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Whole Foods - moved from Ontario board

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  • Berto's Belly Feb 6, 2004 12:18 PM
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Why in god's name do people pay that kind of money to shop there? Its beyond the matter of affordability....its just downright robbery. Please, someone help me understand.

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  1. ...because I can get stuff there I can't anywhere else (well, I probably could find what I'd like somewhere else in the city, but not without undue effort), everything's trans-fat-free and their turkey sausage pizza is aces.

    1. The prices are outrageous for many items. Still every time I shop in a store downtown I get a shock. I'm told the rent is high for down town locations.

      However, I have been forced to trek into Toronto from the outer Scarberia from time to time simply because no one else has what I want. I'm a chef and even I am impressed with the quality and brands that can be found there and not at your regular stores.

      When I go to the check out at the Sobys or Walmart near 401 and Morningside I'm lucky if they have two cashiers on duty and that any of them have the skill of speed rather than hunt , peck and call for a price check. The lines often go around the store! Less employees but when I go to whole foods-WOW Service! People around who actually help you find what you want and usually know what your talking about. Not some kid saying ya it's on isle 5 and then runs away fast should I return empty handed. That is IF you can find someone. Sobys isn't much cheaper and I get a lot less selection or assistance.

      And lets face it. You can go to MacDonald's, you can go to a firkin Pub or you can go to North 44 and get a burger. They are all meat. They all have a bun and toppings right? Yet it's a completely different experience.

      -----
      North 44
      2537 Yonge St., Toronto, ON M4P 2H9, CA

      1. Some things at Whole Foods are outrageously priced, but some really aren't bad. For example, I find the take out hot dinner to be a pretty good value. It's been a while since I've been so I forget the exact price, but I think it's about $8.99 for a meat, starch, and veg (eg. beef bourguinon, potatoes and green beans) which, IMHO, is better than pizza or Swiss Chalet if you need a quick takeout meal.

        Also, as other posters have mentioned, the selection and quality are great (though I would never do my primary grocery shopping there). Plus, there's free parking.

        2 Replies
        1. re: torontofoodiegirl

          I like a number of items in their "house" brand - 365, and think they are well priced. And, at least here in New York, their dairy items are surprisingly well priced, including butter.

          1. re: MMRuth

            I agree with MMRuth...I love their 365 white albacore tuna, firm and white, good quality...and I love their 365 frozen organic wild blueberries. Also, you can pull up their sales flyers on-line each Wednesday to see what possibly good buys they have each week. Plus they have weekend specials...scored some mighty good crabcakes from their seafood dept. @ $5.00 a piece this past Saturday. Some things are really a good buy there, I find.

        2. Cheeses!

          2 Replies
          1. re: mrbozo

            In my opinion, cheeses are exrtemely overpriced at the WF.
            A comparable selection of cheeses at much more reasonable prices at Scheffler's Deli, St Lawrence Market.

            1. re: carissima

              hmmm...well they recently had their 365 brand organic herbed goat cheese on sale for $2.99!!! and sold out quickly! loved it!

          2. I don't get it either.

            DT

            1. Since the low carb craze, several of my favorite local bakeries have closed down. So I think of Whole Paycheck as mostly a bakery. I enter, make a fast sweep of the produce department, and then continue to the bakery chanting "do not pass go. do not spend two hundred dollars",. For some reason or other I get weird looks. :) I head directly to the registers with my baked goods and maybe some fruit or veggies, and get the heck out. That place scares me. The aisles are narrow and the shoppers are aggressive. The best part of shopping there is the exit.

              1. Not a clue. They're overpriced and not worth it. Here they charge outrageously for parking, or at least are housed in a building whose owner charges exorbitantly for parking. And still people fight to shop there.

                Incredible, ain't it?

                1. I make a quick stop there as part of my weekly shopping trip - mostly to check out the fruits and veggies, which I find are better quality and frequently a better price than my local grocery store. So until my farm stand has the local stuff... :)
                  I like the quality of their fish, but wait to buy on sale, because the prices are higher.
                  And the bulk steel cut oats at $1.59/lb ($1.89??) beat out every other price I've seen. McCains' can is $6 for what, 2lbs?

                  1. Whole Foods is out of the way for me, but completely worth it for refilling my spice drawer every 2-3 months. Dried herbs and spices from their bulk section cost about a tenth what I would pay for stale/faded packaged spices at other stores. When I making a spice run I also stock up on flour, grains, and dried beans from the bulk section. I usually give the produce section a quick survey - somethings are outrageously expensive (local tomatoes for $4/pound when I can get the same at the farmer's market for $2.50) but there are some good deals - a 5 pound bag of organic apples at WF usually costs 10 cents less than 5 pounds of conventional apples at the "cheap" grocery store in town. 365 brand foods are generally very good, and often equal or lower in price than comparable name brand natural/organic products elsewhere.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mpjmph

                      mp, I also buy organic apples from WF...didn't mention it in my post ... Publix does offer organic apples but right now they are looking old and mealy...am still able to find better ones at WF. I need to leave the apples alone for a few months, though--they really are not in season.

                    2. I'll defend WF a bit, like several other posters I find that there are certain items, especially in the 365 line, that are competitivelly priced. Plus they have items that are difficult to impossible to find elsewhere, like tiny blocks of raw milk Parmesan and the full assortment of Muir Glen tomatoes.

                      But one thing that works to our advantage in the States is that where there is a Trader Joes in the same area, WF tends to match/beat prices on the same items found at TJs. So that does help with the pricing on a few things.