Grocery Shopping: the Whole Experience

Have you ever gotten really excited to go grocery shopping? Do you set aside hours every week to pick out the best produce and fight your neighbors for the one non-squeaky shopping cart/carriage? Does your list scream LET’S DO THIS!?

Mine either. And then I got to tour the new Whole Foods Market in Bedford. Friends, this place is an experience! A beautifully designed, massive, delicious-smelling experience.

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The Juice Bar

Set to open this Friday, April 8, Whole Foods Market is opening its second New Hampshire location in Bedford. At over 43,000 square feet, it has every grocery department you can think of, plus a seafood station, juice bar, coffee bar, the largest refrigerated wine cabinet I’ve ever seen, and over 150 hand-cut cheeses. I was overwhelmed, and I eat a LOT of cheese.

Besides the amount of foods that I saw on the tour, it was really fun to see all the behind-the-scenes work and small details that have gone into bringing the place together. I got to meet the guys running the Coffee Bar and sample the Nitro Cold Brew – a delicious, smooth, creamy blend of cold coffee, without all the ice cubes and acidity. It’s slow brewed for over 12 hours, meaning it’s high in flavor and caffeine!

DSC06562It was very clear how much time and effort went into designing the store. The walls are covered in bright greens and oranges, hand-drawn chalkboard signage, and wooden beams from the historic Wayfarer Inn that used to occupy the land where Whole Foods was built! This wood was also used to build the tables in Whole Foods’ restaurant and pub, John Goffe’s Watering Hole!

The Watering Hole was my favorite part of the tour. Brightly lit with massive windows, it’s a place to enjoy 24 different craft beers and wines and their hand stretched pizzas. In the warmer months, the Watering Hole’s outdoor patio will host meetings, gatherings and yoga classes! Not only does the outdoor patio offer a unique space to relax before or after your shopping, it has a gorgeous view overlooking the restored Grist Mill and waterfall!

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One of my major takeaways from my tour is that it is very singles-friendly. One would think it’d be easy to cook for one person on a daily basis, but sometimes it can be really hard to make, say, spaghetti for one. It seems that Whole Foods understands this dilemma. Many of the different departments let you buy exactly how much you need of each product. From coffee beans to freshly made nut butters and homemade pasta, you can personally measure out and buy exactly how much you need! For those of us concerned about prices, I learned that you can sample anything in the store. So if you’re unsure about buying something, simply ask one of the employees and they will let you try the fancy new cheese you just discovered five minutes ago.

Before I let you race off to get your new cheeses and Nitro coffee, I wanted to share how Whole Foods is also helping out the New Hampshire community. Besides their emphasis on local produce, meats and 150+ jobs, they also have a unique program that helps people sell their own products! Annie the “local forager” has probably the coolest job ever of discovering and working with people to improve the quality, ingredients, and packaging of their homemade goods and produce. So far Annie has helped over 50 products make their way onto Whole Foods’ shelves! Another way they support the community is by holding 5% days, where proceeds go to local nonprofits!

When to visit:

Whole Foods will be opening for business on Friday, April 8, with an official opening ceremony at 9:45am! They will be conducting a bread breaking ceremony with their homemade woven bread, a fun play on a ribbon cutting. There will also be live music, 15 local vendors with samples, and kids’ activities involving turning drawings into cookies!

Whole Foods Market is located at 121 South River Road in Bedford and their hours will be from 8am to 10pm, with the Watering Hole/Pub open from 11am to 9pm.

The view from the Watering Hole!

The view from the Watering Hole!

A special thank you to Meaghan at Whole Foods Market for the tour and insider info!

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