Whole Foods, and Baguette’s First Brush with Fame
There’s a new Whole Foods in town, and apparently it’s news to more than me–when Baguette and I showed up for the grand opening (the first 300 visitors got mini-baguettes)–a certain celebrity politician was there ahead of us, complete with entourage and TV cameras.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. This morning I checked to make sure that I had the date and time of the grand opening correct, and Baguette and I headed out for Baby’s First Trip to Whole Foods.
What did I not check? That’s right, the exact location of the store. So we drove up and down Ventura Boulevard for about 20 minutes as I tried to remember where I’d seen it. Surprisingly, this was not a problem. Baguette had passed out in her car seat, and I was just happy to be out of the house.
Eventually I found the Whole Foods, and was happy to discover (as I suspected) that when they built it, they included underground parking. There were so many people attending the grand opening that they had staffed up with parking attendants complete with flags and hand-held stop signs.
Upstairs there was quite a crowd. I noticed the cameras and decided that the store must have been filming its own ribbon-cutting ceremony, although I was surprised that this was happening more than a half hour after the time on the website.
Nope, it wasn’t the store. It was the networks, filming Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa eating pie. After a minute he went in, and we followed. It’s tough to shop with a film crew and interviewers taking up so much space in the produce section, and I kept choosing the wrong turn and winding up behind the entourage again, but eventually found a (sort of) clear path and did my shopping. That is, until the mayor’s path intersected with ours again near the meat and dairy sections, and he came over to coo over Baguette. He pronounced her beautiful, which proves to me that (a) he has eyes, and (b) he is a career politician.
There are some cool things about this Whole Foods, beyond its more convenient location (the others that I’ve shopped at are either congested and hard to navigate or a freeway drive away). The store is laid out with wide aisles, and the prices on the shelves are displayed via electronic readers instead of paper labels. I even liked the dairy cases, which have doors instead of just that wall of cold air most supermarkets seem to have.
Basically, this is a well-thought-out store plan, and it’s convenient in a lot of ways–although due to my lack of directional awareness, we did get there too late for the free mini-baguettes. I’ll be shopping there a lot, I’m sure, even when the cameras go away.