself into Whole Foods once in the past year ñ and yes, it had fabulous selection, but I couldnít get over the bad taste in my mouth – almost 10 years later.

I really want to like Whole Foods. I want to be a happy consumer and shop and buy the yummy organic produce and feel special and important and that I am doing good things for my health. But I find myself going into the Indian and Mexican and Russian groceries and hitting the farmerís market. (And Trader Joes!) Settling for less than organic.

So imagine the disappointment on current beauís face when I refuse to go to negatively pre-disposed Whole Foods and drag him off to a totally packed Trader Joes midweek. Iíve learned to deal with the insane TJ shoppers and crowded aisles. (I suppose a familiar kickback to classic Berkeley bowl days.) I realized that sometimes you do have to change for people and Iíve decided that next time round, Iíll just quietly accept the suggestion and walk in the evil store. Itís time to get over that issue and move on.

Now, what do you think of Whole Foods? How can I make my next experience a positive one?

6 thoughts on “Grocery Store Incompatibility”

  1. I want to hear more about the link between personal compatibility and favorite grocery stores. Trader Joe’s somehow has the same vibe as a church fundraiser or public television. Hot hot hot women on weeknights at Rock n Roll Ralph’s. Snooty anorexic Land Rover yoga masters all over Whole Foods. And then how can you beat the beef tongue weekly special at Jons? I was raised an Alpha Beta boy, and life has never been the same since the buyout.

  2. Well, in addition to finding grocery stores in the neighborhood that had better selection and were less expensive and less hype, yes, just being accosted as I walked outside. It was not the scene I was looking for in grocery shopping.

  3. We ought to do a group post on this: which stores for what and at which time. In Chicago, you could get away with a 90% Jewel, 10% Treasure Island mix. Here, you’ve got to hit so many stores to get the deals and the food/items you want.

    The farmers’ markets are definitely the way to do organic in L.A. I second the vote for Pavilions–prices are same as Vons if you shop the specials. And if I’m feeling luxe, I head straight for the glorious, wide and well-stocked shelves of Gelson’s.

    But I loathe the B.S. vibe of Whole Foods. The only one I can tolerate is the Westwood one at 9am after my early-a.m. dentist appointment.

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