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Whole Foods Supposedly Coming To Edina

  • m

heard through the grapevine that it will probably be in the retail complex just south of the Macys Home Store on France Ave. Could be the death knell for Byerlys, whose business has been hammered by the Super Target

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Byerly's
1601 County Road C W, Saint Paul, MN 55113

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  1. This was announced a while back. For more info, see this article:
    http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities...

    1. If Byerly's business suffer for this it's their own fault....they aren't nearly as good as they used to be. Their bakery is not much better than a Cub or Rainbow....the same crappy lard and sugar frosting on everything. And the deli is mediocre at best. I'm looking forward to more shopping/lunch options in the area. I can't wait to check out the Whole Foods.

      1. I agree that Byerlys has some catching up to do. I live in the area and would rather have a Whole Foods available for those "splurges" than Byerlys.

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        Byerly's
        1601 County Road C W, Saint Paul, MN 55113

        1. you say that like it's a *good* thing...

          4 Replies
          1. re: isfahani

            whole foods is damm expensive however. as for byerlys, their flagship store in saint louis park is still impressive

            1. re: MarkG

              Lund's / Byerly's is more expensive. Last year I was in Whole Foods on Grand Ave and looked at a small box of wild mushrooms. They were $8 or $10. Later that same evening I was in Lund's on Ford Parkway, and the same box of mushrooms was $19. There was also a cheese on offer for a mere $100 / lb.

              Luckily I live in a nexus of grocery stores where Cub, Rainbow, Kowalski's, Whole Foods, Wal*Mart and Super Target are all within 1 mile of me.

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              Byerly's
              1601 County Road C W, Saint Paul, MN 55113

              1. re: semanticantics

                you cant make conclusions about price based on such a small sampling.

                1. re: MarkG

                  Thanks. I walked around the whole store. For what I buy, Lund's is much higher priced than Whole Foods, I just used two examples.

          2. check out this article, Lunds/Byerlys is considering tearing down the France ave Byerlys and rebuilding.

            http://www.startribune.com/business/1...

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            Byerly's
            3777 Park Center Blvd A, St Louis Park, MN

            10 Replies
            1. re: breiter19

              From the Strib article linked above: "We do think the Twin Cities is underserved when it comes to customers looking for natural and organic high-quality products," said Whole Foods spokeswoman Kate Klotz.

              Has Ms. Klotz ever been here? The Twin Cities have a dozen food co-ops as well as numerous grocery stores (both upscale and boxes) with significant offerings of natural and organic products. Maybe she meant there aren't enough Whole Pa^h^hFoods stores for the company's liking. But ... well ... wow.

              1. re: steve_in_stpaul

                agree with this post. from what i understand WFM originally came into the msp market unprepared for the run that the local upscale grocery chains, lunds/byerly's and kowalski's, would give them, let alone the strong co-op presence locally. in recent years rainbow stores have revamped considerably, to the point where i'd consider them competitors for a slice of this market, heck even cub stores are better than average grocers elsewhere in the country. in the burbs, there are the lakewinds etc co-ops, and the fresh and natural chain as well, which certainly goes after the same customer base, and supertargets can pull in lots of folks with the convenience factor. heck i feel like i'm the only one i know sometimes who doesn't have at least one csa. . . so i'm inclined to think that WFM is thinking only in terms of national brands in the msp market, and doesn't know the average local customers' buying habits.

                i don't know the edina grocery scene, it's probably been 10 years since i've been in that byerly's. . . and it probably coulda used a revamp 10 years ago :) if this will make the area's food shopping better, great. just don't understand or appreciate this statement by the WFM spokesperson, either.

                1. re: steve_in_stpaul

                  agree! the coops here are AMAZING.. and, i'd guess better quality as it may be more local ?!
                  i actually like byerlys.. but i guess i like the richfield lunds better. they're local, and that's nice. whole foods is fun.. and however happy i am that featherstone farms (our csa) is a big provider to whole foods through the whole midwest USA, it still makes me sad when i see their squash there..
                  i'll probably go to that whole foods because it is convenient and they have a nice organic store brand for staple itesm, but so does lunds/byerlys. i think whole foods 365 brand is less expensive.. this is tough!

