You guys, the new Whole Foods that will be approximately 4 minutes from my house opens tomorrow! I don’t know if anyone actually understands my excitement about this. Well, maybe my husband because I announce to him daily the countdown until it opens. I also drag him on le tour de Whole Foods, aka we visit Whole Foods in every city we go on vacation too. Remember earlier this year we were at the flagship store in Austin (talk about an amazing Whole Foods), followed up by a quick trip to the San Antonio store for smoothies and snacks.
Currently the closest Whole Foods is about 40 minutes away and that is when you don’t get stuck behind a house driving across the causeway.
(That totally happened yesterday as I was driving over to Tampa)
So, where was I, oh yes, no longer getting stuck in traffic to drive to Whole Foods! Well the new location is probably 1.5 miles from my house so Miss Hadley and I will be there often for lunch. In fact I already have lunch plans on Wednesday to check out the salad bar and prepared foods.
If you choose to take the prepared foods route you enter the store and head to your right. First stop is the coffee and juice bar. Which we are big fans of, grab a delicious cup of coffee while you shop or just a drink to go. You then move on to the salad bar, pizza, DONUTS, and prepared foods. (Obviously I’m a little excited about the donuts, since our local donut shop closed down recently.)
On the tour last night you could tell everyone was genuinely passionate about their job. Like this guy, who clearly loves his pizza. But, he’s not alone we all loved it to.
I tried the vegetarian pizza that they offered up to us last night. It was loaded with mozzarella, mushrooms, pesto, and tomatoes. This Whole Foods is trying out their new pizza in the Clearwater market. New dough, new sauce, it didn’t disappoint.
Also due to our areas love of Greek food there is an entire Greek station. Soulvaki, falafel, tabouli, you can find it all in this little section of the store. We got to sample the Socra Cheese fries and the Greek Salad. Both delicious and all very reasonably priced. I recommend checking it out once they open.
Just in case your husband has to tag along with you to do the grocery shopping, just cart him over to the bar towards the back of the store and continue on with your shopping. Yes, you heard that right, a bar! My husband usually doesn’t complain about going to Whole Foods because they always have a great diverse local beer selection. I can leave him in the beer cooler and pick him up when I’ve gathered the groceries. And I know this bar will not disappoint. They have 16 beers on tap with 9 of them being from local breweries. I saw quite a few from Cigar City and two different 7th Sun beers. They will be offering beer flights, cheese flights, and a few different days of specials at the bar, plus there is a TV for game watching. (Also there is wine for those of us who aren’t into beer). Want a different wine than what they offer, no worries, just purchase a bottle in the store and they will open it for you to enjoy at the bar.
There is quite the selection of cheese and olives, of course all your normal Whole Foods grocery aisles, then my favorite part of the store, the bulk area. Perfect for when you just need a little bit of something and don’t want to purchase a whole package. I find this to be a great way to shop at Whole Foods. If you need a specialty flour for one certain recipe that you will never use again, I bet you can find it in the bulk aisle.
I had to snap a picture in the meat section of this for my husband.
He is a big fan of buffalo burgers and I’m thinking they might become a weekly occurrence now that he knows where to get the meat.
A lot of their seafood is locally sourced, you can “meet” the fishermen on this sign by the seafood counter.
Finally, how could we not talk about all this lovely produce. You can find the common and the unique here.
I’m so excited for our local store to open tomorrow. I remember when plans were first announced last year that Whole Foods was coming to Countryside Mall, it felt like September 2014 would never get here. But it’s here!
Want to join me on opening day? The store officially opens at 9 am on Wednesday the 24th (that’s tomorrow) with a bread breaking ceremony. The first 500 customers will receive gift cards ranging from $5 to one lucky person whose will be worth $500. As my husband says, that’s a lot of beer. See you there!