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WFM Manhattan Beach

Whole Foods opened today on Sepulvedea and Rosecrans. I met one of the managers who said the store is 65,000 square feet (the website says 50,000), and he thinks it will be THE highest grossing store in the region.

There's plenty of parking outside, no need to make sharp turns in a sub-terrainean parking structure here. The store is flanked by a Chick's Sporting Goods and some home store. The store front isn't that eye catching, but once you enter, it is indeed breathtaking.

The produce section is large and roomy, and in the corner is a "Fresh Produce Grilling Station". There is also a meat and seafood grilling station, with a sign saying they will grill or cook anything you want. There are shelves and shelves of wine. And, 3 large cases of fine cheeses.

The salad bar has 9-10 stations, including a dessert station.

There is dine-in seating for the Asian station or the Mexican station. There is a pizza oven, sandwich bar, coffee bar, tea bar, truffle case, fresh gelato station, fresh tortillas. But, the MOST impressive thing for me is the bakery. There are all kinds of italian tortas, tomato breads, so over-whelming. All their desserts in the bakery are made in store, and are decorated beautifully.

I spent 30 minutes walking around, before even thinking about buying something. This area is very lucky to have this store. I can't think of anything negative to say about the store at all. Maybe the service isn't as good as the older location, and the employees aren't as nice as in the other stores, but that's understandable with all the hoopla of opening day.

I took a slew of photos, before someone stopped me (it was only a matter of time). I've posted one of them.

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  1. Where did you post it? I have to go there. Did they have an Indian stand? I heard that their Manhattan store has Indian food...regardless sounds cool. My favorite whole foods is in santa monica. Although I like my B.H. store, but it's small. I was once at the Whole Foods store in Woodland Hills, which was nice, but still like the SM store better. This all sounds silly, but I can't help it...

    1 Reply
    1. re: hazelnutty

      FYI-they do have Indian food in the "hot food ethnic" section. I saw some daal and saag paneer and other stuff.

    2. I meant the picture, where did you post it?

      1. Were they giving out a lot of samples? Any freebies for opening day?

        8 Replies
        1. re: hazelnutty

          I thought you could post a photo on here. Guess not.

          Pretty much everything was up for sampling, even in the parking lot. I got a free tote bag, after spending $40. Make sure you sample stuff from the bakery. They will sample out ANYTHING. I really enjoyed this Italian torta with potatoes and egg. There are 3 kinds.

          Also, I not too far from the Santa Monica store, and that too is my favorite. This is like the Santa Monica store, but double the size. Sky lights, no flourescent lighting everywhere. What they did have here is a GREAT bulk section, where SM discontinued it (too many sampling directly from the bin).

          What I like better at the Manhattan Bch/El Segundo store is it's so roomy.

          Right now, Glendale and Santa Monica go back and forth as #1 store in the region. I bet this El Segundo location will take the prize.

          And, I've been to the Manhattan locations. They're nice for Manhattan, but they have it rough out there. Those stores don't even come close to the Whole Foods out here. Those stores do better in sales, but they don't come close in quality. I've tried the Indian food at the Central Park store, and I wish I'd gotten something else. And, the produce there? No where near what we have here.

          1. re: Frank_Santa_Monica

            I don't think Santa Monica ever had the "bulk section". My B.H. store has always had it. I hope they don't get rid of it b/c of sampling. Again for some reason they didn't design S.M. with the bulk section. I could be wrong.

            I can't wait to go...it's so funny to get excited about a supermarket, but I love to eat and look at new products, new layouts, and compare stores and so on.

            Thanks for the "review".

            1. re: hazelnutty

              Both Santa Monica and Brentwood discontinued their bulk service. Santa Monica's bulk was located in the far northeast corner of the store, where the chips etc are. They regret not designing the store to accomodate the bulk section closer to the front registers, that's according to one of the (former)managers.

              The Co-op's bulk section is good, but nothing like the El Segundo Whole Foods, though.

              1. re: Frank_Santa_Monica

                Interesting Frank, I did not know that. The B.H. store has a very good bulk section. What do you mean by "the co-op's bulk section". Is that a store?

                1. re: hazelnutty

                  Co-opportunity in Santa Monica on Broadway and 16th. It's like an Erewhon (sp?). Co-op has been around much longer than WFM, and they have higher standards food-wise (I don't know what those standards are, however). They carry more organic produce than Whole Foods, and maybe a wee less in price. The have a huge raw section and a prepared foods deli that's pretty darn good. Parking can be a bear sometimes, but nowhere near the zoo as WFM Santa Monica.

                  One thing the Co-op has that is amazing is their vitamin department and their body department.

                  1. re: Frank_Santa_Monica

                    Thank You! How did I miss this one...I do most of my food shopping in Santa Monica so I will definetly check the co-op out.

            2. re: Frank_Santa_Monica

              I used the "Attach Photo" function in a post and it worked perfectly. You may have to watch your file size, as I always reduce my photos to 750 by x for inserting into e-mail. This was the file size I used which worked, then the reader can click to enlarge in the Chowhound post.

              1. re: BN1

                Wow, it worked! Ok, here are some photos. I was taking photos for about a 1/2 hour until someone stopped me.

                I heard they're trying to ward off the competition from Tesco, which is opening next year. They were really nice about asking me to stop, though.

                 
                 
                 
          2. Just to be nitpicky, it's not Manhattan Beach, it's in El Segundo! That said, I am out of town at the moment but am looking forward to going there this weekend when I'm back in the area. I've been waiting for months for this WF to open!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Dav

              Yes, I know it's not Manhattan Beach. The manager kept calling it Manhattan Beach, but the website says El Segundo. You're going to love it.

              1. re: Dav

                Glad to see El Segundo got that mall. The Cost Plus World Market there is a great little place also - I've bought plenty of wine there lately, some nice finds like the Murphy Goode chardonnay that's buttery because they actually subject it to a secondary fermentation process. Wonderful Italian cookies and other pantry goods too.

                The mall area has a Borders bookstore (coffee in the back), a BestBuy, a sporting goods place, a Smith & Hawken garden store, a Sur La Table, and some pet food place... kind of hard to find the turn-in spot on your first pass, if you're coming from the north... check the map first.

              2. As I was driving by, I saw the new "Now Open" sign of Sepulvida.

                Today was quite the day, but I can't wait to take a tour tomorrow and grab some lunch.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Swoshmn

                  I was there at lunchtime and had a total out of body experience! I live closer to the one in Redondo (which I loathe, except for the people who are great) because often the fish is a little old (stinky old) and space is tight and sometimes not sure what I am paying for...

                  The new location is a very different kettle of (fresh) fish. I am the type of person who needs a list and a full stomach to shop and I went today with neither. I came home with two kinds of oysters (both pacific-no eastern oysters which is sad), a block of Australian cheddar (2.99/lb!) which is so delicious, some sushi (eh), my fav tortilla chips (Casa Sanchez) and a load of other goodies.

                  I was too overwhelmed by all the food stations to eat there but did sample the pizza (not bad but very expensive by the pound), cheese, olives, bread, goji berries, chocolate covered coffee beans and some gelato, Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch?

                  Next time, I am taking a Xanax so I can last more than twenty minutes-it is huge as described above and quite overwhelming....