A love letter to Whole Foods Market

Dear Whole Foods Market,

I can’t believe you’ve finally come to Iowa.

I’ve loved you since I first walked through your doors in California in 1999. I loved your fresh flowers, your salad bar, your little individual to-go servings of crème brulee.

I’ve tracked you down from coast to coast: Texas, New York, Illinois, Ohio, Alabama, Colorado, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Virginia. I’ve shopped in your St. Paul, Minn., store so many times I feel like a regular.

Your Whole Foods Market Cookbook contains some of my favorite and most-prepared recipes. Your salad bar, deli, bakery, cheese counter, and bulk food section have gotten me through countless road trips and hiking adventures. Your produce section is consistently photo-worthy.

I once walked to one of your Chicago stores while I was in town for an editors’ conference. During the lunch break, other editors stayed within a block or two of the hotel for lunch. I put on my walking shoes and walked nearly a mile to your store on West Huron. It was worth it. Your salad bar, deli, and bakery greeted me with fresh, flavorful, healthy foods. I sat in the dining area near the window and watched the people walk by. I felt like a local.

I’ve likewise walked ridiculous distances to locate your stores in New Orleans and Boston. But it was all part of the adventure. Some would say I’m obsessed with you. A stalker. A groupie. A fanatic. I just say I’m an admirer.

You seem to understand that I’m a vegetarian (and sometimes vegan). You label all of your prepared foods so I know what’s in them. You even mark your deli items with “vegetarian” and “vegan” symbols.

You have great coffee. When you’re in a state that allows it, you always have a lovely selection of beer and wine. You have that “365” label that I can count on for a lower-priced item without sacrificing quality. You have those veggie chips that look like packing peanuts but taste so wonderful on a long car ride. You do the best pico de gallo.

I visited your new West Des Moines store yesterday. It was strange. I’ve always had to come to you, and now you’ve come to me. I hardly knew how to act. You’re in Iowa. I’ll be able to run to you for a quick kale salad or loaf of cranberry-walnut bread in less than an hour.

Welcome, welcome, welcome.


4 comments so far

  1. Daphne Christensen on

    WOW! Thanks for the awesome blog post! We appreciate it, and posted a link to our Facebook. Thanks again!

  2. Jen Rothmeyer (EmSun) on

    I’ve got a four-hour round-trip drive to make it and I am so, so, so jealous!

  3. Linda on

    DITTO!!! I too have tracked Whole Foods down whenever I am in one of their cities! Now, when I travel….. my luggage will be lighter for the return trip home! 🙂

  4. Mollie @Sprinkles of Life on

    The new store is sooo cool! I didn’t expect to enjoy quite so much but it is just awesome! I’d only been to one in Chicago previously. While I loved their selection, I wasn’t that impressed and blown away. Maybe I’m being biased but the Iowa store is just beautiful!

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