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Whole Foods Plymouth Meeting

Any word on an opening?

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  1. I've heard they pulled out on the deal.

    4 Replies
    1. re: xtian

      Where did you hear that? It's still listed as a site in development on the WF website.

      1. re: xtian

        Here's the official response I got from the mall's owner:

        "Thank you for your recent inquiry about Whole Foods Market and Cafe that will be opening at Plymouth Meeting Mall. I am happy to say what you've heard is only a rumor. And we share your enthusiasm and are anxiously awaiting as well for the opening. While I do not have an exact opening date, I am delighted to say that Whole Foods Market has given a tentative date for November 2009. This is only a tentative date and may be subject to change."

        1. re: Den

          Thanks for the research. that seems like a long way off.

          1. re: christie21

            Keep the faith. You can still shoot right up 309 to the one in Montgomeryville and have a Trader Joes right across the street.

        1. re: foodzings

          4 hours ago! has any one been? I have to go to the mall tonight, but I think I'll stay away from WF, I hate opening day crowds.

          1. re: jujuthomas

            I went with my husband and aunt at around 5:15pm. It was crowded but not all that bad (I expected worse). They had a few free samples but not all that many. The mega salad bar and hot bar looked amazing. We mainly just looked around and got a feel for the place. It is very expensive and I really can't see going there to do regular shopping but I plan to go there when I need a small amount of a high quality ingredient (like cheese). I think I will stick to Trader Joe's.

            1. re: spicemistress

              I'm with you on the cheese selections, but I still don't get the attraction with Trader Joe's.

              1. re: bucksguy14

                I have to agree with bucksguy on Trader Joe's. Their produce is terrible. While they have a couple of products I like such as the shrimp gyoza and the sea salt caramels at Christmas time, I prefer WF.

              2. re: spicemistress

                They are supposed to be having a "hot chocolate social" on the roof today as part of the opening.

                1. re: cwdonald

                  I will be going over next week to stock up on their gorgeous produce! :)

                  1. re: jujuthomas

                    We stopped by this afternoon. The produce was delightful. The store is fabulous. I am curious about the pub though. It is self serve, then you pay the cashier.

                    1. re: crazyspice

                      I've been shopping at Trader Joe's for over 20 years. The quality of the produce has decreased considerably and they have discontinued many of my favorite items. I have decided to do all of my shopping at Whole Foods. The Plymouth Meeting store appeared to be better than any of the other WFs locations I've ever shopped at- althought I was only there once -for the grand opening- I have high hopes.

                      1. re: Displaced California Foodie

                        I don't get my produce from TJ's...but I do get my everyday coffee, cereals, frozen veggies, canned goods, cheeses, snacks, etc. there... the quality and price are great. My only real beef is that they discontinue so many of my favourite items. They just discontinued their tomato chutney which was great... but bottom line...I can't afford WF...

                        1. re: spicemistress

                          Yeah TJ's is good for pantry staples like stock, canned tomatoes, olive oil, etc. If you like frozen prepared food, there is nowhere better. The produce, even the bagged stuff, is horrible.

                          The produce at Whole Foods is actually reasonably priced if you pay attention to what is in season or on sale. If you watch the signs, the prices are only marginally higher than Acme, if at all, for many items and the quality is much better. Their bulk section is fairly priced, too, and in general has good turnover. Their bakery prices are decent and quality is above average in a pinch.

                          1. re: barryg

                            The one decent produce item at TJ's, and the one consistently on my shopping list, is the mini-pearl tomatoes. They are as good or better than most of the available grape tomatoes in the area, and much cheaper.

                            I live much closer to the Jenkintown WF, but this new one sounds nice. I might have to check it out.

                            1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

                              That's true of the grape tomatoes @ the Marlton TJ's too.

                            2. re: barryg

                              I think of my local WF (montgomeryville) mostly as a bakery. I stalk through the celery and other produce, seeing if anything catches my fancy, then head directly to the bakery and then the exit. I'd put on blinders so as not to get mesmerized by any other items, but my WF has narrow aisles and I'd be sure to collide with somebody/something.

                              1. re: spicemistress

                                I heard that WF is trying to price match to TJs. Have you noticed any of this?

                                1. re: thebeavises

                                  They definitely did this a couple years ago on staple items. I remember when Trader Joe's used to sell Nature's Path cereals at like the half the price of WF. Now, WF is competitive on these products. You can also get 365 brand natural peanut butter and things like that for a very fair price, Their 365 brand coffee beans are also a great deal at $6/lb or so.

