I like shopping at Whole Foods. It’s clean; they have a good variety of stuff that’s unheard of at the local Key Food or C-Town. I’ve been shopping there since the first store opened in Union Square in 2001.
I know people like to call it whole paycheck- it is expensive. But then again so is Key Food and C-Town, especially in the poorer neighborhoods like Hamilton Heights, where I live now. I compared the price of Bob’s Red Mill gluten free oatmeal and it was actually a dollar more at the C-Town down the block than at Whole foods. The produce is just as expensive and it’s in pretty bad shape in my local store, so I’d rather go to Whole Foods, Fairway, or Trader Joe’s and carry my groceries on the bus or subway.
A note about Trader Joe’s prepackaged produce- it wilts fast so you’d better eat it right away. But at least Trader Joe’s packages their pre-packed mushrooms in cardboard rather than plastic like Whole Foods or Fairway. The mushrooms turn to mush if you leave them in the plastic for a day or two. I put them in paper bags when I get home and they’ll last a week.
Since Amazon bought Whole Foods it’s been a question of streamlining. All stores have been eliminating space, consolidating product, and eliminating products. I don’t know the rationale behind it, but last week they were installing new bins in the bulk products. They eliminated about 25% of the available bin space.
So one of my favorite things, a breakfast staple for me for many years is gone.
It was something called Chia Ginger Superfood crunch, a cereal.
I mix it with steel cut oat groats and almonds and that’s my breakfast. Gives the cereal a little sweetness and makes it less bland. And now all I have left is an ounce or two in an old-fashioned cookie tin that I kept it in.
I did manage to find it online from a place called Nuts.com, for $16 a pound plus shipping. I thought the Whole Foods price of $11.99 a pound was outrageous but I liked it so I paid it. But I think I’m just going to give it up- not worth the price and bother to order it from Nuts.com.
When Whole Foods first opened their Bowery store they had in-house made hummus. It was awesome. Further, they had the in-house Harissa hummus, even more awesome. They stopped making that about ten years ago and came out with smoother, slicker prepackaged Whole Foods hummus. And it don’t come in Harissa.
They have it in Jalapeño; it’s not bad, but it’s not Harissa.
Fairway used to sell the Sonny and Joe’s Supremely spicy hummus, then I think Sabra’s (which is more expensive) had something to say about it and they eliminated it. The Sonny and Joe’s was the closest thing to the Whole Foods Harissa humus so I wasn’t happy. There went another favorite thing.
Sonny and Joe’s do make the occasional appearance at select Fairway stores, and sometimes Gourmet Garage. A place I only go to in cases of extreme emergency.
I think what I miss the most that Whole Foods used to carry is the Little Lad’s herbal popcorn. It was great- not as much salt but still tasty, unlike plain popcorn.
I’m the guy who wishes they had 50% MORE salt than 50%less salt popcorn. But I’m blessed with the blood pressure of a nineteen-year old, according to a nurse friend of mine.
The closest thing to Little Lad’s is the Fairway popcorn, available in both salted and unsalted versions, though the salted popcorn sometimes is unsalted. My wife Danusia thinks they crew that puts the labels on or adds the salt must be smoking a lot of weed it’s so erratic.
I also found Little Lad’s online, for $9.99 for a 10 ounce bag plus $12.95 shipping. Of course that’s from eBay, another rip-off website.
Lastly, and toilet paper doesn’t count as a favorite thing, just a necessary thing- but something to expose Amazon about.
I used to trek across the Macomb’s dam bridge to Target to get toilet paper, $16 or so dollars for a 24- pack. But the last time I went it was $24 for a 24 pack. I read somewhere that it was cheaper to order toilet online, so I checked Amazon. A few months ago that was true, but when I decided to do it two weeks ago it seems that like it or not, Scott toilet tissue is a dollar plus per roll anyway you slice it. Unless, of course, and this is the new Amazon gimmick- you buy a subscription. Sign up now! Save money while we automatically send you a case of TP every month for as long as you live and automatically charge your credit card!
So I got the next cheapest thing- the Scott tube-free paper. To be tube free it has to be a little thicker, so I discovered a roll lasts about a day in our home. That’s the last time I buy that.
I think I’m going to look into artisan toilet paper making. I have done my own Harissa hummus, but it’s a pain in the ass.