Monday, July 2, 2012

It’s all about convenience

by Meghann on July 2, 2012

You know how you can’t go into Target without walking out with 4 or 5 things you didn’t know you needed until you walked in? (In my case that usually involves a new dress, a workout top, and some sort of beauty product. ) Well, Whole Foods is the same way. I run in for one thing and 30 minutes later I leave with two bags full of groceries and a brand new plan for dinner.

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Looks good, right?

Dinner was inspired by the guacamole Whole Foods had to sample in the produce section. Just one bite and I was sold (well, not on that particular guacamole but on the idea of having it – I ended up buying a bag of avocados and making my own at home.)

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I wasn’t really craving chips or a burrito, but a sandwich with guacamole sounded just right. I bought a whole wheat baguette and lightly toasted it in the oven when I got home.

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Once toasted, some pre-roasted eggplant and provolone cheese were added before going back under the broiler. I finished the sandwich with tomato, spinach, and a smear of guacamole.

It hit the spot. :)

On the side I steamed some brussels sprouts to round out the meal.

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Cocoa roasted almonds for a mid-day snack.

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Dark chocolate square for dessert.

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I was at Whole Food this afternoon to attend a focus group for the new store their opening in North Tampa (Can. Not. Wait.). The person who led the focus group is interviewing for the marketing and events role in the new store and basically wanted to know what attracted us to the current store and what we’d want to see in the new one. It was a really interesting discussion about why we choose to shop where we do.

For me, it’s convenience. I live by a tiny Publix that I hate. I mean, it’s a Publix so it’s not that bad, but it’s small and I’m regularly complaining about it. However, the tiny Publix is literally right down the street, so – even though it’s tiny and I’m not a fan of that particular location – it’s my go-to store that I regularly shop at. If I know I need something specific that that Publix doesn’t carry, then I’ll venture to a different store.

Whole Foods is a “specialty store” that I only shop at on occasion. I’d love, love, LOVE to shop there more regularly, but A) the current store is way on the other side of town and not convenient in the least and B) it’s a tad on the pricey side. The same can be said for the Greenwise, Rollin Oats, or any other specialty health stores in the area.

What would cause me to shop at Whole Foods more often? A more convenient location (like the new one they’re opening), a juice bar (the current Tampa location doesn’t have one!), and more fun cooking classes (excited about the possibility of attending some at the new location). It should be noted that I do try to find an excuse (any excuse) to stop into Whole Foods when I drive by it and, like I said above, when I do go in, it’s hard to walk out with just one thing. I tend to browse for a good amount of time before walking out with more than I intended to.

Why do you choose to shop at one grocery store over another? And what is it about Whole Foods (or other specialty health food stores) that pull you in?

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