Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Whole Foods Friendship Heights, Blogger Pre-opening Tour: Part 1

Last night I was part of a Blogger Group Tour of the new Whole Foods store in Friendship Heights, which was a great way to check out the store before its official grand opening today.  It's a beautiful store, as you'll see in my (many, many) photos.  It's right by the Friendship Heights metro stop, and also has free validated parking with purchase for up to 1 hour.  The tour started off where we all met up, in the Coffee Bar section.

This section will be open earlier (6am) than the rest of the store (8am), serving coffee, oatmeal, house-made gelato, as well as other items.  

There were a ton of flowers in this area as well, which looked really pretty and welcoming.

After strolling through the immaculate-looking produce section (tons of fruits and veg options, not yet manhandled by customers, haha), we stopped in the Specialty Foods section.  Lots of seasonal, made-in-house products, as well as local cheeses.  In the same section they also had a Grind Your Own Nut Butter bar and a Gourmet Sea Salt bar, which I thought were pretty cool.

One really neat section in this area is the Fresh-Cut Pasta Station.  We learned that Severino homemade pasta is exclusive to Whole Foods, and two original pastas for this location are the orecchiette and multigrain cheese ravioli pastas.

Since the store wasn't open for business yet during this tour, there were no items in the prepared foods area, but they told us about the options that will be available- Including pizzas, sandwiches, burgers, and Mediterranean food.  That's one of the chefs telling us about the $7.99 food bar container- so rather than a price per weight, it's a set price per box.

I just thought the layout of these lemonade bottles was pretty cool-looking, haha.

Dry aged beef section behind the Neighborhood Butcher counter.

The Seafood Market has a few free marinade options that you can get with any seafood purchase, and more importantly, lots of signage about sustainability and educating the customers about seafood choices/origins.

Then it was over to the Bakery section...Since I have SO many photos from this tour, the majority of them being in the Bakery section, I'll be posting some of the Bakery photos in a separate post :o)

My favorite yogurt, Stonyfield!

Lots and lots of Kombucha options. 

Finally, we reached the end of the store, coming back towards the Coffee Bar where we started out.  The Checkout line is a single line that gets split by a number-system, laid out the way their NYC stores are.  I'm sure there's a technical term for it, but basically the line serves to help people in the order they're in line, and not necessarily how fast/slow each line might be.  If you've ever been to a TJMaxx, they have the same system.  You wait in one big line until the sign says "Register # _" and the next person in line goes to that available register.  I personally like it better, because then you don't have people cutting/switching lines because they think it's faster, etc.

Yummy food + Swag bags!

Overall, I think the space is really really gorgeous, and it was really awesome to get to check it out without any customers present at all.  We got to hear all the little details and stories about each section of the store, sample a bunch of foods during and at the end of the tour.

We were also given these awesome swag bags filled with lots of fun and useful items.  Thank you to the Whole Foods team for putting together a great tour for us- it was so much fun!  Luckily this Whole Foods is easy for me to get to both by metro and by car, so I'm v. excited to come back again - hopefully this weekend!


  1. i love the scoop your own salt options!!

  2. @nicole: Yeah, it looked v. interesting!