10/13/10

Whole Foods Market Grand Opening in Huntington Beach, CA

It's no secret that I mainly shop at Trader Joe's. Whole Foods is a place I go for vitamins and speciality items and sometimes I sneak there for a yummy lunch! But earlier this week I had the opportunity to tour the new Huntington Beach Whole Foods, to put it simply this store is amazing!
Today is the Grand Opening and if you are in the area you should stop by and take a look they will have giveaways and free samples to celebrate. The store is located in the Bella Terra Mall in Huntington Beach. The location is super easy to get to it's right off the 405 freeway with ample parking. The address is: 7881 Edinger Ave Suite 150, Huntington Beach, CA 92647.


The tour started at their "Health Starts Here" desk. We met their healthy eating specialist Adriana Lopez, she shared the details of Whole Foods healthy eating principles. Whole Foods is a store after my heart!! They believe in plant based, real food, low fat and nutrient dense foods. They have amazing resources at that desk to get anybody on a healthier path with food. They will teach you how to use their ANDI (Aggregated Nutrient Density Index) scoring system to help you easily identify the most nutrient dense foods in their store.


They also offer healthy eating classes and seasonal cooking classes. Here are a few that are scheduled for October at the Huntington Beach Whole Foods store:
  • Intro to Health Starts Here Talk and Tasting-  10/20 @ 6:30 p.m.
  • Healthy Fall Vegan Cooking- 10/26 @ 6:30 p.m.
  • Speciality Holiday Tasting Seminar- 10/28 @ 6:30 p.m.
All of these classes are free and include tasting the delicious food afterwards. I plan on attending at least one!


The produce department was very colorful. We met their local vendor Stehly Farms Organics, actually all the vendors we met were local and this was great to see. We sampled delicious avocados, apples and oranges. 

The seafood department was one of the largest departments I have seen. They have made buying seafood easy. I usually carry around my handy dandy chart from Monterey Bay Aquarium. At Whole Foods you don't need the pocket chart because they have launched the first easy to use color coded sustainability rating program for wild-caught fish. They partnered with Monterey Bay Aquarium and Blue Ocean Institute to create the program. What a customer friendly feature!!

They also use a local vendor for the seafood at their Huntington Beach location, Carlsbad Aquafarm.

I loved the presentation from Mary of Mary's Chickens. The most interesting fact I learned at this part of the tour was the difference between "air chilled" vs. "water chilled" chicken. Let me tell you that after learning the difference I will make sure that I am buying "air chilled" chicken from now on. A couple reasons that "air chilled" chicken is better:
  • inhibits the growth of bacteria
  • saves 30,000 gallons of water per day
  • better tasting chicken
  • real chicken with no extra water or sodium absorbed
If you're interested in learning more take a look at this video from Mary's website. Mary's chicken is local and they will sell these chickens at the Huntington Beach store. Mary told us that Whole Foods visits her farm 4 to 5 times a year to check and make sure she is up to par with their standards. I love that they check in with their vendors!


This store is jammed packed with wonderful, sustainable, whole, foods and products. When you shop at Whole Foods you should know that they have done a ton of legwork to make sure that the products they offer are of the highest quality that is available. One of my favorite quotes from their company is that they are "...buying agents for our customers and not selling agents for the manufacturers."  


They have done a wonderful job with incorporating the local flavor of Surf City. I truly hope that you get a chance to visit this store. If not to grocery shop at least to grab a bite to eat or drink!

Now if you are reading this and thinking; "Yeah, I love Whole Foods and it would be great to shop there but I just can't afford it." You're in good company because I was actually thinking the same thing during the tour but then I realized that I have never given Whole Foods a fair chance. I've bought into all the hype about the store being too pricey without really shopping there on a regular basis. During the tour I fell in love with everything that Whole Foods stands for. Their food principles and visions are directly in line with what I believe about food. 

After thinking about all that I learned at Whole Foods and about my normal trips to the grocery store. I decided that next month I am going to start a 30 day challenge

The challenge:

Is it possible to shop at Whole Foods and stay within your normal grocery budget? 

Goals:
  • shop at Whole Foods Market for the month of November
  • stay within my normal grocery budget
  • take one or two of their classes at the Health Starts Here desk
  • of course share my menu plans that I create using the food offered at their store
I hope you will join me in the adventures of shopping at Whole Foods for the month of November.


**Disclaimer-I was not compensated for this review, the opinions expressed are exclusively mine. I did receive a goodie bag that was handed out at the end of the tour.

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