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Thoroughly fed up with Whole Foods in Raleigh

I don't go there much since they were taken over by the Texas corporation, but I went yesterday because I was feeling too lazy to cube up the bread I'll be using for stuffing this week and their bagged cubes have always worked well enough. I'm pretty sure it will be the last time I go there.

The prices have absolutely sky-rocketed since the takeover. I always used to buy my beef there but the prices have gone so obscenely high I honestly can't afford to anymore. My favorite special treat, dried mango slices went from about $4 or $5 a pound to over $9.50/lb. While the cheese selection is still good, the prices are crazy. Fresh bread, the main reason for their existence in my opinion, has been relegated to a bare afterthought and they now bag everything in plastic! That should clearly be a capital crime. And the dried bread cubes, the stale stuff they would be throwing away, was $4.68 a bag. Next year I cut up my own.

Their main offense yesterday (although I am still in disgusted awe over their prices) was the attitude of the staff. When they were Wellspring, the cheese department had a policy of offering 20% off bulk chocolate purchases. They defined "bulk" as 1 Kilo or more. I would happily buy 3-4 lbs. of El Rey at at time. Now, not only has the price of El Rey and Callebaut shot up by $2-$3 a pound, but they now define "bulk" as 10 lb. or more. And they will grudgingly give you a 10% discount on an $80 purchase and act as if they are doing you a huge favor. That was annoying enough by itself but the attitude of the staff when I explained the former policy (which I took advantage of for years with no questions by the former employees) was downright insulting.

I dislike Earth Fare intensely but if I'm going to have to pay the same prices there as at Whole Foods for the very few items I can't find anywhere else, at least I can spend my money where the staff is polite and helpful.

Is anyone else finding this to be true and are the Durham and Chapel Hill people seeing this change in their former Wellsprings?

Btw, is there anywhere else locally to buy bulk quantities of quality chocolate such as El Rey? By local, I mean the whole Triangle area. Also, I'm currently buying beef at Fresh Market and have been happy with their quality. Any other suggestions in Raleigh? I don't mind paying for quality as long as I'm getting what I pay for. Whole Foods does not deliver quality for price.

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  1. We shop at Weaver St. in Carrboro as much or more than Whole Foods. Their prices aren't usually any lower but their bakery is far superior and they tend to offer and support lcoal farmers more than Whole Foods. However, I will say one thing that's good about Whole Foods. I really like a lot of their own brand products, especially the 365 stuff. It has really cut down the amount of times we had to go to Harris Teeter, although we are going to HT more now that they are expanding their HT Naturals offerings.

    1. Whenever one company acquires another and shifts the brand, you have to expect that the policies and pricing will change to meet the patterns established by the acquiring entity.

      While that may be disruptive to the consumer, that's just the way businesses operate. There is no way Whole Foods can have a variety of pricing and policy structures in different markets and successfully integrate the acquisitions.

      You are certainly within your rights to exercise your consumer sovereignty and take your custom elsewhere. Given that you don't like either Whole Foods or Earth Fare, your choices are limited, however.

      1. I hate going to Whole Foods in Durham - they are ridiculously expensive and the place is so jammed packed with food items and people that it is claustrophic.

        The ONLY reason I go is to get their cilantro jalapeno humus. While there Friday, I looked at their seafood - the fish prices were sky high AND the quality did not look that good. Being that Durham is 3-4 hours from Wrightsville Beach and Atlantic Beach - you would think that they would have some decent fish with better prices.

        If it weren't for the humus that I am addicted to, I wouldn't go at all.

        1. I have also been surprised by rising prices at Whole Foods (Chapel Hill location). It used to be an indulgence, but now I just feel like a sucker for shopping there. The wine prices have definitely gone up, ever since they jettisoned the "$10 and under" rack. I still go there to stock up on certain 365 products (good and reasonable, as bbqme pointed out), and I have trouble getting out without buying a piece of fish - the fish counter is just so attractive! But for produce, wine, cheeses and baked goods, its Weaver Street or Southern Season all the way.