                  1. re: steve_in_stpaul

                    "We do think the Twin Cities is underserved when it comes to customers looking for natural and organic high-quality products,"

                    Laughable really. I agree with the others that we're probably one of the best, if not the best-served market in the US for organic high-quality products...from our beloved co-ops. I'm certain CA has us beat on volume...but I bet they crush MN in WalMart grocery shopping.

                    Perhaps they meant organic products that have been trucked over 500 miles to get here. We have those too, but not in the abundance Whole Foods sells them.

                    What a joke.

                    1. re: Foureyes137

                      We have more co-ops per capita than any other region of the country. Yet I agree the market is not saturated. I would not call it under served in any sense of the word. There's a surprisingly advanced local foods consciousness here that exceeds most areas of the country other than the Bay Area. Whole Foods prints a lot of local food signs, but their meats are not from here, and they do not go with the seasonal flow to the extent that the cooperatives do. Their private label stuff is surprisingly uninspired considering the higher ideals expressed in other areas of the store. WF is a Texas based success story. I think they could probably do well in Edina where their reputation for inflated prices would have less impact and the demand for convenience and health would be well accepted.

                      Whole Foods in the Northern California has close to 20 stores. They are increasingly dominant in the ready to eat/ready to reheat foods category and compete significantly for restaurant market share. Their most modern stores - feature restaurant hot lines and counter service. These foods may be better than frozen or fast food options, but in my experience they do not have as much finesse as good restaurant food ("good restaurant food" is a debatable term).

                      I hear Tim McKee is taking over Whole Foods culinary operations. Just kidding.

                    2. re: breiter19

                      a worker at the edina Byerlys told me they will build the new store muh closer to France Ave and will keep the old store in operation until the new one is ready.

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                      Byerly's
                      3777 Park Center Blvd A, St Louis Park, MN

                      1. re: MarkG

                        It's already on France Ave....are they going to get rid of the parking lot?

                        1. re: Bobannon

                          i assume the parking lot will be laid out differently.

                      2. re: breiter19

                        Any news about the Byerlys in Edina being remodeled? Because of this thread I went to the Byerlys in St. Louis Park and it is MUCH better. At least for cheese and some higher quality dry foods. It would be an improvement if they made the Edina store as nice as the St. Louis Park one. Usually when I go to the Edina Byerlys, I walk out asking myself why I bothered.

                        Edit - found a recent article, still in the planning stage :

                        http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities...

                      3. Because, sometimes, three miles is just too far. I mean, why is this necessary? What can they offer to that market that 238,544 other high-end grocers do not?

                        1. I'll have to say that when I moved here, I was excited to have access to the grocery stores in the area (I'm in South Mpls). Being from Chicago, I couldn't stand the large grocery chains (Dominick's and Jewel). I had to shop at 3-4 different places for different things. That was until Whole Foods replaced their outdated Lincoln Park store with a mammoth flag ship store - the third largest in the country. For a while, I avoided Whole Foods, thinking it really wasn't "my type" of store but that big Chicago store changed my mind and it became my go to store. I bought 90% of my groceries there (still have a bad Diet Coke/Pepsi habit).

                          Now, I go to Kowalski's for a lot of my grocery runs but will hit Cub Foods every other week for the staples. I don't like Byerly's or Lund's. They seem very over priced and the produce quality is very poor. I would love to see a large Whole Foods move to Edina. I'm hoping that it could be my "go-to" store in the future.

                          14 Replies
                          1. re: tyrus

                            I think Kowalski's is higher priced than Byerly's.

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                            Byerly's
                            1601 County Road C W, Saint Paul, MN 55113

                            1. re: tyrus

                              I'll be in the minority on this thread and say that if a WF came into my neck of the woods (S. MPLS), I'd make that my main supermarket. I shopped WF when I lived in both Philly and LA, and always enjoyed their quality. Yeah, they are more expensive than Cub and Rainbow, but I think on the cost/quality curve, they do pretty well - as good as or better quality than Lund's/Byerly's and Kowalski's, but better pricing. While I havn't done or seen official product comparisons, I think they are the best deal, overall, for their quality vs. price.