                2. I went in today and was generally pleased with the store. The aisles are much wider than North Wales but their produce was not as good. In particular the fresh mushroom, particularly the chanterelles and hedgehogs were in surprisingly bad condition. There is a nice large butcher counter and I was generally pleased with what I saw and bought. However, I will probably just keep going to Carl Venezia when I go in that direction. They had some nice fresh bison/buffalo but still don't have ostrich. Also they didn't have pancetta at the deli so I had to buy some junky sliced stuff.

                  As usual the customer service was outstanding. Though the store is newly opened, it seems that the entire staff is completely up to speed on the chain's high standards.

                  There were a fair amount of sample stands and way too many Lookie Lou's browsing around the store to make shopping pleasant. Also it is nearly impossible to park and there are no cart returns or staff in the parking lot. Still it is good to have another whole foods nearby. Also the flower selection was terrific and they've got a huge display of potted orchids at a very low price.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Kater

                    They don't have ostrich because of the high standards Whole Foods has for the ethical culling of livestock and an ostrich is an especially hard animal to pacify before stunning and then ultimately killing in a humane way. Whole Foods also doesn't carry live lobsters for similar reasons, not the least includes transport from the sea to individual stores.

                    1. re: kissdadish

                      They have special ordered it for me at North Wales many times but only bring in frozen pre packaged ostrich fan filets. I do not know how it is killed. Also I bought several pounds of veal there today.

                    2. re: Kater

                      Finally found time for a visit! I headed straight for the pub for a beer. The nice attendant let me try two beers first. I was feeling pretty frazzled so I sat down with my beer while my friend checked out the store. It was fun and interesting to me to sit behind the glass window of the pub facing the registers and watching all the customers with their bags of groceries heading out into the traffic while I slowly enjoyed my beer. My friend and I then proceeded to the hot prepared foods area where he got a tasty clam chowder and I had mashed potatoes, collard greens, kale and an assortment of chicken wings. We liked the dry rubbed wings the best. The people watching was fun, the only thing I didn't like was the godawful scrapping of the chairs on the hard floors. Next time I will take my food upstairs where it might be quieter. We grabbed a few items, I didn't want to stay too long and faint at the cash register. But we couldn't resist getting sorbets on the way out. My friend and I made the boring choices of chocolate and vanilla and they were both very tasty. I can't wait to go back and try some wine at the pub and more sorbet flavors. The aisles are wider than North Wales but we did almost have one collision. I don't know what it is about WF but they need bumper carts!

                    3. I went today to the new store. boy, is it gorgeous! Still full of "lookey-lous" thanks for that term, Kater! LOL. I parked in the parking garage under the store, which was very nice, easy to find a spot and easy to get in and out of the store. I was there to get some veggies, which I found very nice. Just looking for the basics, zukes, yellow squash, green beans.
                      A slight snafu at the checkout, the young man kept charging me for organic veg. Which I did not pick up. I pointed that out to him and he took them all off, except for one that he charged me again for. I noticed that when I reviewed my receipt on the way out. He also did not charge me for the buffalo meat. I went to customer service and the girl there rerang the transaction. She was very nice. But I am going to be sure to watch carefully when they ring me up, to make sure they do not charge for organics when that is not what I'm buying! I hope that it will not be a trend.

                      1. My sister & BIL stopped on Sunday on the way home from the airport. Their happy news was that this WF has a number of beers on tap & available in growlers and half growlers. She said the fresh pasta bar was also very very good.


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: PattiCakes

                          thanks! I meant to see if they had a take away pub menu when I was there yesterday, just to get an idea of what they were offering. :)

                          the food on the hot bars certainly smelled good to me - had to laugh at one woman who walked in and demanded to know why the place smelled like hot dogs!

                        2. Well I visited this new Whole Foods again and for the first time in my life I bagged my own groceries at a Whole Foods.


                          I'm sorry but when I give you $187 for three bags of groceries I don't expect to fill them myself. The cashier was very pleasant and thanked me for bagging but I don't expect ACME level service when I'm paying Whole Foods prices.

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: Kater

                            I actually PREFER to bag my groceries myself, regardless of store. I want to be able to unpack them quickly, and I know what items are in which bags (frozen versus non, etc.). I do like that the checkout attendants tend to handle "fragile" items (like tomatoes) with care, versus other stores which tend to not notice. The niftiest thing that I like at the Plymouth store is the downgoing escalator that you wheel your cart onto to get into the lower level parking garage.