          As I recall, the Indy did a comparison last year, buying an identical selection of produce at Whole Foods, Earth Faire and Weaver Street. Weaver Street was the cheapest for produce - something I've found as well, although the selection is obviously smaller.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dubedo

            The fish counter is beautiful. But guess what happened at the Raleigh 'Hole Foods fish counter last Thanksgiving? I asked the fishmonger to remove the scales from our whole red snapper. He disappeared in a back for a while and brought back the wrapped fish. I brought it home, and he hadn't taken any scales off. At all! Check to make sure they really remove the scales before you leave the store!

          2. Trader Joe's opens in Cary next week (Nov. 27th). After that, you can kiss the need to go to Whole Foods, EarthFare, or Weaver Street for much of anything (except maybe for produce) goodbye.

            Highlights from my Trader Joe's shopping days in CA:

            Gallon of cold pressed Italian olive oil - $4.99
            Breasts of hormone-free free range chicken - $2.99/lb reg. price
            Gallon of hormone and antibiotic free milk - $2.99
            A dozen free range chicken eggs - $1.99

            The best brushetta and pesto money can buy (Trader Joe's brand)
            Fresh breads
            Amazing frozen foods (as gourmet as frozen foods can get). e.g. shrimp stir fry - $3.99/bag.

            Ground angus beef - $3.99/pound
            Liter of San Pellegrino sparking water - $1.19

            Wines for cheap.

            Natural products galore.

            Display station with yummy recipes.

            I'll be there opening day.

            In CA, we called Whole Foods "Whole Paycheck." I never shopped there for anything except for their freshly made burritos, but they don't even offer that out here. Whereas since I've moved here I've found myself having to go to Whole Foods weekly to get eggs, milk, and bread.

            4 Replies
            1. re: mikeh

              I shop at Harris Teeter & Weaver St. I find the fresh produce: long beans better at HT & baked goods & eco farms stuff great at W.
              Whole Foods in Chapel Hill is the biggest rip-off ever. Just compare rice milk..they are $1-$2 more. I only buy grain roast veg. sausages there & won't if I can get it anywhere else.
              Like the others I'll shop at Trader Joes, Weaver & plant some salad!

              1. re: Rory

                HT has recently gotten much better. Their new store on Falls of Neuse has an excellent variety of beautiful produce. The drive out to Cary for Trader Joe's won't be that much worse for me than the drive to Whole Foods, so I'm sure I'll get out there sometimes. I was never too thrilled with TJ when I lived in Westchester, but it's all relative. I had a much wider variety of shopping options there. Here, TJ will be a very welcome addition.

                Still, I don't believe TJ does fresh meat or freshly baked bread, my two mainstays at Wellspring. Any ideas where I could go for those in the Raleigh area?

                1. re: rockycat

                  A couple of options for fresh-baked bread include La Farm bakery on Cary Parkway near High House (Cary) and Great Harvest Bread Company on Lead Mine Road (North Raleigh). I have had good luck getting bread fresh out of the oven at both locations.

              2. re: mikeh

                TJ's is terrific. Their holiday specials are spectacular. They're a little underdeveloped in the produce department. In my opinion, some of the local Harris Teeter stores are perfectly capable of giving 'Hole Foods a run for their money in the produce department (the big one in Cary and the one on Edwards Mill are particularly good). They're also making strides in the bakery. I've shopped at HT for years and years because of service. The vast majority of the folks who work there are professionals and are really good at what they do.

              3. i hear ya on the trader joe's... but i don't know if the prices are still the same. (my father still talks about 5 cent hamburgers at mcdonald's).

                the quality is so much better than at whole foods... you actually know you're gonna like something from trader joe's if you haven't tried it before, whereas at whole foods you're often overconfident in the quality because they're charging astronomical prices, only to find out you bought a bland, overpriced item. trader joe's is about as inexpensive to shop at as a normal supermarket, but you can get the quality food you actually want, while paying as if you're eating oscar meyer. bub-bye whole foods, weaver st, earth fare, bubbye... bubbye!!!!!

                1. You are absolutely right about Whole Foods. I am willing to pay for good quality but I hate to be ripped off so bluntly. I relocated to Cary NC from NYC area where I rarely shopped at WF since there are so many other choices with fair prices. In Cary there aren’t enough choices so I shop at WF just for stuff that I cannot get anywhere else. I try beat the rip-off system of WF by buying there only things on sale or items with reasonable price. Sale at WF doesn’t always mean reasonable price so one have to be careful not to fall into the trap.

