Behind The Butter

Organic Anticipation

The long awaited day has finally arrived!

Going to Whole Foods grand openings has become like a sporting event. Fans young and old show up, rain or shine, to give their undying support to the cause.

They wait in eager anticipation…eager to catch a peak of what’s behind the sliding glass doors, the mecca of organic produce soon to be at their fingertips.

While the opening of the new Santa Rosa store was nothing like the insanity of the Orlando store, it was still quite the event. Naturally, I showed up way too early and was turned away by a security guard who told me to leave and then come back at nine forty five for “the breaking of the bread”.  I shook it off and used that time to properly fuel up on coffee because caffeine is a must for any Whole Foods grand opening. Duh.

I returned at nine thirty, with large sunglasses and coffee in hand, ready as ever. These things are serious business, you know.

Finally, the breaking of the bread!

The coolest thing of all? The beer cabin (hut? bar?) in the back of the store!

I don’t really know if beer cabin is the right term, but they have fifty beers on tap (a lot of them local!)  that you can try and they even offer a happy hour! Awesome.

By some miracle of grace, I walked out with only ten dollars of groceries in my hands. I don’t know how that happened but it did. The store ain’t no Austin of course, but it’s still 50,000 square feet and gorgeous inside with gigantic prepared foods area, complete with self serve gelato, frozen yogurt and a kombucha bar.

And yes, I’m already saving my pennies and plotting my return.

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  • eatmovelove
    September 22, 2010 at 11:53 am

    No WF here.

    Your such a tease!

    I actually used to love grocery shopping, but now I dread it…I know, I know…it’s anxiety-provoking, because funds are short; I can’t get what I want, and yet, somehow I always escape with what I shouldn’t!!

    Just go in for ONE thing? Yeah, right…

  • Andrea
    September 22, 2010 at 11:56 am

    So jealous…we don’t have a WF near us either. I pray to be able to attend one of these bread breakings one day! 🙂

  • Kristiana
    September 22, 2010 at 11:59 am

    I love my whole foods…but a beer hut , self serve gelato and a kombucha bar! SO JEALOUS.

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    September 22, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    i love whole foods – i wish i could afford to shop there for everything, but in the meantime i’m stoked about the great fresh bread and produce any day of the week 🙂

  • Sharon
    September 22, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    OMG a Beer Hut? that’s too funny. Frankly I can’t believe they opened that humongous WF in a depressed, half empty shopping center in an even more depressed economy right now. I think I will be really impressed if they actually have a wine chiller in that store…do they? I discovered the beauty of that invention in a grocery store up in Eugene, OR last year…instead of hoping that they happen to have the wine you want in the refrigerated section already…you just choose any wine you want and pop it in their chiller for 5 mins while doing the rest of your grocery shopping-et voila! chilled wine, ready to drink.

    • Michie
      September 22, 2010 at 1:31 pm

      I am glad that opened it up in that shopping center. It could use a boost in the aesthetics department. Hopefully it will help bring the whole plaza up a little bit. With the library there, the sweet sewing shop at the other end, and one of the best take out Chinese places in town – it really has potential to be a nice spot. Plus the parking is WAY better than some of the other shopping centers in town.

      • Sharon
        September 22, 2010 at 2:21 pm

        The parking alone is great, I’ll grant you that. Parking at the other WF is a total nightmare…especially around Thanksgiving! But that end of town doesn’t seem like a great fit for what is essentially a gourmet, high-end supermarket. Just my .02 . It would be great if it does end up being such a draw that it boosts the mall income overall a bit, It just seems unlikely to draw much walk-through business given that it is accessible outside of the mall entirely with its own parking lot.

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin
    September 22, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Woah that is SO cool that you were at the grand opening! I didn’t realize they had a whole ceremony of breaking bread and everything.. awesome!

  • marie
    September 22, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    You had me at beer.

  • Samantha @ Food Edu
    September 22, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    So jealous, no Whole Foods in my community and no TJ’s either. It is quite depressing 🙂
    I’m loving the beer cabin!

  • Susan
    September 22, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    This makes me so sad. The tiny Whole Foods near my house in SF has a coffee bar (completely unnecessary given all of the other much better coffee in the neighborhood) but no gelato bar and no beer cabin. Clearly I need to write to the store manager immediately to ask them to re-prioritize their bar/cabin selection. Santa Rosa is a little far to drive for groceries. Plus, my gelato would melt on the way home.

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    September 22, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Wow, that WF sounds awesome. Beer bar, self serve gelato, frozen yogurt and a kombucha bar? That one blows my WF out of the water.

    I think you deserve a medal for the least amount of money ever spent at Whole Foods.

  • Kendra
    September 22, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    I love grocery stores that also serve alcohol. There is a naturla foods store by my house with a wine tasting bar in the back. How genius is that?

    They probably are well aware that people will buy more if they’ve had a drink. Good marketing.

  • Jenny
    September 22, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    that’s awesome they broke bread! Our whole foods definitely does not have a beer hut, but the buffet is beyond awesome!

  • Lizzie
    September 22, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Wow – I had no idea that’s how they open a Whole Foods! I sent your post to my husband, a two-time Oktoberfester, who will be upset that there are no beer gardens at either of the WF’s near us! One of our locations renovated to establish a gelato/coffee bar, but nothing like the one near you! Be strong Jenna! 🙂

  • Laughter-Loving Stacy
    September 22, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    I am sooo jealous. I love in a small college town with no whole foods anywhere on this side of the state. THERE ISN’T EVEN A TRADER JOES! There are farmers makrets, but I always work during them. So sad. I will be moving back to Seattle next year, though- I can’t wait.

