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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

NYC Vegan Tour: Whole Foods Union Square

Do yr Whole Foods have signs up that say "NO PHOTOGRAPHS???" Because I felt like such a rebel sneaking these photos. However, that's partially why some of them came out kinda crappy.
Welcome to where I spend way too much money and time, though I should mention that I go here because it's close to work - there are probably way better/more interesting options at other locations:

The surrounding environs

Bulk section bins

                             Specialty raw items - chocolates, snack bars, granola, crackers, etc.

more raw snacks - mostly nuts, dried fruit, superfoods, a couple more snack bars: all from one particular brand
       Protein powders. Vega, Amazing Grass, Sunwarrior (? maybe? It could be a different brand)

                                                                         Superfoods

                                                         yadda yadda, I never go here

                       Salad bar. Pretty standard. I wonder if anyone ever takes those raw onions.

I usually make my own salads from the bar, but when I buy something prepared, it's often this: Super Biotic salad with wheatberries, roasted beets, roasted sweet potatoes, walnuts, blackberries, arugula, ginger-carrot dressing. I really ought to try to recreate this.

Local/prepared grab n' go stuff. This is where I find my raw krauts and kimchee, also the macro sushi! On the bottom is some Ethiopian and Mediterranean goods.

           Tofu, tempeh, seitan, shirataki noodles, fake meats, vegan cheese, miso, and the like.

A small selection of produce. These guys must've been investors cuz I ran into them looking all businessy all over the store and then I looked suspicious and hid my camera. No more photos!
Oh, also, I didn't buy anything while in WF, in trying to keep with my no-spendy-money plan! But that was more because I had errands to run and didn't want to lug food all over town more than because I knew I shouldn't spend any money. But still.

30 comments:

  1. I can't believe they have a no photographs sign! That's crazy! I don't remember seeing one in my WFs. I guess Union Square can get away with it because it's so awesome. It's by far my favorite Whole Foods location but I never get to go. It's been years probably.

    Anyway, thanks for being all rebellious and taking the pics! Every single section looks amazing and huge. I am jealous of the grab n go stuff. We used to have a lot more of these items but they stopped carrying them. Wah! Thanks for the tour!!

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    1. I think it's more for customers' privacy, which maybe does make sense for the USQ area since there are a lot of tourists around there. But still.

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  2. There isn't a sign here, but maybe we're not supposed to? Ha! Oh well. I always used my phone, as though I was texting or something!

    I LOVE seeing all that there is in your Whole Foods! So cool! It's amazing to me how different each store can appear. I'm not sure I could pick a favorite section, but the citrus bins are quite impressive, as is the raw section!

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    1. That's smart to use yr phone. I have an ooollllddd phone which just barely takes pictures. If I used that you guys probably wouldn't be able to discern anything, ha!
      I should have taken more pics of the produce but those dudes scared me. The citrus bins are huge at this time of year, but there's a lot of good stuff. I just figured that part was pretty typical at any WF.

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  3. WHEN DID THEY GET THOSE BULK BINS? Oh my god, I had the hardest time finding any bulk bins anywhere in all of NYC, and now they're just casually hanging out in the middle of the Union Square Whole Foods? MAN.

    Okay, I'm done hyperventilating.

    I remember seeing some dude get so frustrated with the day-before-Thanksgiving crowd in that Whole Foods that he suddenly hauled off and violently kicked a woman's handcart hard enough to break the side, and then stalked off muttering to himself. You know, if somebody can't handle walking through crowds, maybe they shouldn't go to the Union Square Whole Foods the day before Thanksgiving. I'm just saying.

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    1. Haha, they actually just VERY recently expanded them. They had a couple before, but in the last 4 months or so they've gotten a lot more options.
      And HA! I love that story. I can totally see that happening. Road rage takes to the grocery store.

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    2. Whole foods in tribeca of all places has a huge crazy awesome aisle of bulk bins! Soooo worth the trip there.
      Ttrockwood@yahoo.com

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  4. I've never noticed a no-photo sign at our WF. Holy crap, that place is enormous — not sure I've ever been in a WF of that scale. I get a little weirded out in stores that big and need a handler to keep me from getting lost, but it must be fun to have such a huge selection.