                  I recently compared WF prices of the Cary NC store to Dean and Deluca in Washington DC, a place that caters to the very rich (I never buy there anything) and to NYC stores such as Fairway, Zabar’s and other in the NYC boroughs. In many cases Whole Foods is more expensive. The WF Cary NC store “dares” to be more expensive then Manhattan top gourmet stores! Sounds like a bad joke.

                  It seems to me that WF owners do not respect their customers and vendors which they furiously milk. I know from one of WF vendors that their margins are huge and unfair. Nobody that I know likes WF except few super rich that are lucky enough not to care about money at all. Regular people shop there since it is, in many areas, the only place to buy good quality of certain foods but WF pricing policy doesn’t make most of their customers loyal – they would jump happily on any other good and fair alternative.
                  Food is love and WF, despite their name Whole Foods, offers just the sex with camouflaging the love part. Foddies are sensitive people and whenever foodies can find real love – a food vendor that loves its customers and tries to make them really happy - they’ll walk away from the WF types.

                  I have a friend that calls WF the “What-Have-I-Done-Wrong Store” since any of her attempts to pass through the cash registers without suffering a painful monetary loss fails miserably.

                  People hate WF and love Trader Joe, Costco, Fairway in NYC area and other stores that give their customers honest deals. The best is Costco – excellent quality for the lowest (unbelievably low!) price.

                  WF rip off is so offensive that it explains the utmost thrill of so many in the Cary and the Triangle area when they heard that the good guy, Trader’s Joe, is coming to town, almost like the Messiah of the foodies, although TJ’s does not offer a large variety of produce. The lines at Trader’s Joe that has just opened in Cary are endless. The scene of empty shelves at TJ (shoppers emptied the store in few hours) is surrealistic. I heard that locals petitioned TJ relentlessly, for years, to choose Cary as the place for its new store in the Triangle area and their wish is now fulfilled. Is TJ the dream store? No, but it is a dream in a place like Cary. Why is this happening? Since people are so much fed up by WF and others as well - Fresh Market and Harris Titter that charge killer prices as well.

                  I wish that the recent openings of TJ in Cary and Costco in Raleigh would teach WF, Fresh Market and Harris Titter a tough lesson. I will never buy at these stores what I can get at Costco and TJ, even for the same price. I assume and hope others will do the same.

                  Unfortunately I would not be able to avoid WF completely but Costco and TJ’s will reduce my visits to WF significantly – what a relief.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: SYCRoberts

                    Amen.

                    I was a loyal WF customer for years (from when it started as Fresh Fields, and I had to drive 11 miles to get to the closest store) until they moved their very convenient store (which opened not long after the first one) down into Old Town Alexandria (north end) and blew up into an overpriced, overwhelming superstore of some kind that just made me tired. I quit going. The prices had become a joke.

                    About a month ago, Harris Teeter opened a flagship store even closer to me than had been the old Fresh Fields/Whole Foods.

                    IT IS GORGEOUS!

                    I couldn't believe what I found when I went there the first time. It's every bit as wonderful as theTreasure Island stores were in Chicago in the seventies (I am very, very old, very, very, very old.....) And the staff could not be more helpful.

                    The produce at this HT is exquisite, and all through the store, they're stocking up with organic items. The bakery is amazing, the deli is terrific and well-stocked, the fish department has me there almost every day because it's so sparkling and the prices are incredible. I even found Wickles there after someone here mentioned them - I'd never heard of them, and now I'm hooked, thank you very much.

                    There's also a Trader Joe's about fifteen minutes away, and it's the other place I like when I want imported butter, although I suspect it's only a matter of minutes before HT is stocking Pelugra and other brands that I buy. There's always those big dark chocolate bars, but, what the hell, just roaming around TJ's is fun, and the convenience is seductive to this old foodie.

                    Plus, both HT and TJ have this absolute return policy. I walked around, on my first visit, with the HT flagship store manager, just bleating about how I'd not been very impressed with other HT stores I'd visited, and he explained to me how he wanted things that weren't satisfactory brought back, no matter the condition, even without a receipt, because all they wanted were satisfied customers. TJ's, of course, has the same return policy. They sometimes ask me why I'm returning something, I say, "I changed my mind," they smile, give me the credit, life goes on, I am a happy customer.

