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Oct 24, 2007 11:54 PM

New Whole Foods Pasadena to be Regional Flagship

I don't see that this has been mentioned, though there has been discusion of the newest Whole Foods which is due to open the first week of November in Pasadena. The location is on the correr of Arroyo Parkway and Bellevue, and the article states that it will be a two-level 76,000 square feet and be labeled a Regional Flagship location. "Wonderful" I say,.. though not sure how traffic and parking are going to work. Also to be decided is the fate of the recently converted (due to WF/WO merger) Wild Oats at California and Lake.

Very exciting..and I'm looking forward to checking it out. Nice to have some of this kind of goodness in my side of LA.

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  1. Er, what's wrong with the two stores already in Pasadena? I'm unimpressed with the big new store in El Segundo - most of the expanded space is for 'lifestyle' items (prepared food).

    Oh, right, they probably need to devote the Lake store to filming 'Take Home Chef':

    13 Replies
    1. re: DiveFan

      Whole Foods doesn't have two stores in Pasadena, to my knowledge. There's one in (far) east Pasadena, and one in Glendale. Correct me if I'm wrong.

      If the two stories mean they will have parking like the TJ's in Pasadena in the old Bullock's space at Lake and Del Mar, it could be workable, but I will have to wait and see. The Glendale store is a zoo, pretty much always, so anything would be better than that.

      1. re: DanaB

        They do since Wild Oats (Lake & California) has been acquired.

        1. re: DanaB

          I'm definitely not excited. Pasadena traffic has gotten ridiculous in the recent years with all the new apartment buildings going up.
          In looking at the building I am thinking that maybe they are going to have underground parking? Since it butts up against the Gold Line and I cannot see surface parking that is my best guess.
          For me, I will continue shopping at Trader Joes.

          1. re: DanaB

            Pasadena is Pasadena, so yes, Pasadena WILL have two WF stores, not counting the old Wild Oats on Lake. "Far east" Pasadena? Oh come on now...I've always considered the TJs at Hastings Ranch, Rosemead & Huntington, South Pas, Lake, La Canada and Arroyo to be equally local. Eagle Rock, too, if you don't mind the all-pushing, all-shoving parking lot...

            Back to WF: when we were in Nashville a couple of weeks ago we were stunned by the size of the one that's about to open there, at least twice the size of our Hastings Ranch store, and expressed some Whole Foods Envy to our friends, but having just driven by the Arroyo store I think we've got them beat. Yeah, a lot of its space is gonna go to prepared foods and "lifestyle" crap, but I'm very much looking forward to checking it out.

            1. re: Will Owen

              Actually, Hastings Ranch is *in* East Pasadena.

              The stores might be equidistant if you live in the middle of Pasadena, but not if you are coming from the west. From my neighborhood (Silver Lake), the closest Whole Foods is the Glendale store; I would drive to Arroyo Parkway -- especially if the new store is as fabulous as it sounds like its going to be -- but Hastings Ranch is a little far afield.

          2. re: DiveFan

            The El Segundo location is more of a pavilion than a store. The fact that you can buy things there is somewhat irrelevant.

            1. re: nick_r

              nick r, your assessment is closer to fact that you might know - the store is not making the grade from a sales perspective as of now. Yet, it along with the new Tustin/Irvine location that recently opened, are similar in concept to what the Pasadena location will look like, meaning lots of takeout sections, wine bar, olive bar, and fill in the blanks kinds of bars including a chocolate version.
              But as DanaB stated so well, that Glendale store's lot is always a zoo, so maybe this new Pasadena location will help alleviate some of those woes, and everyone wins.

              1. re: carter

                This article
                says they're going to have a tortilla machine to make fresh corn and flour tortillas, a wine and tapas lounge, and massage rooms. Crazy!

                1. re: CookieEater

                  See, that's more like a shopping vacation spot than a weekly destination to pick up staples. Like I was saying to a friend today, can you imagine going to Ikea on a weekly basis to grab a few things? I'll take my modestly-sized West LA WF any day of the week.

                  1. re: nick_r

                    But in West LA you can't kneel at the end of the conveyor belt catching warm tortillas with your mouth!
                    Ok, not that you can do that in Pas, but that's what I'm picturing when they say tortilla machine.

