I grew up shopping with my mom at health food stores, and once I settled into raising our family I continued that tradition with Whole Foods. One of my favorite things about visiting Whole Foods is that taking the kids there feels more like an outing and less like a chore. This is purposeful and Whole Foods goes out of their way to create a relaxing, communal vibe, from the bar where you can order a tap beer or glass of wine, to the coffee bar, soup bar, organic salad bar, juice bar and in store bakery. I can personally vouch that the flatbread pizza is amazing. I had three slices!
Lola and I were lucky enough to attend a gathering to celebrate and promote today's opening of the new Whole Foods in Del Mar. Lola loves the place, and says ' I can taste the passion in their food. ' = that is a direct, unscripted quote! She sampled the meat selection, hand carved and locally sourced 100% grass fed beef, chicken and turkey, as did I, and DELISH, as Ever would say. I really love the emphasis put on supporting local suppliers, and this is store wide. Almost all of the items at the sandwich bar are locally sourced; many of the local suppliers are listed by name in signs around the store.
The variety of prepared food offered is staggering and down the line delicious- Lola and I sampled sushi, pulled pork and coleslaw, olive bread, crescent roll, spinach dip, chips and strawberry water. There are Korean, Japanese and Chinese foods offered.
The Trifecta Tavern is the bar and is the perfect place to scoot in after work and have one glass of organic, sulfite-free wine before shopping and making your way home. I had a cup of coffee from the bar and didn't even use creamer- it was smooth and the perfect finishing touch to the food I had eaten.
Whole Foods has sections of foods specifically for dietary restrictions such as vegetarians, gluten free or dairy free. Their website gives a comprehensive list of those sections as well as ideas for meal planning. Any product you buy from Whole Foods meets their own standards for environmental, animal and human health- they've even created the Whole Foods Eco-Scale, which is a rating system for cleaning products since there is no federal guideline mandating ingredient listing on packaging. In addition, they have a 5 Step Animal Welfare Standard listing that states the specific conditions that must be upheld for animals.
They have a satisfyingly diverse array of beauty and body products that are paraben and chemical free, such as deodorants, shampoo conditioners, lotions, makeup, wrinkle creams and more- perfect for me because I go out of my way to buy products that are paraben and chemical free.
The decor inside the store is lovely- it's the best looking grocery I've ever been inside, incorporating elements from the beach community around, and with a candy aisle that looks straight out of a candy store, storage floor to ceiling in beautifully organized and tempting candies and cookies.
For the opening, Del Mar Whole Foods will be donating 5% of the day's net to the Del Mar Schools Education Foundation, focusing on a curriculum program that supports arts, science, technology and music in schools.