                    Ever try returning anything to Whole Foods? How many receipts for produce do you save? You stand there with a rotted out selection of avocados, and someone behind the counter is telling you that if you don't have your receipt, there's nothing they can do to help you.

                    So, yes, I join you all in turning away from Whole Foods (with its insane prices on everything), and embracing Harris Teeter (oh, that flagship store of ours is just sensational!) and Trader Joe's (who, I believe, is going to get better and better).

                    By the way, there is a very nice COSTCO at Pentagon City, a Metro stop across the Potomac from Washington, DC, and it's well-known that it is the source for all the meat and fish served at all the foreign Embassy affairs. Yeah, their meat is really nice.

                    Life is good here in Northern Virginia, I must say. Now, I just have to check out that Hong Kong Palace over in Seven Corners and see what has happened under the new management.

                    Did I mention that I love this site, and that the people who post here strike me as among the most passionate and caring and helpful folks who might ever have congregated anywhere?

                    Ah, foodies ........................

                  2. I don't hate Whole Foods (which I've also heard referred to as As*hole Foods), but I don't love it. I think the bread is SO much better at Weaver St., and even at Harris Teeter some of the time. And for the pre-sliced mango HT is hugely better - WF just puts out non-ripened stuff that they've mechanically sliced, it is all but inedible. My real bugaboo with WF though is the chicken sausage. Now, I know that I am in a very small subgroup in the south, but I eat poultry and do not eat pork. When I lived in another city, I had no problems getting poultry sausage from WF with lamb or synthetic casings. But here the only poultry sausages they carry are in the frozen section (about 3 kinds). When I've asked about it, they really act like I'm asking for something totally unreasonable and walk away (it has happened twice). My reason for not eating pork isn't religious, but considering that there *are* people who eat poultry but not pork for such reasons, wouldn't carrying at least one or two fresh varieties make a little bit of sense. Anyway, again, this is just a tiny thing, and I realize isn't a big deal for most people. I'm just pointing it out as yet another example of their lack of interest in pleasing the customer.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: LulusMom

                      I've seen fresh chicken sausage at the Whole Foods in Chapel Hill. not sure what the casing is, though...

                    2. I'm surprised they don't have poultry sausage. In the winston store they have several selections of poultry sausages. chicken and apple, etc in the fresh meat area.

                      I do find that like anywhere else if they do not have good sales on an itme they will discontinue carrying it but I am surprised at the lack of fresh poultry sausage. Though it lacks flavor to me they appear to sell well locally.

                      While it has been a while since have shopped regularly at the Raleigh store I can say the winston store has extraordinary customer service. never had a problem returnign anything but admittedly I go there alot

                      As to prices, for bulk items like sugar, grains etc and some fruits they have some good prices. And for my area they are competitive on on lamb, cheeses and some seafood. Most of the packaged or prepared foods are truly pricey.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: quazi

                        When I looked for poultry sausage at the Durham or Chapel Hill Whole Foods (can't remember which) a few months ago, they had fresh poultry sausages such as the chicken and apple, but with pork casings. Probably okay if you're avoiding pork for health reasons, but not if your reasons are religious.

                        1. re: Durm

                          Right - they DO have poultry sausage, just with meat casings, which sort of misses the point. Sorry if I wasn't clear on that one. But it is just a small quibble (although surprising in a place that prides itself on the healthiness of the food they sell).

                      2. You'll be baaaack. We all get angry for a while and then go back.

                        3 Replies
                          1. re: carolinadawg

                            I believe this is what julii was getting at:
                            http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

                            (it's a great article)

                          2. re: julii_g

                            Not all of us. I haven't been back since then. Not just because I'm still having a year-long snit, either. I simply decided that my family can eat very well without my enduring WF's ridiculous prices and even more offensive attitude. My money, my choice. That includes bread from La Farm, meats from Fresh Market, cheese from Southern Season, and produce from the State Farmers' Market or Harris Teeter. I haven't seen a noticeable drop in the quality of our meals or the health of the family. I do, happily, have one less thing to b**ch about, though.

