Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 90 - Waiting Dog

Thought of the day:  Today I spent some time in the Whole Foods store on Pearl.  It just finished an expansion in December and now it occupies a whooping 66,000 square foot space.  It felt a lot more spacious inside now and you could actually walk down an aisle without constantly bumping into people.  I still heard "excuse me" a lot as it was still very busy.  There was a much larger selection of prepared food and a huge seating area to eat.  People just hung out there to chat, drink coffee or use the free wifi.  It was completely packed - so typical of Boulder in the middle of a work day - with an interesting mix of students, hippies, mothers with small children, and the lucky folks who have the freedom to work in a cafe.  Unfortunately, other than the expansion of prepared food section, the grocery and food selection had not improved much.  And of course, it was still crazy expensive.  We did most of our shopping in a regular grocery store and only shopped here for items we couldn't find there.  And I ended up spending more here than in the other store!  This seems wrong.  Healthy food should not and need not be so much more expensive than regular food, as demonstrated by other natural grocers like Vitamin Cottage and our local Sunflower Market.  Whole Foods brought a bad reputation to healthy food by making them so unaffordable.  It got away by offering a larger selection than other stores and by doing things that no other stores could possibly afford like this huge expansion.  It could also afford to donate large amounts to charities.  With good publicity and a lot of feel good signs all over the store, it was successful in creating a positive image and a cult-like following.  But in the end, healthy food should be affordable to everyone and Whole Foods is certainly not making this happen.  By shopping here, I am encouraging their irresponsible behavior.  This huge expansion served as a reminder to me that perhaps I should shop somewhere else.

Photo of the day:
A dog waiting for its owner in front of Whole Foods on Pearl St.

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