Well, earlier this week, I had a similar opportunity- this time it was for the new Whole Foods in Rockville, MD. I was very excited to check out the inside of the huge store!
I won't go into a ton of detail about the store (I'm assuming most of you have been inside a Whole Foods/supermarket before, haha), but I did want to post about some of the highlights of my tour:
Lots and lots of different flowers greet shoppers when they walk in the front entrance. I loved this big display of bright colored flowers!
On our first stop at the coffee bar, we sampled a mini cup of coffee. Not just any old cup of coffee, but a $70/lb cup of coffee. I don't even like hot coffee but obviously I couldn't pass up this opportunity, haha. By no means am I any sort of expert, but this coffee, even with nothing added, tasted very smooth and without that bitterness that I typically associate with coffee.
The produce section was laid out very nicely with lots of clear signage and labeling for organic and local items. I especially like this tropical fruits section, with hanging b-a-n-a-n-a-s! Haha.
Over in the friendly Seafood department, they have lowered the partitions so that there is more interaction between the employees and the customers. Also, I'm sure most supermarkets do provide cleaning and preparation services, but it was nice to see the options all laid out clearly for the customers.
Over in the Bulk section is also the Cooking Rockville section. According to the Whole Foods info sheet we were provided, "Shoppers at the new location will be the first to experience Whole Foods Market's new Cooking Rockville department and program, which combines designated workspaces, cookbooks, cooking tools, demonstrations, and themed, seasonal menus to engage, inspire, and educate shoppers about the joy of cooking. The Cooking area will be an inviting, warm space featuring butcher block workspaces, chalkboards, and touch-screen technology, where Cooking Coaches - Whole Foods Market team members with in-depth culinary knowledge- will help shoppers bring the passion back into cooking seasonal meals at home."
It's an interesting concept, and I'm looking forward to seeing what sort of demonstrations and events they might be having around this Cooking Rockville idea. Also, I am finding myself more and more interested in the Bulk section, considering I am normally cooking small amounts of food, and wouldn't always want to buy a full bag/container of grains or beans just for one recipe.
One notable feature in the Dairy section are these doors that are energy efficient and keep the cases cool without distributing all the cold air throughout the rest of the store.
Over in the Cheese and Specialty Foods section, there's lots and lots of cheeses to choose from, yum. I also thought this sign featuring all of the local farms and vendors was interesting- always nice to know where your food is coming from!
"Where's the Bakery???" you might be wondering. OBVIOUSLY I would not miss out on posting about it- the rest of the store tour will be posted tomorrow! :o)
Whole Foods Rockville
11355 Woodglen Drive
Rockville, MD 20852