                          3. Rockycat, there's a reason they're called 'Hole Foods! But you get more than mere goods and services for your money. Look at the entertainment value -- the drama, the comedy. You've got Jitters the Angry Cashier, on the verge of apoplexy. Will he snap while you're in his line? You've got Briny Pete, the swashbuckler/shopping-cart handler. Who was his role model -- Jack Sparrow or Keith Richards? You've got more employees than you can shake a stick at, carefully avoiding eye contact, moving past you at the speed of light, and shoving shopping carts full of frightened children out of their path -- on their way to Something More Important Than You. (To be fair, you've also got some excellent food choices at a range of prices and a lot of dedicated professionals who know and care about the food they're preparing and serving you. It's just that one tends to notice the negative more than the positive.)

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: missblogsalot

                              Yes, I need Holy Foods - I do admit it - but the other day they went a bit over the top. I was in Chapel Hill and wanted to get some of the La Farm bread sliced. I took it over to the counter, where they informed me that they couldn't slice bread that wasn't organic on their slicer. We're now apparently dealing with religious rituals. When the checker asked how I was doing, I did tell her I was a bit freaked out by this rule, whereupon she proceded to lecture me at length about a myriad of reasons this rule would exist, including....get this....that someone could be allergic to pestisides used in producing non-organic ingredients and if any of that got on the organic bread (through the slicer) and then DIED, Holy Foods could be sued. Idiots. Seriously.

                              1. re: suse

                                Does this mean that they use organic soap to wash the slicer?

                                  1. re: suse

                                    That is just pathetic! But let me tell you they have a highly neurotic clientel to the point where I had somene get pissy about my groceries touching their's.

                                    go to the farmers market
                                    go to la farm in cary

                                    1. re: RaleighRocker

                                      Suse's story about the slicer is hillarious, but, as RR says, much of it is either in reponse or in an attempt to avoid hassles from clients. Once you put the bar up above the usual grocery store, you invite all the loonies which means the bar keeps getting pushed higher and higher. It's pretty much the same with anyone who tries to do something better.

                                      To a degree, we are all guilty of this if even to a lesser degree. Cheesecake Factory, etc just open their doors to the non-demanding public and blissfully cranks out basically tasty if un-inspired food day after day. Nobody ever truly scrutinizes their efforts. Smaller places try to make a differnence and proceed to ride the roller coaster of praises and pannings because they've targeted the hounds. A group that is not about to let any misstep slide.

                                      Now, I have my own complaints about Whole Foods, so I'm not trying to give them a free pass or anything. I can, however, emphathize with the rather quioxtic attempt to appease the vocal minority. Somebody sees me at the farmer's market and asks me if 100% of what I use is local. I reply that, regretfully it is not, and then have to endure a lecture on why it should be. Of course, I could blow the whole thing off, buy all my produce from elsewhere and never have to meet this whackjob, but then everyone loses.

                                      1. re: detlefchef

                                        I have to agree with the chef. The customer behavior I have witnessed at the Chapel Hill Whole Foods is pretty appalling. Again, not to say that the Whole Foods corporation is perfect, they are far from it. However, I've rarely had a problem with the staff at the Chapel Hill store.
                                        I had heard that the Chapel Hill store was planning to expand so maybe things will be better there when it's not such a cramped shopping environment.

                                1. re: suse

                                  When you consider the litigious society we live in, you can hardly blame them. Most anything you buy that contains nuts has a warning that peanuts may have touched some of the processing equipment. Planters probably feels that it can get by with a warning on a container, but a grocery store might feel the need to go to excessive means to avoid law suits.

                                  1. re: suse

                                    Actually, Suse, I can explain the slicer. 'Hole Foods is currently applying to have the whole chain certified under the USDA National Organic Program. One of the requirements of the program is sanition of equipment between organic and non-organic use, to ensure no residual non-organic material clings to the equipment prior to handling organic product. Many certified organic facilities dedicate difficult-to-clean equipment to organic, so that they will not have to do a detailed, documented clean-down between organc and non-organic use. And the cleaning protocols must be documented in a sanitation plan, may only use cleansers and sanitizers approved and on the National List, and each cleaning event must be documented. For tough-to-clean, but commonly used equipment, this is incredibly difficult and time consuming. So, my guess is that Corporate told the stores that slicers must be dedicated organic, or they have to have two slicers, one organic and one non-organic if they want to slice both types of breads.