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    1. Is it big? man, I guess I'm spoiled! I think the one uptown is bigger, and probably the one on Bowery as well. It really is kinda fun to just walk around - on my lunch break I always have a lot of extra time so sometimes I just treat it like a museum. And then take advantage of their gift shop :)

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  5. I got yelled at a Whole Foods for taking a pic of my kids in their play area. *eyeroll* Don't worry... I'm not some corporate spy!

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  6. This was around lunch? That place is usually packed! The only Whole Foods in the city that isn't insane is the UWS. I haven't noticed the no photo signs either.

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    1. Actually, this was on a day off, so it was around 10 am. I tried to go at an off time because yr right, it gets sooo packed! I've got to visit the UWS location!

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  7. OMG that shop looks like heaven on earth!! I always say this but I so wish I had one here! That's a bit stupid about photo's, I imagine most of the people taking pics are vegan bloggers lol, it's good promotion for Wholefoods, surely. Anyway thank you for the awesome pics taken on the sly, they're great :)

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    1. my pleasure. Isn't there something similar near you?

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  8. Whole Foods super jealousness right now!

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    1. The grass is always greener! You have Soul Veg!!

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  9. No 'No Photographs' at our local WFs either. Maybe because there are so many bloggers in your area? I didn't see a Hot Bar in your tour. Our local WFs have really been creating impressive vegan stuff on the Hot Bar, better than most restaurants, does your's have that? Do you not venture into the Bakery cuz you prefer to bake everything yourself?

    I always take some raw Onions when I make a Salad or have a Sandwich made. YOLO.

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    1. Yeah, we have a hot bar but I'm pretty weird about mingling food smells...so I don't go over there too often. Also there aren't that many vegan options so I didn't want to get a shot of non-veg stuff in there.
      Though, as you say, YOLOLOYOLO

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    2. Really interesting answer. I think WFs would want to know about that issue. I do get concerned about the mingling of the meats with the vegan options.

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  10. It is strange when stores don't want people taking pictures. I mean, it's just as easy to write prices down. I love how you took pictures anyway. Rebel!

    It looks like a pretty decent WF's. I should try getting some pics of the one in Milwaukee sometime, except I'll definitely be avoiding the ginormous meat cutting area.

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    1. Yeah, I'd like to see the one you've got out there! No thank you to the meat cuts. :/

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  11. I"ve stopped 'cruising by' the buffet section to limit impulse purchases. What are your favorite items?

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    1. I always get the same thing, really... quinoa, sweet potatoes, and kale or collards. I find that having a "usual" can be boring but keeps you from going overboard on impulse purchases.

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  12. I have not seen a "no photographs" sign in my Whole Foods, but once a cashier saw me snapping a picture and asked me why I did it, and said just because or something. Then she said "they" didn't like it because they were afraid people who took pictures were using the information to set up competing stores or something crazy. Huh? "Oh Whole Foods displays their food on shelves and in coolers? So that's how it's done. Better take a picture so I can remember how to do that when I set up my store." She seemed like a real "company girl." I love Whole Foods' vegan selection, but if I were an employee I'd be more concerned about being discouraged from unionizing than some random person's snapping a photograph.

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    1. Haha, good point. I didn't even think that people might do that. Like I responded to Sarah, I assumed it was for privacy purposes.
      I had no idea they discouraged unionizing. Thanks for the information. That's sad and kind of pathetic, considering how much they say they want to help change the world's food policies.

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  13. I must go for that prepared salad! I havent been to union sq one in a while (see previous comments re insane mobs). I always get sucked in my the vegan dumplings on the hot bar... And whatevs, i also always take photos of the labels of the prepared salads so i can remake at home:)
    Too bad you missed the crazy amazing vegan molasses cookies in the bakery that they make. Sold indiv by the muffins and such.
    Great tour!
    Ttrockwood@yahoo.com

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    1. Sounds awesome. I love molasses cookies. I'll keep my eyes open.

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  14. I never noticed the sign, but now I get why I'm always being yelled at ;-)

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