                              As much as I like the idea of the co-ops, I just can't seem to shop at them on a regular basis. I like the Wedge, but it's a pain in the butt to get to, and the parking there is horrid. Linden Hills market is nice too, but also can be a pain to get to (Linden Hills in general can be a pain to get to). Mississippi Market on W 7th is convenient on my way home from work, but they have a terrible meat and fish selection. I like Seward the best of the bunch, but still don't do much of my shopping there. In general, they can be quite expensive - for me, on the wrong side of the price/quality curve. Few have a great fish selection. Some have little meat selection, no bakery. Yes, there are some good deals on some products, but not enough to do several days worth of shopping there.

                              WF strikes that great balance of having a large selection, high quality, and reasonable prices given the quality. This might be heresy on this board, but I don't get hot and bothered about the "localness" of products. I care about quality, price, and sustainability. If it comes from 20 miles or 500 miles, personally, I don't really care. There are a lot of valid criticisms of the concept of "food miles" as being too simplistic. I look forward to a WF in Edina. And I can see WF Klotz's statement. Yes, the co-op scene in the Twin Cities is excellent, and one of the best in the nation. But in reality, what percentage of the TC shops at co-ops? Does having one of the top co-op scenes in the nation still mean that a tiny percentage of shoppers use co-ops on a regular basis? I don't know the numbers, it would be interesting to see them.

                              1. re: foreverhungry

                                It is interesting, so for procrastination's sake I glanced at the membership numbers for the Seward (8,000+) and the Wedge (14,000+) on their websites. Linden Hills claims 4,000 members, Eastside has 2,700. So that's around 28,700 members of the big Minneapolis co-ops - not a large percentage of the city's population but not tiny either. However, a lot of people use the co-ops who are not members - in the case of the Wedge and the Seward, I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of their shoppers were not members, since they're located in areas where lots of people pass through on the way to/from work or get lunch, etc.

                                So certainly there are a lot of people shopping somewhere other than the co-ops, but this doesn't mean the market is underserved or that people can't get organic products. It just means that for many people, getting organic products is not their most important criterion in choosing a grocery store. I'm not sure why Whole Foods would change their habits much.

                                An Edina WF might well be successful, and more power to those who'd enjoy it, but Klotz's statement remains laughable.

                                1. re: LiaM

                                  Thanks for the numbers. If most members are like those folks that I know that have co-op memberships, they shop at the co-op for fruits and veggies mostly, and dried bulk goods, and then supplement elsewhere. For me, what WF has that most (all?) co-ops don't is the convenience of having a large selection - meaning great selection of produce, meat and seafood, cheese, bakery, dry goods, dairy, and other things - all under one roof. And, having that selection in organic and sustainable offerings, and at reasonable prices given the quality. I don't think that co-ops manage to have it all.

                                  1. re: foreverhungry

                                    I'm not sure that anyone's anecdotal pricing experience is enough to show that WF, a co-op, or Byerly's/Lund's has the best price/quality ratio. I usually can find the same/a similar item at one store or another for less.

                                    But with the possible exception of the cheese department, and maybe health & beauty (can't remember what it looks like), I would put the Wedge up against pretty much any WF I've ever been in. Very extensive deli, larger bakery selection than I see at most co-ops (I try to shop them all), big bulk section (an area where WF falls short, IMHO), and, IME, if there's some "boutique" producer who can supply only one store around here, it's likely to be the Wedge. Yeah, parking is a joke (they need a ramp) and getting around on a weekend is, at best, leisurely.

                                    But I hate manuevering past all the displays WF stuffs in the aisles, weekend shopping (at least at the St. Paul WF) is no less busy than at the Wedge, and I really think WF could make more of an effort to source local organic foods.

                                    More power to WF if they can make a go of it. I suspect one or two of the new stores will do well and the others will hang on desperately, especially if this economy does not improve.

                                    1. re: steve_in_stpaul

                                      I hate how crowded St.-P Whole Foods, but it's true that most of their products are of very high quality, though. But, I agree, you do have to almost completely surrender on the idea of eating local. Their eating local labeling feels like white-washing to me, as in, if there's a product that happens to be local, they'll highlight it, but they don't seem to be putting any significant effort into buying locally. Even their wild rice isn't from MN.

