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Nov 13, 2003 12:55 PM

Whole Foods opening in Brooklyn

  • k

3rd St. and 3rd Ave., in 2005. I wish I wasn't moving! It will be even bigger than the Chelsea one.

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  1. m

    that's 3 Blocks from my HOUSE! WOOT!

    FreshDirect can eat it!


    4 Replies
    1. re: mjr_inthegardens

      but what to do until 2005?

      everything on smith and court street closes so early.......

      and even at the "organic" produce places, a lot of things just don't look fresh to me.

      any thoughts?

      1. re: haup

        the Key Food on 5th Ave in park slope is open relatively late and has ok produce

        There is excellent produce (and not too dear) at Pacific Market on Court Street (& Pacific). Large variety of different vegetables and fruits. We shop there quite often.


        1. re: mjr_inthegardens

          ps pacific market is open pretty late since they are a deli/gourmet store more than a supermarket

          1. re: mjr_inthegardens

            I think I was told they were open 7 am to 11 pm 7 days a week. They have interesting items, too. Only place I've seen mamey sold in the area...

    2. m

      so how did you hear about this alleged Brooklyn store?

      incidentally their website says the following stores are in Development:

      429 North Broadway
      Jericho, NY 11753
      35,000 sq. ft.
      Opening date to be announced.

      New York City (Columbus Circle)
      59th St. & Columbus Circle
      New York, NY
      56,000 sq. ft.
      Opening date to be announced.

      New York City (Union Square)
      4 Union Square South
      New York, NY
      50,000 sq. ft.
      Opening date to be announced.


      2 Replies
      1. re: mjr_inthegardens

        happened to see small item in NYPost Business

        1. re: Kerry

          It's in Crain's NY, too.

      2. I just dont get the appeal of wholefoods. I shopped at the one near my place of work in NJ a few times and dont go back anymore. Its prices are through the roof and a lot of the stuff (bread, for example)is just not that good. I also hope it doesnt drive some of the smaller specialty places in the area out of business. And while their range of merchandise may be impressive in the burbs, it doesnt match the ethnic product diversity of our local stores. Maybe it will be a benefit to those who want groceries delivered or live right nearby. Fairway is a bit on another matter - that one I am looking forward to.

        13 Replies
        1. re: jen kalb

          While I understand what you're saying, I guess I have a certain amount of nostalgia for the old Bread & Circus (Whole Foods bought them out). I used to live in Massachusetts and loved this store. I love the variety of produce and always see fruits and vegetables that I'd never heard of before. But you are right about the prices.

          1. re: Kerry

            While I agree that it's pricey, I do love the selection and the convenience of Whole Foods. I am sick of shopping in Brooklyn, having to run around to a million different stores to find what I want. I went to three grocery stores the other day just to find ground coriander!

            I lived in San Francisco for 10 years, where there the grocery stores were amazing, and I have to say, it was a huge disappointment to come here and deal with the crappy stores, poor selection and wilted produce.

            So I will be happy when Whole Foods opens!

            1. re: Cathy Elton

              Wilted produce is a pet peeve of mine too.
              I can't tell you how many times I've bought some strawberries and opened them up to find bluish-green mold growing...

              1. re: Cathy Elton

                Sahadis is a great source for spices including coriander

                1. re: mjr_inthegardens

                  I second that one! I've never had a problem finding a spice at Sahadi's.

                2. re: Cathy Elton

                  I thought SF had little to no grocery stores.

                  1. re: Cathy Elton

                    For future referece, the international foods store on Seventh Ave. between 1st and Garfield on Seventh Avenue has just about every spice I've ever needed in a hurry, in bulk.

                    1. re: Pulpio

                      It used to be called "International Taste," now it's something else but run by the same really lovely people. The prices are not rock-bottom, but I try to patronize them as much as possible because they are always so nice to me, even after I haven't been in the store in ages.

                3. re: jen kalb

                  While I was and am still mildly excited (2005)

                  I hope that it doesn't cause a great deal of traffic in and around the more residential areas near there.

                  3rd avenue is a good location for this sort of store though. It is barren at that particular spot, 1/2 block of the gowanus the other way from me.


                  1. re: jen kalb

                    I'm with you, Jen Kalb. My first time in whole foods (or bread and circus, as the one I went to in Mass was called then) i was excited. But after that i felt like it was all really expensive for what it was, and not that great quality. There are some things they make well--their house "365" brand balsamic won the cook's taste test a few years ago--but in general i'm underwhelmed. The fairway does get me excited, though. that's a horse of a different color, or, as they say in Italian, another pair of sleeves.
                    I guess in general i'd rather shop at the farmer's market and at all the little shops and bakeries that line my part of court street. That's part of what's so nice about living in NYC.

