Whole Foods: What shoppers said

Eye On Real Estate

January 22, 2014 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Even the shoppers who think Whole Foods is too expensive had good things to say about the new Gowanus store. Listen in …

* “I think it’s awesome,” said Cozette Davis, who came by car from her Crown Heights home with her husband Jukorie. “It’s worth the drive to get better foods.”

Until now, the couple took the train to shop at the Union Square Whole Foods, which limited how much they could carry home. They only go to their neighborhood Food Bazaar for items like canned goods to fill their pantry.

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They’re faithful Whole Foods shoppers though “my personal stance on Whole Foods in general is they take people to the bank,” Cozette said.

Her parents in Los Angeles grow their own collard greens. His grandmother in North Carolina grows pecans and vegetables. They feel it’s painful to pay Whole Foods $2.99 per bunch for collard greens.

On their trip to Gowanus Whole Foods Saturday, they stocked up on 1.5-liter bottles of water. Whole Foods’ house brand is priced at 50 cents per bottle.

* “It’s for my kids,” said Paul Bishop of Fort Greene, who doesn’t want his two daughters eating foods that are genetically modified or have growth hormones in them.

Before the Gowanus supermarket opened, he would shop at the Whole Foods in the Bowery – it was possible to find a parking space on nearby streets.   

* “It’s for random things you can’t get at the Coop – like sliced deli meat,” said a woman who shopped at the Whole Foods with her husband and child on Saturday. “It’s nice – but very pricey and very crowded.”

She wouldn’t give her name because she didn’t want other members of the famed Park Slope Food Coop to know she was doing some of her shopping at Whole Foods.

The coop is known for its strict policy of requiring members to work two and three-quarter hours per month for 20% to 40% savings on groceries.

* “We’re fans,” Park Slope resident Susan Fenichell, who is not a Coop member, said of the new Whole Foods. “We’re very ‘pro.’ They’re very responsive to the neighborhood.”

She used to drive to Fairway – and is happy to be able to walk to the supermarket now. She has driven once to Whole Foods, though – in heavy rain – because there are shelters to park cars under.

* “I love it,” said Heather Doss, another Park Slope resident. She walks to Whole Foods for “grab-and-go convenience” items while continuing to shop at her neighborhood Associated and C-Town.

On Saturday, her choices were already-made mac and cheese and a salad, along with ground turkey that was on sale which she planned to cook for dinner, and some bottled water that was on sale, three bottles for $3.

She called the supermarket’s nickname “Whole Paycheck” a misconception.

“It makes sense for someone who’s not used to shopping in New York City. It’s more expensive than Midwestern groceries,” she said. “But for New York groceries, it’s very comparable.

“Can you coupon-shop for savings like at Pathmark? No. But is Pathmark going to be the same quality of food? No.”

And by the way, numerous writers have gone shopping at Third and 3rd and had their say online. Our favorite, by Anna Merlan of the Village Voice, was hilarious and thoughtful. 

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