#Michiana Whole Foods: It’s a Big Deal

photo(176)

For many, many years, the entire northern half of Indiana (from Indianapolis to Chicago) lived without a Whole Foods Market. Can you even believe that? How sad?!? Most people never knew the goodness of an entire store…an ENTIRE GROCERY STORE…filled with good, clean foods*! (*That’s not to say you still shouldn’t check labels, even on “natural” products.)

Then…low and behold…

(Hey Hoosiers, you better sit down for this…)

April 10th happened. IT HAPPENED. Whole Foods Market came to Mishawaka. It’s here, people. It’s here!

THIS. Is a big deal.

Even though I’ve shopped Whole Foods on my many trips to Chicago, knowing a market is closer and not having to pay Indiana tax on food is a real bonus. Of course, I had to get in my car and make the trip, about an hour’s drive. Despite the stormy weather and crowded store, I really WAS excited to see what this new store was all about. “People, move! Can’t you see I’m trying to INSTAGRAM?” I had Facebook friends asking questions about certain products and I wanted to be able to answer them all. One friend jokingly asked, “Is this your first time in a Whole Foods? You’re posting like a first timer. LOL” I had to laugh because I really was appearing rather obsessed. 

WFM

For those of you who are not familiar with Whole Foods Market, it’s a grocery store that contains natural brand products. For instance, when you walk down the cereal aisle, it’s full of boxes but you won’t find any Kellogg’s or General Mills. Nope. All natural and/or organic types of brands. Same with every other aisle. It’s a wonderland for organic foodie’s, like myself. Aside from the gorgeous seafood and cheese counters, various bulk bins and fresh ground nut butters, I absolutely LOVED how Whole Foods tags products made locally and are Non-GMO verified. The tags help to eliminate guesswork and help you make better choices more quickly.

Another one of the main questions I received was, “How do their prices compare to the grocery store organics?” That’s an important question as price seems to be the main reason why people don’t choose organic foods. If you’re already eating organics, the prices won’t shock you. Matter of fact, I found them very comparable to most of the organic items I already buy. I will say, the meat was rather eye-popping on cost, but I expected that. (I plan on staying with my local beef, pork & chicken connections.) Produce was especially good priced; lots of it comparable to non-organic items. I’ll be honest, I did spend more than I usually do on weekly groceries. Although, I didn’t just limit my purchases to the regular things. I had some recipes in mind that needed certain ingredients, and I also bought some items that I would have never been able to find in my immediate area. Plus…my cheese monster just went crazy.

Just to give you an idea of prices so you can compare, here are a few examples: (FYI – 365 is the Whole Foods organic brand)

  • Nature’s Path Organic Instant Oatmeal: $2.50 box
  • Annie’s Mac & Cheese: $1.50 box
  • 365 Organic 2% Milk Gallon: $5.99
  • Organic Pasta: $2.19 box
  • 1 lb. organic rolled oats: $1.95
  • 365 28 oz. can organic tomatoes: $1.99
  • Ground Round: $4.50 (grass fed until last 2 months – no antibiotics)
  • 365 Organic soy and hoisin sauces: $2.99 each
  • 365 Cherry Vanilla Cream 6 pk cane sugar soda: $2.99
  • La Croix 12 pk: $3.50
  • 32 oz. Organic Valley Half and Half: $3.99
  • 64 oz. 365 Organic Orange Juice: $3.99
  • 8 oz. Organic Valley Heavy Cream: $2.19
  • 1/4 lb. organic dried cherries: $4.16
  • 1/2 lb. + Organic fresh ground peanut butter: $3.65
  • 1/2 lb. – organic roasted sunflower seed kernels: $1.48
  • 4 House made spicy Italian sausages: $4.17
  • 8 oz. 365 organic maple syrup: $7.99 (why is ANY maple syrup so expensive??)

Anyway, I purchased several more specialty items like local Traderspoint Creamery drinkable yogurt and chocolate milk, fresh made sushi, more sausages (like chorizo & andouille) and more cheese than any one person should have bought. I didn’t purchase much produce as we get organic boxes delivered each week. I did buy a bundle of WHOLE baby carrots (with the tops attached) for a buck 99. I didn’t need them but I liked the idea of great presentation.

On my next shop, I’m going to make it a point to only purchase my regular grocery items and will see how their total compares to the local grocery store total. I’m already guessing it’s going to be a bit higher. Mainly, because the local store doesn’t have such the selection of organic items,  I’m having to buy some foods that aren’t organic, purely out of necessity. I’m so excited to finally replace some of the conventional staples with better choices. Despite the cost, eating organic is important to me and my family and we’re willing to cut costs in other places to ensure good quality of food.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, I’ll be over here in the corner with my Italian bread and triple-crème. Roar. 

(If you would like to read our story on how we started affording organics, I have a series of posts HERE.)

**Oh, and by the way, this is NOT a sponsored post. I just like sharing the love.**

6 Responses to #Michiana Whole Foods: It’s a Big Deal
  1. Natasha
    April 21, 2013 | 11:01 AM

    Whole Foods is, as you can imagine, where I do a lot of my shopping for staples like pasta and oatmeal. Like you, I found that a lot of the prices were comparable to Dominick’s, but not all.

    That said, at my local Whole Foods, at least, you’ll definitely see one General Mills product. Cheerios. I’m willing to wager every Whole Foods carries it. It’s the sort of thing, I think, that most people want the brand name of. And, frankly, it’s a reminder that Whole Foods is a business first and foremost. They carry what people want. (Note: I don’t have a problem with Cheerios. I like ’em, in fact. But the Cheerios always stand out because it’s a discordant note with the image Whole Foods is selling.)

    • Toni
      April 21, 2013 | 11:17 AM

      Ahh…I must have missed the Cheerios, then again, I didn’t need to buy cereal so I glanced across the shelves more looking for oatmeal. :) I’m guessing that because of location, the Indiana Whole Foods might be cheaper, in general, than Chicago. Everything in Chicagoland usually is. It seemed that the “specialty” items were kind of pricey, but the everyday items tended to be in line with my local Kroger. For instance, org. milk at Kroger is $6.49 gal. and 32 oz. half and half is $4.19. I think it’s always going to be a little give and take, I’m sure. I’m just happy to have a wider selection than one little corner of my local supermarket 😀
      (Let’s not discuss the price of meat there LOL)

      • Natasha
        April 25, 2013 | 9:33 PM

        Interestingly, I find a lot of the stuff at my Whole Foods to be cheaper than at Dominick’s, particularly the organics. Except meat, but I accept that my meat budget is large. I don’t buy meat from Whole Foods either, except lunch meats on occasion.

        • Toni
          April 26, 2013 | 6:58 AM

          I was a little nervous about how the pricing was going to compare, but for the most part, I was pleasantly surprised. I had always heard jokes about “Whole Paycheck” with Whole Foods, but it was comparable. I think for people who don’t already buy organic, it’s a real shocker. But, for those who do, already sort of know what to expect with organic prices. :)

  2. Michelle
    April 22, 2013 | 10:38 AM

    As a Michiana resident I am super excited about Whole Foods coming into the area too!! Thanks for the fabulous write-up, now I REALLY can’t wait to get there!! Hey, maybe I’ll even see you there, lol!

    • Toni
      April 22, 2013 | 3:40 PM

      Thanks Michelle! Isn’t it great? I’m already wanting to go back. My normal grocery store is going to seem so boring this week. lol

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?