                                      ~TDQ

                                  2. re: LiaM

                                    memberships are by household, not individual, so your number is on the low side. the other factor is that people can have multiple co-op memberships-- e.g. a miss market membership (near their work), and a seward membership (near their home).

                                    1. re: soupkitten

                                      You can be a member at one co-op and expect a certain amount of reciprocity (on member prices) at another. You don't get the dividends, though, on purchases from the other co-op, just the price break.

                                      ~TDQ

                                  3. re: foreverhungry

                                    I love Seward, but their fish selection is pretty terrible. They say it's from Coastal, but it's just easier to go to Coastal on your way to/from Seward and have the bigger selection and better service.

                                    ~TDQ

                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                      That's where I see the value of something like Whole Foods. I think they do fill a niche. For folks that really want to emphasis local, and obviously for folks that are fans of the co-op structure, then the area co-ops are great. And yes, Minnesota, and the Twin Cities specifically, is blessed with an excellent co-op landscape, as new branches pop up and entire buildings are redesigned.

                                      But what most (none?) co-ops don't offer is convenience. On the other side of the "quality" market, at the same level of quality, is Lund's/Byerlys and Kowalski's. Those stores tend to have larger selections, you can do all your shopping under one roof, and they at least try to have local or organic offerings. But they are very pricey; the quality on some items isn't so great; and their offerings of sustainable/local/organic isn't huge. But, on the other hand, L/B and Kow do better on the quality, organic, and local offerings than Cub/Rainbow/etc.

                                      WF, for me, slips in the middle between co-ops and the local high end stores. WF lets you do all your shopping under one roof, has very good quality, and has lots of organic and some local. The parking at the SP WF can be a zoo on many weekends, and after work, but I'd contend it's still easier to navigate than the Wedge's. The Wedge seems always a zoo, whereas I've always been able to find a spot at the SP WF within a minute of getting there. The Uptown WF is a breeze - bigger lot.

                                      The Wedge seems fairly complete, but even at that, the meat and seafood selection at WF is bigger (at least that's what I remember). I'd say the seafood at WF is second best after Coastal's. Prices on many meat items at WF are on par with L/B and Kow, or lower, but at better quality.

                                      I'm not shilling for WF, but for folks that want to get a few days of shopping done at one place, want very good quality, and want some measure of organic & sustainable, WF fills that niche very well.

                                      On the "local foods" front, there have been some really good recent studies that show that local isn't always the most sustainable - meaning that food miles isn't always a good measure of sustainability. In one striking example, a study found that for consumers in England, New Zealand lamb was actually more sustainable than lamb raised on the British Isles, in spite of the vast difference in actual food miles. The idea of "local foods" is one that is complicated. Sometimes 500 miles away is more sustainable than 50 miles away.

                                      1. re: foreverhungry

                                        Now that Seward has addressed its parking lot, I find it as convenient as WF, unless I'm cooking something pretty ethnic OR I need seafood, in which case WF is a better choice. I'm fortunate enough to frequently be near both Coastal Seafoods regularly, so it's not inconvenient to me to stop there in addition to Seward.

                                        My problem with Whole Foods, versus our local co-ops, is that it's all whitewashing at WF. WF have no geniune commitment that I can tell to local sourcing. They do go out of their way to label things as "local" when they are, but that's just marketing, not a true commitment. They should drop the pretense and just be the place that brings you the best of the best-- whether that's from up the road or across the continent--, and maintains high standards when it comes to fair trade and other social issues.

                                        The co-ops on the other hand do have a genuine commitment to local sourcing, though I have to say I got some fantastic fruit from Seward in winter.

                                        For me, eating local AND in season is pretty complex . It's getting your food at its peak and about supporting local and independent businesses and artisans, as well as making the best decision for the planet. I don't mind supporting artisans from afar, either. Also, if local businesses are going to crazy extremes to raise something that shouldn't really thrive here, it's probably not that sustainable or delicious. Eg., local hothouse tomatoes in winter.

                                        I do shop at Whole Foods when I want something that's not local, packaged goods, personal care products etc.. I get most of my meat directly from the producer in bulk and during summer and fall, I have a CSA. So, really, in summer, I'm picking up dairy, grains, seafood. I shop at WF at lot more in winter.

