Whole Foods has been offering “behind the scenes” grocery store tours, and since we all know that I’m a sucker for Whole Foods, free stuff, and the chance to take a lot of pictures of anything, it was the perfect storm of opportunity. There were about 25 people on my tour today of the Ocean Ave. Whole Foods, which honestly surprised me. I understand that there are a lot of blogs out there and we all need content, but most of these folks actually looked like they lived in the neighborhood and weren’t writing blogs. Oh, wait a second…
The Whole Foods grocery store on Ocean is about 26,000 square feet, which makes it one of the bigger WF grocery stores in San Francisco. Our cruise director (who was not a perky blonde named Jennifer) didn’t know if it would be the Noe Valley or the Haight Ashbury Whole Foods store that wins the claim of smallest Whole Foods in the city, but she thought it was the Noe store. This Whole Foods felt similar in size (to me, at least) to the Potrero Hill location, but with higher ceilings, better light, and cell phone coverage throughout the store!
The layout is pretty much what you’d expect, with all the regular specialty departments including booze, meat, seafood, bakery, cheese, hot bar, sandwhiches, coffee, etc. The Ocean Avenue Whole Foods store is the first one in the city to use LED lighting for accents/spots, so that is kind of cool (in an energy efficient nerd kind of way). They have a pretty good bulk selection, and I learned that when purchasing from their bulk selection you can bring in your own container, have it weighed by any of the checkers (or customer service), and then fill it up with your bulk whatever. Much cooler than the plastic bags, even if the plastic bags are compostable.
No word about bike racks, but there is a garage underneath with parking for about 60 cars. The garage is – by far – the most spacious Whole Foods parking lot in town, with spots so large that they’d likely try and fit three cars into one of them at the Pacific Heights location.
It’s no surprise, but the Whole Foods on Ocean Ave. is an excellent addition to the neighborhood, and I hope the residents of Westwood Park, Ingleside, Ingleside Terraces and Balboa Park enjoy the heck out of it!
Enjoy the photos, click on any for a larger image and to start a slideshow.