                                    I can answer this pretty confidently, because I manage the organic certification program for the only National Organic Program-accredited certifier located in North Carolina. I was called by 'Hole Foods not too long ago to verify the certification status of a pretty wide variety of farms and processors that I inspect who sell to them. They needed to have verification of annual updating on hand for their own inspection. Now, I don't want to get into the issue of whether a grocery can actually be compliant with the USDA regs, and whether or not every single 'Hole Foods is being inspected. I'm generally not a shopper there (I'm a big fan of Weaver Street, but then again, I'm totally old-school in the organic movement (my involvment pre-dates the National Organic Program), and I've been a cooperative grocery shopper since the mid-80's), and the fact that they're trying for certification at all is a very controversial issue in my industry. But I just wanted to help clear up the slicer issue.

                                    1. re: OrganicGal

                                      Thank you for such a good explanation of what must be done for certification. I was involved in an attempt for certification by another foods store and learned how detailed & difficult it is. I suspected this was the case with WF, but could not explain it well enough to post! With the volume that store does I would think that they probably have a non-organic slicer that was broken that day. The cashier should have called over a manager to provide a more coherent explanation.The expectations, demands & opinions of many of the shoppers that this sort of store attracts is beyond belief. IMO this is the reason the employees often move through the store without making eye contact. Eye contact can = earnest discussion on the ability of con trails to create mutant varieties of sweet peas = government plot...Sometimes it is hard to tell the loonies from the ok people and you often don't have time to do that plus get your work completed. One month working in that type store & you'll have cocktail party stories for life!

                                      1. re: meatn3

                                        I also appreciate OrganicGal's explanation - she posted the same on a thread I started under the General Chowhounding topic, just to find out who those loonies out there are who are worried about crumb intermingling. It was almost a relief to find out that it was an industry thing, even though it's still wacky. I'm sure Half Foods (Half Attitude) employees have to deal with plenty of nutbars, but I was made to feel like I was from Mars for even commenting to the cashier that I was a bit startled by the fact that they couldn't slice my bread. It was that yummy La Farm bread, by the way and since I live in Durham and work in C. Hill I think WF is the only place to get it.

                                        1. re: suse

                                          I e-mailed this to my former employer. We all agreed that you were caught in a situation of employees where a little info is dangerous. The situation should have been handled much differently and no one should be treated with that holier-than-thou attitude. I'm in Raleigh, but I'll keep an eye out for another venue for the bread!

                                2. Okay, I couldn't read this without mentioning that the Whole Foods in Raleigh--even when it was called Wellspring--has always been part of the "Texas corporation"--Wellspring was acquired by WF back in '92, it's just the name change that came more recently. (the Durham and CH stores were opened before the "takeover," but all stores since then have been opened by WF).

                                  So any changes that you're seeing are due to changes in the store management or larger corporate policy/culture, but not the result of a corporation sweeping down and taking over a local store. The Raleigh Wellspring was never an independent local store.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: barbara27

                                    That may be true, but the changes as far as price and policy coincided with the name change.

                                  2. I actually like the Raleigh Whole Foods and the people who work there. I probably go there about 3 times a week, as it's only a few blocks from my house. Their milk is cheaper than anywhere else, especially if you buy by the case (4 gallons). Ultimately, you need to know what to buy there and what might be cheaper elsewhere. Yes, the meat and seafood is expensive, but it's pretty damn good, especially the dry-aged beef, which you can't get at another grocery store as far as I know.

                                    Anytime I've had some problems with something I've purchased at WF, I've not had a problem with a refund or exchange. Moreover, I like the folks who work there. Most of them have been there for years. My fish guy always takes care of me. The butchers are good jokesters. The check-out people are extremely helpful and alway pack my groceries properly. And we all agree that the WF corporate music they play in the store just sucks.