                                        Have you read EWG's Meat Eaters Guide to Climate Change? (Poorly named, by the way, as It has some interesting things to say about dairy, too, so is relevant even to vegetarians, too. Vegans can skip it).

                                        ~TDQ

                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                          I haven't seen "Meat Eaters Guide to Climate Change", but it looks interesting. I'm hoping to take a deeper look tonight. For sure, meat production is a large contributor to anthropogenic CO2 and methane, as well as land, water, and air degradation. But as you point out in buying from the producer in bulk, not all meat has the same footprint. That's why I'm a little leery of the "local" labeling for foods.

                                          In theory, if everything was equal, closer is better. But all things aren't the same, and there are many examples where 1000 miles away is actually more sustainable than 50 miles away, because of differences in production and transport. Then other factors come into play - do you want to support local economy? Is there an issue of "terroir"? It can get very complicated, very, which is why the "local" label, for me, doesn't mean a whole lot. And, in the end, the product has to be high quality. While folks think this goes without saying, the locavore movement makes it easy to market lower quality products, only because they are local. But if that quality, at a reasonable price, comes from 1000 miles away, and is still sustainable (however "sustainable") is defined, that's what I'm interested in.

                                          And I think that's what WF tries to do. Because they are national, they can't emphasis local to the same extent that a co-op can. But they can emphasis the greater goal of sustainable - regardless of the food miles involved. Because they're national, and because they carry a lot of weight, they can influence producers to be more sustainable, which in the end means more than food miles. It's hard for a co-op to have that large an influence. But what a co-op can do is find the local producer that is sustainable - and not just local - and provide a great outlet for their products.

                                            1. re: foreverhungry

                                              I think we're saying some of the same things about the complex issues folded up in "eating local" and sustainability and we mostly agree, except that I think you're saying Whole Foods "can't emphasize" local the way co-ops can. And I'm saying if they can't (or won't or think they shouldn't) do it , they shouldn't pretend they're doing it: they should just drop it. Instead, they should focus on what they're good at, as I said above in the case of WF, "just be the place that brings you the best of the best-- whether that's from up the road or across the continent--, and maintains high standards when it comes to fair trade and other social issues."

                                              ETA: Also, as far as "local" is concerned, it also depends on what kind of community you want to live in. Do you want to live in a place with lots of small, family-run farms where they sell real food to real people? (Have you ever been to one of those farming communities where it seems nothing is made available to locals: instead, it's all shipped out to big agribusiness? those places make me sad). With local artisans? With a robust food culture? With a rich culinary heritage? If so, then you have to support those kinds of businesses, and the businesses that showcase them (as the co-ops can, as you say). That's not quite the same as sustainable, though it ought to go hand to hand with it if it's done right, in my opinion.

                                              ~TDQ

                                  4. Lunds and Byerlys have so dumbed down the quality of their meat dept. Their beef -- even the expensive cuts -- is simply dreadful.

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                                    Byerly's
                                    1601 County Road C W, Saint Paul, MN 55113

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: SarahInMinneapolis

                                      Lund's and Byerly's have dumbed down everything from quality to selection. The TC grocery market needs some serious shaking up. Cub and Rainbow are grim to shop in. I like Whole Foods fairly well, but have gotten spoiled meat there more than once and they are not cheap. The Wedge is quality and often well-priced, but too small to carry enough stuff. Kowalski's can be pricey, but they are trying hard to please, unlike Lund's/Byerly's.

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                                      Byerly's
                                      1601 County Road C W, Saint Paul, MN 55113

                                    2. Whole Foods is also moving into the old Circuit City in Minnetonka at Plymouth Rd and 394.

                                      5 Replies
                                        1. re: splatgirl

                                          I have heard this too. The Edina location is well under way.

                                          1. re: suburban_mom

                                            Minnetonka Whole Foods grand opening Oct 12. They have a FB page: https://www.facebook.com/WFMMinnetonka

                                            1. re: GeeBeeEmm

                                              Thanks for the update. I noticed it a couple of weeks ago by accident on my way to Haskells or something. I think that location is going to be tough, traffic and parking-wise.

                                              1. re: splatgirl

                                                the edina location wont open till spring 2012