Whole Foods Flagship Store | The Daily Dish

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Whole Foods Flagship Store

11 Comments | Written on June 9, 2011 at 5:00 am , by

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Last week, while I was in Austin for the IACP conference, there was one side trip I simply had to make.  A quick visit to the original Whole Foods Market!  The chain began in Austin and I wanted to scope out the flagship store.

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The first store was started by an idealistic bunch of 19 people dedicated to providing their customers with organic and sustainable products.  Today, with stores all across the country and over 50,000 team members their commitment to these core values are as strong as ever.

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Here in Austin there is also a Culinary Center in addition to the grocery store.  There you can take cooking classes ranging from basic techniques to exotic culinary adventures.  They even provide full-service catering and event planning from this location.

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Take a look at that sparkling kitchen as well as the fantastic variety of cookbooks for sale inside the Culinary Center!

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One of my favorite parts of this store was the enormous bulk foods section.  Just about every herb, spice, grain or bean was available in these bins.  I love being able to buy bulk items.  It is more environmentally friendly as it cuts down on packaging and shipping.  Buying bulk can also save you money.  Think about all those times you have to buy an entire, expensive jar of a spice you only end up using once.  In this scenario you can simply purchase the one or two teaspoons you might need for a recipe and a fraction of the cost!

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Of course, I am also a fan of any market that has a bar inside the store!  Shoppers could participate in wine and beer tastings, or just relax at the bar to enjoy a glass of their favorite beverage.  I was there on a Friday afternoon and they even had a local musician there to entertain the group.  Love it!

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As I was leaving the store, this caught my eye by the front door.  So many grocery stores will have a basket of candy for children to snack on while their parents do the shopping.  Here at Whole Foods there are baskets of fresh fruit!  While I waited for my taxi to take me back to the conference I saw dozens of kids choose their favorite from these baskets.  Such a wonderful way to teach good habits from an early age.

Whole Foods also provides an array of healthy recipe cards scattered throughout the store.  I love anything with grapefruit, so this recipe for a simple and colorful salad instantly caught my eye.  Enjoy!

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AVOCADO AND GRAPEFRUIT SALAD

2 grapefruits

2 avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped

1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 head Bibb or butter lettuce

Carefully peel grapefruits, making sure to remove all of the white pith.  Working over a large bowl to catch any juice, cut the membrane from the outside edge of each segment to release the fruit and let it drop into the bowl.  Add avocados and onion, and toss well.  Arrange lettuce leaves on a platter, spoon salad over the top and serve.  Serves 4.

Nutrition per serving: 230 calories, 15 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 10 mg sodium, 25 g total carbohydrate, 9 g dietary fiber, 12 g sugar, 4 g protein

Dairy free, Gluten free, High fiber, Low sodium, Vegan, Vegetarian

Check out other bloggers who covered IACP or Whole Foods!

Average Bettyhttp://www.averagebetty.com/blog/when-social-media-becomes-antisocial/ and http://www.averagebetty.com/blog/iacp-2011-diy-video-blogging-workshop/

Food Nouveauhttp://foodnouveau.com/2011/06/06/conferences/a-fulfilling-week-at-the-2011-iacp-annual-conference-austin/

Gluten Free Girlhttp://glutenfreegirl.com/gluten-free-in-austin/

Espresso and Creamhttp://www.espressoandcream.com/2011/06/greetings-from-austin.html and http://www.espressoandcream.com/2011/06/iacp-day-2.html

Worth the Whiskhttp://worththewhisk.com/2011/06/06/a-dorie-greenspan-lovefest-and-one-of-her-secret-ingredients/

What’s Gaby Cookinghttp://whatsgabycooking.com/iacp-2011-austin/

11 Responses to “Whole Foods Flagship Store”

  • 1

    Hi Kristina! Thank you for linking to my blog! I have also visited the giant Whole Foods store and was very impressed by everything they have to offer. I’d LOVE to have that giant bulk grains and spices section close to home! It was an inspiring place to go for sure.

  • 2
    averagebetty says:

    Wasn’t that Whole Foods insane?!? You could easily fit two and a half regular stores into the one in Austin — and a bar! I could live there!!

  • 3

    Hi Marie! I didn’t get a chance to meet you in Austin but I loved reading your recap of IACP. The conference and the Whole Foods were inspiring. I look forward to following your blog!

  • 4

    Sara….I know! Why don’t they have ones like that here in the Valley? For me, it’s a death-defying trip just to find my way through the tiny Sherman Oaks parking lot!

  • 5

    Wow this flagship store looks amazing, I wish every whole foods store could be like that one! The cooking demonstrations sound like so much fun, and i love the idea of providing fruit for kids. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

  • 6

    I’ve never noticed the free fruit bins before at the WF in the Portland area. Your photo made me want to cry. What a good idea!

  • 7
    Marla says:

    That Whole Foods is unbelievable! You would not be able to get me out of there!

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    Kristina Vanni says:

    GrowingCurious – Isn’t that wonderful! I wish all grocery stores would do that for kids. It was fun to watch their faces light up as they were allowed to choose their favorite fruit.

  • 9
    Kristina Vanni says:

    Thanks for stopping by Amanda! I agree…we need more stores like this one. I wish I would have had more time in Austin to take a class. Next time!

  • 10
    Kristina Vanni says:

    Marla – I agree! I was tempted to buy so many things but they wouldn’t have fit in my carry-on!

  • 11

    I’ve learn some just right stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how so much attempt you set to create such a great informative website.

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