                2. re: carter

                  No, everyone will NOT win. Even though the East Pasadena Whole Foods is the closest to me, it is still about 36 miles too far. :(

              2. re: DiveFan

                Hooray for prepared foods. When one works for a living (and these days, who can get home before 7?) and then has to feed a family, it's nice to have something besides fast food.

                1. re: Jack Flash

                  I agree. Although the one in SO doesn't seem to have a good turnaround and the deli items look...sad by the time I get home from work.

              3. Good news. I would shop at the new location, even though the current Foothill Ranch location is closer to me. The parking at the current location is sometimes difficult, specially during the holiday season. The Wild Oats parking is 10x worse because it is small and shared with Peet's and Noah's Bagels. I hope the Arroyo Parkway location solves the parking problem.

                3 Replies
                1. re: suvro

                  I didn't know WF & WO merged. I don't live in Pasadena (unfortunately), but go there often & have always enjoyed the WO - will be sorry to see it go. I like the big WF stores, but still do a TJ run for some stuff. TJ's is not so great for produce, though, so it will continue to be WF for me.

                  1. re: sherpa50

                    I usually go to the Pasadena farmer's market on Saturdays for produce that is local. Last time (2 Saturdays ago) I got some lovely Chioggia beets (aka bullseye beets), white Japanese eggplants, pasilla chillis, and other regular stuff.

                    If you like to combine TJ and WF, there is a TJ quite close to the WF in Foothill Ranch. That is what we often do for weekend groceries.

                  2. re: suvro

                    I agree...although the Foothill location is 10 miles away from me and the Arroyo would only be slightly closer. Hopefully the new Pasadena location(s) will ease the traffic at Foothill and I won't have to park at Sears anymore!

                  3. An employee of Wild Oats told me that the Lake/Califoria Wild Oats will be closed by Whole Foods after the acquisition. They are hoping their jobs will be transferred to the new mega-store.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: bluemonster

                      I can also confirm this, as a friend of mine works at WO. The closing is bad news for fans of local and organic produce. WF simply lacks the selection that WO has/d. As for other groceries: meh, same same. Don't really dig the prepared food$ from these places anyway. WO's supplement section was slightly better/cheaper than its counterpart at WF.

                      1. re: africanizedkiller

                        Beware, the WF selection at the new location will probably encompass much of the best of WOats, even though the latter will be closing.
                        As a fwiw, the Henry's Mkts, part of Wild Oats but based in San Diego, in the Coachella Valley will be converted to Smart & Final - anything but anything. Be thankful the one in Pasadena will be merged into the two combined entities in east and west Pasadena.
                        This new store will be awesome, and worthy of a drive from sherman oaks, driving past our two local 711-sized locations as well as the Glendale location. It is only 20 minutes away in off-hour traffic. Can't wait!!!

                        1. re: carter

                          Any news on the other Henry's Markets? I have a client in Rancho Cucamonga who keeps raving about the one out that way.

                    2. Sign on Wild Oats states "Closing 11/4 new Whole Foods Grand Opening 11/7".

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: WildSwede

                        Wonder - will Fresh & Easy take its place, or maybe Famina?!

                        1. re: carter

                          Actually, this being Pasadena, would not surprise me if they bulldozed the whole shebang and put more gawdy apartments in its place!

                      2. I'm excited & saddened at the same time -- since I thoroughly enjoyed the Thanksgiving dinner Wild Oats prepared last year (haven't tried WF but fingers crossed.)

                        I'm sure the press release overhyped some stuff, but I'm still looking forward to doing an initial check out of the place when it opens.

                        Also hoping that the WO staff gets transitioned over to the WF, they're a nice, friendly and approachable bunch!


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: AquaW

                          Just an update: I went to the new Whole Foods on their opening yesterday -- thankfully I saw a lot of the Wild Oats employees there, I'm glad they transferred over, and I hope they still enjoy what they do.

                          But as for the Whole Foods itself, as much as I love & admire all they have to offer, I don't think I can make it a part of my regular shopping experience. First off, there's the price of everything (it's not slanged Whole Paycheck for no reason), and then there's the time consumption; even when I rushed myself to skim through the store, it took 90 minutes and I don't think I've covered half the floor yet. Being one of those shoppers easily distracted by displays, signages and samples, I can't imagine the time & money I'd blow coming here on a "routine" shopping trip. If I do need something extra special, I'd consider swinging by here.