My love/hate relationship with Whole Foods

April 1, 2012

Customer Service

Best $6 cantaloupe ever!


If you haven’t stood in the checkout line at Whole Foods when they finish ringing you up, then you haven’t felt my pain. Three bags worth of gorceries for the low, low price of $125. Talk about a sucker punch. Someone at least could have told me what was coming. I might have flexed or something. Braced myself, you know?

It’s expensive to eat healthy. Very expensive. You say America has an obesity problem? I say America has a “I can’t afford your fresh produce because I’m not a freakin CEO” problem. Today, Maggie and I walked into Whole Foods after brunch. Mmm…breakfast tacos.

Every time I walk into Whole Foods, I get that butterflies-in-my-stomach feeling. And it has nothing to do with the unwashed hair, tattoos or frayed jean shorts. Stererotypes exist for a reason people…because they’re true. But it wasn’t these stereotypes that were making me queasy this afternoon and it wasn’t the breakfast tacos.

It was the checkout line. I couldn’t even look at it when we walked in the door. Like that time in 5th grade where I liked that girl in class and was “going out with her” but we never actually talked. You couldn’t actually talk to girls. That wasn’t cool yet. You really didn’t even want to look at them, especially not the one you were “going out with.”

When we walked in, I took the cart and b-lined for the produce section. Didn’t even look in the cahsier’s diretcion. That’ll teach ‘em. What I did look at was a container of fresh cantalope slices. The one in the picture above. Best. Cantaloupe. Ever. I’ll admit it. And it better be, since it costs more than $6 a container. I just threw up a little while typing that. But it really is the best ever. So juicy. So fresh. So much healthier than anything you’ll find at Costco, Hen House, Price Chopper. Damn you, Whole Foods!

We didn’t used to shop at Whole Foods very much. The prices were so much better everywhere else. I mean, I can get like 15 chicken breasts at Costco for the same price as six at Whole Foods. Our average grocery bill at Price Chopper was maybe 60 percent of what it is at Whole Foods. I studied words and stuff in school, but even I can do the math on that one. But there’s just one problem.

Have you ever done a taste test between a Whole Foods chicken breast and a Costco chicken breast? If so, and if you’re from Kansas City, you know it’s like doing a taste test between a Z-man from Oklahoma Joe’s and a McDonald’s McRib. Costco chicken is good if you have one of those tables that rocks back and forth because the legs are uneven and you need to slide something under one of the legs to make it even. Whole Foods chicken is good if you want to…well…eat.

We started going to Whole Foods more often because we’re pregnant. Maggie wanted to eat better for the baby. And how can I argue with that. A, I agree with her. And B, I would autmatically become resident a-hole of the universe if I made my pregnant wife eat table-evener-out chicken. Know what I’m sayin?

Eventually, like when you go to any grocery store, we had to pay. And I knew we’d pay dearly. “Did you find everything you were looking for today,” the Whole Foods guy behind the cash register asked us in a much nicer way than I’ve ever been asked at Hen House or Price Chopper.

“Yes, except for the second job I’ll need to pay for these groceries.” I wanted to say. Then the lady sacking our groceries chimed in as well.

“This is a cool package for these grapes.”

“Yep, it’s just like a Ziploc bag,” Maggie said. Don’t talk to them, I thought to myself. They’re not our friends. They’re about to dent my wallet like a semi dents a VW bug.

“My grandkids just love grapes,” the lady said. “You know what they do? We freeze them and then they put them in their drinks. Work just like ice cubes.”

Hmm, that actually sounds kind of good. Maggie put her hands on her pregnant belly and smiled: “I’ll have to remember that.” Why do these people have to be so nice? I see that total on the register approaching $100.

“Is this your first?” the guy wringing us up asked me? Great, forced to look up and actually talk to him. “I don’t usually ask because I know we’re not supposed to. Guys, I mean. But I heard her say she’ll have to keep that in mind.”

I forced a smile: “Yes, it is. Thanks. We’re very excited.” Almost as excited as I am to pay you this $125. The cantaloupe better be extra juicy!

“Thank you all so much for coming in. Is there anything else we can do for you? No? Well, then have a great day. Enjoy this beautiful weather.”

I nodded: “Yep, we will. Really is amazing weather we’re having.” Damn, don’t talk to them and smile. They just took your money. So much money.

I hate Whole Foods. I hate their juicy cantaloupe. I hate their plump chicken breasts. I hate the nice people at the checkout line. I hate that they help us eat healthier for the baby. I hate all that stuff…

And I’ll be back next weekend to hate it some more.

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DwGrant 5 pts

Just wanted you to know that your blog has been selected to receive a portal in the Nexeons network. To experience your portal go to and scroll down in the second column and you’ll find it under Social Media Writers. Enjoy!

BrandeeStephens 5 pts

I go to WF about 3x/week for lunch. It's a different experience during the busy lunch hour. You must watch them like a hawk when they ring up your order! I am charged incorrectly about 75 percent of the time, and it's always in the store's favor. Frustrated by the hassle, I've sworn off going there about half a dozen times. Yet, I always find myself quickly to forgive in order to get some more of that yummy food. ;)

MattLaCasse 142 pts

If we had a WholeFoods here in Sedalia, you bet we'd be shopping there. As it is, Farmers Market season can get here soon enough. Hate that Brandi is eating whatever crap it is that WalMart sells.