                            1. re: CucinadiNana

                              I see both sides of the bagging debate. I agree with CucinadiNana in that I definitely prefer to bag my own groceries. On the other hand, I agree with Kater in that I don't expect to bag my own groceries when paying the premium prices that Whole Paychecks charge.

                              1. re: mitchh

                                it's rude of a place to require you to bag on your own. but if they bag for you, they should do that if you spend ten dollars or two hundred. the one thing that does bug me is places that only treat the big spenders well. that's a vibe i never got from WF.

                                1. re: Bob Loblaw

                                  Folks, if you want to debate the merits of bag your own vs. checkers bagging, please start a new thread on the Not About Food board (or join one of the existing threads on this topic). That kind of general debate is off-topic for our regional boards.

                              2. re: CucinadiNana

                                Okay now I have to visit this new WF cucinadiNana. I want to use that escalator!!!

                                1. re: CucinadiNana

                                  The cart escalator is cool.. I have had an experience like that before at the Publix in Fort Lauderdale.

                                  1. re: crazyspice

                                    If I'm not mistaken, there's a cart escalator at Target in Willow Grove/Abington on 611.

                                    1. re: bucksguy14

                                      There is, but you have to meet it at the top.

                                      1. re: crazyspice

                                        I didn't really know it works because I never buy enough to require a cart!

                              3. I went last Sunday morning at about 8:15. What a great time to go! I don't think there were more than 10 customers in the store at that time. I made a promise to myself (which I kept) that I wouldn't buy any produce. I did grab a couple of cheeses and some lamb. My overall impression is that "it's another WH". But, I did like the addition of the underground parking, the Pub, the gelato bar and the large meats department. I'll be back - not often because Wegman's will still be my main money-taker, but I'll be back.

                                8 Replies
                                  1. re: Den

                                    It's incorrect typing! It should be WF!

                                        1. re: Bob Loblaw

                                          Whole Paycheck because they don't sell food products that have all of the corn syrup and corn additives that every other grocer carries, which of course is subsidized by OUR taxes. You have to know what to buy and what to stay away from.
                                          Milk, eggs, yogurt, peanut butter, bananas, some apples, olive oil, bulk foods are all good bets
                                          coffee, seafood, meats, cereals, cheese you are better off at COSTCO

                                          1. re: kissdadish

                                            I don't know kissdadish that I can agree about seafood. I would hope that WF would carry US harvested fresh fish. That frozen junk at Costco is just that...junk. God only knows WHERE it came from.

                                            Even though the cheeses are expensive, and I'd rather get cheese at Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop, they are very good.

                                            1. re: kissdadish

                                              You can't get pastured eggs at the WF on South St, and most of the ones they have are laid in California or other very far away places (if they even tell you where they are from). It's pretty lame. I'd wager that the standard white eggs Acme sells are fresher than most of the ones at WF.

                                              1. re: barryg

                                                BarryG, that surprises me a lot, because you can get pastured eggs at WF in Devon, and many eggs, dairy, meat and produce items that are from the Mid-Atlantic. But otoh, the employees of WF have told me that the stores vary a lot in what they order and that the offerings aren't as good in any of the city stores.

                                                As far as seafood, the fish are sourced from all over, with a majority of them coming from the U.S. They have to meet some kind of minimum standard of sustainability (which is great if you're like me and can't remember which fish are endangered) and they are all clearly marked as to where they're from, fresh/frozen, and wild/farm-raised. Gardens4Me, I have found that much of the non-frozen fish that is sold (everywhere, not only WF) is just defrosted, not fresh. PA just doesn't have a shoreline. I didn't really want to hear that frozen was better than never-frozen, but if you're not where the fish is caught, frozen or previously frozen really IS the best choice in terms of freshness and flavor, texture, etc. (The exception would be if you're talking about a super high-end restaurant where the fish is flown in from the docks to the kitchen, practically.) I don't disagree at all that Costco fish isn't so good (although it's been a long time since I've shopped there). I kept getting suckered by the salmon @ TJ's and it was consistently disappointing, so I kwym. The best fish I get is the salmon from Wild for Salmon, a small operation that has its own boat in Alaska and is way committed to sustainability.


                                    1. Just read this well-written funny article by Karen Heller on beer sales in Penna. I gotta visit that pub and the one at Wegman's just in case the powers that be take it all away from us! I love Heller's writing on eating and drinking and politics but I'm still boycotting her movie reviews. :)