If you know anything about me, you know I love a good grocery store or food market. And since we moved to Moraga, CA over two years ago, I have been waiting for the Lafayette Whole Foods to open. Two torturous years of driving past the almost empty parking lot, looking longingly at the sign that said "Coming Soon". I know you are thinking, Whole Foods, whatevs', but as a company, and as a store they really push the boundaries of what a great market can be.
And finally, the Lafayette store has opened its glorious doors, so I can shop there whenever I wish. Based on our Moraga locale, I haven't been able to get my Whole Foods shop on. However, I've always enjoyed the experience whenever I managed to visit one of the other locations in the Bay Area. The fact that this one is so close, means I will be a regular, for sure.
The beautiful layout is like a grocery store version of an amusement park (if you are a geek like me), with gorgeous produce displays, a vast array of prepared foods, a bakery, specialty cheeses, bodycare products, vitamins and supplements. However, its the extras that really get me excited. The bulk food offerings are endless, including beans, grains, nuts, dried fruits, flour, and a ton of trail mixes to choose from. The "wall of granola" as my daughter called it, contained one granola combination after another. You can even make your own peanut or almond butter. Or fill your own jar of honey, agave nectar, or syrup.
And it doesn't stop at the food. There is a Cork ReHarvest program, which allows you to dispense of all your wine corks (of which I have many) in a specially marked drop-off box inside the store. The corks are then sent off to businesses who recycle and repurpose the cork. In the parking lot, there are even several spaces for folks driving electric cars to plug in.
The store has Wi-Fi, and tables both inside and out to enjoy lunch, or a coffe. An incredibly knowledgable staff in every department. Every time I go in, I discover something else I love about this place.
Grocery shopping has to be done every week in my house, or lunches are pitiful, dinners are lacking, and there are no snacks to be had when you get that craving for something really tasty. With all the unusual ingredients they carry, I'm super inspired as a cook, to challenge myself in the kitchen. At the same time, the prepared foods are delicious, with rotisserie chicken, salad fixings, hot soup, Indian curries, and even a burrito bar. Either way, I'm covered.
Obvioulsy I cannot say enough ( I may need to declare myself the unofficial, official Whole Foods nut, and spokesperson), so I snapped some artsy pictures with my iPhone to share with you. Happy shopping!
You don't need to be a food stylist to get a pretty shot of the produce here.
The famous "Wall Of Granola".
A crazy selection of eggs. Cage free, free range, organic, from chickens raised in an ayurvedic spa. Brown eggs, white eggs, whatever you want.
Check out these gorgeous fish. These are not kept behind glass. You can poke one if you want, but I resisted because that would be rude.
Honey for your honey... agave nectar both light and dark, and maple syrup.
Just some scallions, but aren't they lovely all stacked up like this?
And finally, Mama's favorite, "The Wall Of Wine".