                                    1. As far as whole foods, I only go there for a specific 4-5 items in my weekly shop...i wouldnt dare do all my shopping there. mostly because they just dont have everything i need, but also the prices, and i'm much more into local economy, than I am into the "Organic" label. I prefer the Whole Foods in Durham much more than the location In chapel hill. Yeah, it's been called the "Ghetto Whole Foods,"--WHATever...that makes me want to go there more because its nowhere near as pretentious and waspy as the CH location is.

                                      I do the bulk of my shopping at Compare on roxboro rd...it just makes more sense...

                                      for special cuts of meat, I always either go the the Red&White market on Club/roxboro, or i go to a Mexican Carniceria such as La Superior on Roxboro.

                                      a nice selection of freshly butchered meats, fish, out of the ordinary meats and cuts...and lamb at $4 per pound across the board aint too shabby.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: TSQ75

                                        The Kroger on Hillsborough Rd in Durham is MUCH better than the above choices. If you have a Kroger VIP card, you get even better discounts on the already inexpensive prices.

                                        1. re: seymourglass

                                          I'll have to personally disagree on that one...:)

                                      2. you're absolutely right. I was at WF Durham this afternoon.
                                        Staff was helpful and polite, as usual; but turnover now so huge
                                        I could not recognize a single one-- any where in store.
                                        Bread was poor, and so no more Rye Bread for me.
                                        Plastic bags and not-fresh food now their new standard.
                                        And they have tons of stuff from CA that can be gotten here in NC.
                                        At least we have Weaver Street in Carrboro, still UNbeatable
                                        for local produce, coffee and scones. Helpful staff, too!
                                        Our H-T is prob the Worst Managed in the Triangle [on MLK
                                        & Univ Dr] -- mgr is nice guy, who just doesn't give a damn--
                                        not to mention over-priced. The thing that effectively
                                        killed H-T for me was poor meat-- from ground chuck to
                                        NY Strip. Not stale, nor unattractive, but tasteless,
                                        and lacking "meatiness" ??? BUT the Food Lion around
                                        the corner has begun to carry Organics, and has
                                        supplanted WF and H-T as my weekly staple general store.
                                        Still for someone who can live on good bread, great cheese
                                        and fresh local produce there is no happy choice. I will say one
                                        thing for all this, I've dropped some weight and kept some $$.

                                        Has anyone eaten at Four Square here in Durham 27707 ?

                                        1. I agree... even here at the whole foods in GA it is the same situation. Only there can one bag of groceries be 60 dollars. Prices out of the roof.....

                                          1. I have never been a huge fan of Whole Foods. When I lived in Texas the Whole Foods was the nearest grocer to my home--a mere block away. Whole Foods is different here in the Triangle. The things that made it a good place to shop in Texas are not present here in the Triangle. The staff--we used to joke that you had to be a hippie, and fail a drug test to be employed at Whole Foods. The staff was VERY HAPPY- ALL OF THEM- ALL THE TIME! It almost seemed like a cult. All of the food had a HEALTHY aspect, some to the point that flavor was lost, I was never fond of their pastries. But here in the Triangle you can get sugar and chocolate laden desserts with no apologies. And don't get me started on the staff. RUDE, and not a hippie among them. I can't vouch for the Whole Food stores in the other Triangle cities, but in Durham it seems their largest clientele percentage comes from Duke. Since that population constantly changes, I'm sure the store will continue to serve them well.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: burgernfries

                                              What NC needs is a full blown Wegman's invasion! Anyone from above the Mason-Dixon will agree that they are the best grocery stores around!

                                              1. re: powershour

                                                Uhhh....perhaps this isn't the proper place to post this (being chowhound and all), but I think that's the LAST thing we need. I am SICK AND TIRED of all the relocated yankees trying to make the triangle New York Lite. Has it occurred to you that the NC natives really don't need or want a Wegman's and that we're perfectly happy with Harris Teeter, Kroeger's, Lowes Food, the Weaver Street Coop, or whereever else we're already shopping. If you need Wegman's that much, then go back north of the Mason-Dixon.

                                                1. re: OrganicGal

                                                  Yeah you are right, who needs choices. Variety? No thanks.

                                                  If you are that upset about Yankees moving down here with "carpet bags" full of money and wanting more options of where too spend their money maybe we could close the borders?

                                                  Wegmans is a great store the is consistently rated in the Top 5 places to work in the US. Why would we want a company like that here?