As many of you know, Whole Foods will be opening in Virginia Beach tomorrow 10/24. Monday evening I had the chance to tour the building and learn a little bit more about what Whole Foods will have to offer our area. It would be an understatement to say I was impressed. Our tour was divided by introducing you to different areas in the store. For those of you who are new to Whole Foods, here is a rundown of the sections:
- Fresh Fruits: Fresh cut fruits, guacamole, and salsa will be made every single day. You can sample items anytime you would like; simply grab a team member and they will slice the fruit for a sample. Whole Foods is also a certified organic grocer which means they can offer organic cut fruit (most others stores can not do this)..
- “Cooking Virginia Beach” section of the store that offers a HUGE variety of grains and seasonings + Coach Luke is available on site and via email to help with recipes. This section is to help you explore new foods.
- Seafood Section: There is fresh seafood deliveries 6 days a week. They also are passionate about protecting endangered seafood items and will not sell fish that have a “red” label (meaning there is very limited supply and risk to this fish). They will cut the fish however you would like and will even marinate it for you at no extra fee.
- Meat Section: There is a 24 foot long case of fresh meat including 8 varieties of sausage. They also have a dry aged beef section that everyone “oohed and ahhed” over. I of course was excited about the chicken part that was divided by all the parts you could possibly want to eat of a chicken.
- Wine/Beer/Cheese Section: Over 30 Local wines; over 500 beers that you can buy in many quantities-even single cans! There is a HUGE selection of cheese.
- Bakery: The bakery has fresh baked breads, cakes, cupcakes, and cookies which are cooked on premises. You can order personalized flavors when giving 48 hours notice and you can have writing added any day right on the spot. There is a nice selection of gluten free options and a gluten free specialist will be here Sunday noon to 3 to help with any questions. This will be my favorite part of the store to hate.
- Whole Body Mini Store: There are soaps, vitamins, and supplements available that have no artificial coloring, chemicals, or animal testing. They also make their own bath salts and scrubs! We tried the “green juice” mixed with apple juice and water and it was DELICIOUS!
- Prepared Food Dept: This has everything including 4 “bars” that have salad, soup, and hot meal items. There is also a deli section and you can order pizza, sandwiches, burgers and more by placing orders at kiosks and picking them up right there! The brick ovens really made me crave pizza for dinner!
- The Pub: Coffee and beer bar that opens at 7am. Coffee is 100% organic from the beans to the creamer! 8 beers are on tap, 7 are local and 1 is a cider. There is also bar food and waffles offered at the pub and there is inside and outside seating. This was of course my husband’s favorite part of the tour.
Now many of you may be concerned about the cost of Whole Foods. I was definitely checking this out for you! Of course, you do pay for quality and organic items. However, I found items to be very comparable to what we see at other grocers for high quality organic food. Also, there were some money saving facts I was sure to find out for you:
- Whole Foods will have “Everyday Deals” that are items that are everyday low prices (not sale prices). These items are organic and conventional lines of these foods. They will be marked with blue labels.
- On Fridays they will have one daily deal. This Friday 10/26 all packaged soup (except chili) will be BOGO. Next Friday 11/2 you can bring in a bar of soap and exchange it for an organic bar.
- Yellow tags are sales tags.
- Case discounts are offered on everything but beer. This includes yogurt (which is currently 5/$5) and can be combined with any Whole Foods coupons.
- Whole Foods coupons are available in books at the front of the store.
- There is a 100% guarantee on their items. You don’t like it, bring it back and get your money refunded.
- Opening Day 10/24 You can get their “green juice” at 50% off! We were able to sample this and it was delicious!
- Happy Hour will be at the Pub Monday-Friday 4-7pm and pints of craft beer will be $1 off. No growlers of beer will be over $20 for the opening selection of beers.
- There is a value section in the seafood department that can help you get the seafood you crave but at a lower price. There will also be a huge seafood circus opening day in the parking lot with lots of demonstrations and samples.
- Whole Foods has it’s own brand (365) that is very affordable.
We were given an abundance of information about Whole Foods and it was all good! Honestly, the best way for you to learn about Whole Foods and see all that it has to offer is to simply visit the store. I highly recommend going Wednesday for opening day-there will be A LOT of promotions and giveaways happening! I look forward to hearing what you think about the store and hope you let me know your thoughts via email, comments on this post, or comments of