Not wholly unexpected

whole foods san diegoWhole Foods held its quarterly earnings call yesterday and announced that it had signed leases for eight new locations -- none of them in the Capital Region. (We had gotten a tip recently about a local Whole Foods, called the company, and it said wait for the earnings call. So, OK.)

Some hope for the seemingly large number of people who pine for a local Whole Foods: the company says it's planning to open as many as 59 stores over the next two fiscal years (list of the 54 stores publicly announced to be in development). If you'd like to play commercial real estate sleuth, here are the location criteria they look to meet.

That's a lot of stores to spread around. And it also doesn't hurt that, as we've heard rumored and totally unofficially, the Fresh Market in Latham has been absolutely killing on revenue. If true, Whole Foods almost surely knows that and, you'd have to think, at least has its eye on the area.

Trader Joe's: From an article earlier this year in the Charleston, South Carolina Post and Currier about how TJ's picks new locations (emphasis added): "From his talks with Trader Joe's representatives, [property owner] Page said the grocer likes to be close to rival Whole Foods, which is just around the corner from his antique mall." It's all connected! There's a conspiracy! What did Danny Wegman know and when did he know it! (Oh, wait... wrong story.)

Tangent: When/if the Capital Region gets a Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, a lot of people will need new hobbies.

(Thanks, Mary!)

photo: Flickr user Roebot

Comments

Whole Foods is coming to Albany!

(the one in California state...)

Luckily the eventual arrival of Trader Joe's and Whole Foods comes with ready-made hobbies. Naturally these are:
1) Figuring out the best time to shop when the market isn't totally mobbed and the parking lots isn't a zoo
2) Pouring over the Fearless Flyer
3) Petitioning the legislature for wine in grocery stores so we can get the full TJs and Whole Foods experience

Personally I do not want to see either of these stores come to Albany, or anywhere else for that matter. Nothing against them particularly since I've never shopped at either. Maybe they are great stores, but let's face it, Albany's not that big of a marker to support it. Sure Fresh Market's racking it in, la de da for them. They sell over-priced gourmet food to yuppies. As far as I know Whole Foods is all about organic foods right? Well, there are at least two places in the Cap. Dist. to buy these. Both of which are locally owned co-ops (one of which is in serious financial trouble according to another current article here!)

So ask yourself, why do we need more chain stores???

To Terrence, what is wrong with variety? Trader Joe's offers many items that you simply cannot find here for a decent price, especially for those with food alergies. When either (or hopefully both) of these stores come, guess what; YOU don't have to shop there. God Bless America and freedom of choice. But, I (as well of thousands of others in the area) would like the choice. Oh, and BTW, don't forget about the good paying jobs that Trader Joe's woudl also bring.

"Tangent: When/if the Capital Region gets a Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, a lot of people will need new hobbies."

And that, ladies and germs, is why AOA rocks.

As a staff member at the Honest Weight Coop, I've been curious about Fresh Market and stopped in recently to check it out. I wasn't unimpressed by the nice lighting and food selection, but was really depressed by the looks on the faces of staff there. When I went to check out, I asked where to find PLU numbers for the bulk items I bought, and the cashier said, "Oh, you must shop at the coop." When I said I worked there, her face lit up, and she told me that she does member-work 3 hours a week at Honest Weight and would much rather work there.

At HW she is a member, with a voice and a vote. She's part of a community of people sharing information, resources, and time. At Fresh Market she is a cashier.

When we talk about grocery stores we should be considering more than just how cheap a box of organic cornflakes is. The Albany coop has succeeded for so long because it is a self-supporting, self-sustaining community. Spend time there, eat in the cafe, ask questions in the plants or wellness departments, and you'll understand why it's so much more valuable than any Whole Foods or TJs, wine or no wine, will ever be.

@Terrance

You're just being thick. Don't think there's a market here for more grocery stores? Drive by the former OTB on Central Ave in Albany. and watch as ShopRite erects a new supermarket being built to standards to cater to the "yuppies." Why do this? Are they crazy?! There's a market here for wholesome, nutritional, high quality food. The suburbs have enjoyed quality food for ages. It's about time the city markets stepped up, too.

whatevs. I still dig my Westgate Price Chopper ('though don't shop PC regularly--too expensive) with it's awesome aisles of ethnic foods...they suck me in every time..

@Anonymous - Couldn't have said it better. Amen and amen.

Have shopped at Trader Joes and Wegmans and Whole Foods. Half of the time when I hear folks whimpering about the lack of these CHAINS in the Capital Region, I just assume that they're homesick. The rest of the time...

Well, I remember how much groceries cost at Whole Foods and say, "Good riddance," I dream of the Les Halles feel of the deli/seafood/cheese at Wegmans and remember it's another CHAIN, I think of dodging through produce aisle traffic to get organic carrots at Trader Joe's on a Sunday in Manhattan and remember how little they cost, sigh in longing for cheap organic fair and quickly remember that it's time to pick up my CSA and to start PRODUCTIVELY thinking about signing up for my three hours a week again at HWFC come the winter.

Booyah.

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