Friday, December 28, 2007
Whole Foods- Misery.
I love food, if you know me, you know that. I always thought I was a food snob, or a foodie or whatever- and then I met some of those people. They have the same kind of attitude that guitar snobs and audiophiles have. It's the same thread of OCD-like behavior that I find in the people I play games with who have 2 8800GTXs in SLI, or the musicians I know who take out enormous loans because an "average guitar is just going to produce average results."
Still, I was really excited when I heard Nashville was finally going to get a Whole Foods. I'd never even been to a Whole Foods before, but I heard they were really nice and had a great selection. So I was really bummed when I got to the nice new Whole Foods and found it a)extremely overpriced and b)full of jerks.
Nashvillians, like most of the Southeast, just don't "get it." I thought when I went to Whole Foods, I would find other people buying, I dunno, Whole Foods? Instead, they've made it just like every grocery store in town, but more expensive. The parking lot is full of luxury cars (I spotted a Rolls Royce and a Ferrari Maranello, among others) that are apparently owned by the same losers who walk through the grocery store buying Totinos pizzas and Bud Light while wearing a thousand dollar suit.
The hypocrisy of obsessing about how your coffee farmer was treated, and then cutting me in line and being a jerk to the workers at the store is so extreme that I don't know if I can handle going back. At first I thought the help at Whole Foods were unprofessional or rude- then I watched how the jerks that come in treat them, and I realized the poor folks are just callous to the abuse that the wealthy patrons have leveled at them. Making $10 and hour to help some schmuck in a dumb-looking outfit worth more than your yearly wage buy mushrooms that are $30/lb. is supremely insulting.
They've also raised the price considerably on almost every single item that Wild Oats once carried. On the sort of items like Totinos(gag) or Boca Burgers (mostly gag), they run about DOUBLE the cost of their more "conventional" counterparts.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm really disappointed in Nashville for this. I had really hoped that the addition of a nice produce section somewhere in town might expand the things people were eating. Instead, I'm finding that the people shopping there aren't doing it for the quality, they're just doing it because it's yet another obnoxious rich thing to do. They're just paying more for the things they'd buy at Piggly Wiggly as a status symbol, instead of taking advantage of all the nice new greens and fruits available to them. That's only going to lead one way(and this is the same thing thats happened to every Publix in town): reduction of selection. If all the Black Cabbage is rotting on the shelf because I was the only person to buy it, they'll stop stocking it.
That same afternoon, after we were so disgusted by Whole Foods, we went over to the CT Farm Fresh market.(across the street from the crappy TN State Farmers Market) Their produce was limited to whats in season, and the prices on everything were amazing. The place is not extremely pretty(ok its not even sort of pretty) but the help is always so nice. The only people there were the cutest hispanic toddler in the world, and her mother. The toddler kept winking at me and waving the whole time, and the guy behind the register was a really friendly coptic egyptian who chatted with me about pomegranates and where I was from. I bought their last Pomegranate, but he said he'll order some soon for me and the other fanatics that come in and want to buy them by the box.
I get along with the immigrant community of Nashville better than any of the other groups for a number of reasons. Food wise, we both like good food and we expect it for a reasonable price. Otherwise, we both feel like outsiders, and are generally lonely, friendly people.
I won't be back to Whole Foods after the prices and service I got at the CT Farm Fresh.(some things at the CT are seriously about 10% of what they are at the WF) I also won't be calling myself a foodie ever again. Seriously, $30/lb for a fungus? Just use something else.
Posted by deltasleep at 8:58 AM