                    1. re: missmasala

                      In terms of produce, unless you shop at the park slope food coop your not going to do well in brownstone brooklyn. whole foods also has a great meat and fish dept. the farmers mkt is good for seasonal stuff but a place like whole foods will be greatly appreciated in the slope and will do huge business.

                      1. re: josh L

                        Whole Foods is a good option for many things, but won't make for a "one-stop" shop.

                        Strong points: they have a good in-house brand 365. Their soy milk is the cheapest around. They also import beans, water packed artichokes and a whole host of other good stuff from Europe and rebrand it as 365 at considerable savings. Good deals on 365 brand frozen fruit and vegetables, too.

                        They also tend to have high standards for the design, upkeep and running of their stores and don't treat their urban stores as poorly and haphazardly as many other chains.

                        Weak points: I'm not a big fan of WF's produce--it's beautiful, but often overpriced and flavorless. Same goes for their baked goods. The quality of the cheese, meat and fish counters vary widely from store to store, but you can lobby the store successfully for better quality and more ample local options.

                    2. I went yesterday, it was the best WFM i've seen. so impress with the greenhouse garden on the roof and the windmills in the parking lot. It basically the same WFM but lots of extra stuff like juice bar, green coffee roaster, korean noodle bar, bike repair shop, vinyl records shop, butchers that yells at you in fun, lots of brookyn local foods, but how they build discussed in this video is very cool

                      1. I recommend not buying into the gimmick of Whole Foods, especially in Brooklyn.

                        One can find tiny markets for European (East), Bangladeshi, Chinese markets, and more.

                        industrial produced food markets (of which Whole Foods is part of) serve to erode the diets of an agrarian or peasant society. It also introduces colorful packaging that serves a unified symbolism of shared reality.

                        This is from a opinion piece I wrote, based on observation and participation:

                        "The supermarket usually follows the increase in a consolidation of food distribution, and an increase in the production of food processing, packaging and marketing as well as advertising. This impacts (packaging; mass processing) the environment, and threatens health, as well as serves to put localized or independent distribution workers and the sellers, and their networks, out of business, while increasing revenue for ad agencies, large food processing business, and huge supermarket chains that eventually aid in homogenizing culture."

                        You can boycott these large beasts by doing your shopping at small sellers, often found in the ethnic sectors. They are buffered from these larger market forces due to their ethnic niche markets.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: jonkyo

                          Let me guess, you shop at the food coop.

                          1. re: psnative

                            I have used coops, in some cities I have lived in in NYS, but here it is small grocers, independently owned.

                            LES area avenue a ruined with the new large supermarket in the area.

                            Union Market.

                            They could have put a market similar to Essex there, with small independent sellers inside.

                            1. re: jonkyo

                              Union Market is a local store with only 4 locations. There's 100 independent markets within a 15 minute walk of the LES, have you ever been to Chinatown?

                              I'm all for small independent businesses and do the majority of my grocery shopping at them, but clearly there is a market for a big box store like Whole Foods if they keep expanding.

                              The Brooklyn WF location is in the middle of nowhere, it is not displacing a bunch of small stores. Gowanus is not a heavily populated neighborhood, meaning the majority of the people who go there need to travel by car or public transportation, and still need their small stores to get items throughout the week. I can't see myself going to WF every week, but once a month to stock up on items is a nice option to have. Not everyone wants to spend $5 on a roll of paper towels from the bodega around the corner. If that's how you want to support local businesses, then go for it, but move on.

                              1. re: fishermb

                                I used to live in Chinatown.

                                Plenty small indie grocers and butchers.

                                I also lived near Atlantic and clinton. Then it was the Syrian shops especially Oriental Pastry and Grocery. Tofu was bought fresh on the street, just a 10 minute ride on the F on east broadway.

                                I promote visiting places like McDonold and Church, for the Halal butchers!

                                Union does not win me over the cat, blaring merengue, Mamitas for $1.00, and all the other selections in these PR and Domincian shops, some limited others more on offer.


                              2. re: jonkyo

                                supermarkets were the only choice when I lived in the east village -- avenue c and east 6th -- back in 1983-84. all the local independently owned grocers derived the bulk of their income from selling overpriced imported items, most of them from Colombia and certain sections of southeast asia. no frills operations that often employed many generations of a family, but with the unfortunate byproduct of discouraging repeat business by sending customers to jail or the morgue.

                            2. re: jonkyo

                              A) I do not care about Whole Foods
                              B) I care significantly less about your 'recommendation'. What on earth gives you the idea that people are seeking your guidance?

                              1. re: JonL

                                I'm adding this for the purpose of clarifying my tone: I have no particular antipathy to WF. I'm simply well enough served by other options. And it is not conveniently located for me. No hostility to WF was intended.
                                The next item, on the other hand, was edited for maximum civility.

                                1. re: JonL

                                  "What on earth gives you the idea that people are seeking your guidance?"

                                  Celestial intervention does......just kidding.