  • Jil @ Peace, Love & Munchies
    September 22, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Ahhh – a beer hut??? Jealous!!! Thought buzzed grocery shopping could lead to even more expensive purchases…haha …they’re pretty darn smart. :-p

  • Jessica @ How Sweet
    September 22, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    I never leave the grocery store with less than $50 worth. It’s horrible. And wonderful!

  • Natalia - a side of simple
    September 22, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Ah, the excitement is building!! Love it =)

  • Natalia - a side of simple
    September 22, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Self Serve gelato and frozen yogurt? I can only imagine the taste of Heaven.

  • Laura
    September 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Brave soul. I don’t think I would go to the opening of any type of store. I just couldn’t handle all the insanity and crazy crowd people. Kudos to you though for escaping with your wallet still intact.

  • Lindsey @ Foodie on the Rocks
    September 22, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    enjoy food induced poverty jenna ;). 70% of the time it’s worth it 100% of the time!

  • Lisa
    September 22, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    That’s so funny! Who knew it was such a “thing”?

  • Tina
    September 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I love how many people are excited for a Whole Foods to open up!!!

  • Kath
    September 22, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    50 beers on tap!?!? WOW! Let’s go there in November 🙂

  • Graze With Me
    September 22, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    You had me at beer and a kombucha bar. !!!

  • Tami@nutmegnotebook
    September 22, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I love Whole Foods stores. They are so peaceful and the produce is beautifully displayed. If you shop their ads and buy things on sale you can get some good bargains. I will never buy all of my groceries there but I do get certain items there every month.

  • Exmodel
    September 22, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Thats amazing, thats much better then the WF we have in NY…whats up with that!

  • AllieNic (Frisky Lemon)
    September 22, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    YAY Whole Foods! We have one within walking distance to our house…Me loves it!

    I also miss having beer in the grocery store! In VT (where I grew up) they have a beer and wine section in most stores, but in Puritan Massachusetts, we have not…Did you know that spitting is also illegal in MA…and up until like 10 years ago, tattooing was illegal!! Can you believe that?

  • Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)
    September 22, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Hahaha, I love how an opening of a Whole Foods is a mass celebration from all ages. That’s one of my criteria for future nursing schools–Whole Foods and a Trader Joes…at least one of the two 🙂

  • hippierunner
    September 22, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Wow, kudos for walking out with only 10 bucks worth!

  • Lauren at KeepItSweet
    September 22, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    i love brand new whole foods, so fun!

  • Scargosun
    September 22, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    We got our mecca about six months ago and I have been faithfully trekking there about twice a week. It looks similar in size to the Santa Rosa one but our ‘pub’ is inside the store BUT b/c of stupid liquor laws in PA it is enclosed. We do have a fabulous rooftop deck that will have wine tastings soon. Can’t wait.

  • Angharad
    September 22, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    I first discovered Whole Foods in Austin…since that is the first place in the U.S. I ever visited/lived and since it is the holy mecca of Whole Foods. I was so so spoiled by that store. It is incredible.

    But a beer cabin IS pretty dang cool.

    September 22, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    they always go all out with their openings WHICH I LOVE!!! omg if only they could get their whole foods bums over here and park a nice little store nearby hehe <3

  • Ally
    September 22, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    My sister lives in Santa Rosa and she has been talking about the opening for weeks now! In fact she is on her way right now to check it out 🙂 I’ll be up there in a few days and hope to be able to check it out too. I’m so happy for Santa Rosa!

  • Sarah (Oc2Seattle)
    September 22, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Why doesn’t our Whole Foods have a beer hut? I may have to start a protest! Or a beer-on-tap movement . . .

  • Camille
    September 22, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Oh man… so epic!
    I love the literal breaking of the bread 🙂

  • Whitney
    September 22, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    I would have been right there with you!!!

    I want to visit this beer hut you speak of. 50 beers on tap is insanely impressive for a small town girl like myself. Gotta love that beer .

  • Jean
    September 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Whole Foods is SUCH BS. Get educated ppl. John Mackey, the CEO of whole foods, is a capitalist libertarian who openly opposes the Health care reform bill. A good person? Not so much Whole foods is also SUPREMELY overpriced, and basically justa nother evil corporation that closes local grocery stores, who also sell ecological, organic, and fair trade goods at half the price and half the pretentiousness.
    Here are some articles to open your eyes, if u are interested:

  • Michie
    September 22, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    This WF is about a mile from my house. I have to drive past it on my way home from work. I wonder how long it will take before I step foot inside. It will be hard for it to rival Oliver’s, which is only a 5 minute drive from my house. Though I will definitely have to check out the beer hut.

    • Sharon
      September 22, 2010 at 3:35 pm

      I much prefer Oliver’s Market, personally. It’s locally owned which I love to support, has a much better wine selection (and better wine prices) and wonderful pre-made food/deli (often better than WF, in my opinion) Ever try their crab stuffed mushrooms? mmmm….Also I love the fact that I can buy Fancy Feast and Charmin there….as well as all the fancy stuff that Whole Foods “specializes” in. Their customer service is superior too.

  • Katie
    September 22, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Ooh, I’m jealous – especially of the beer cabin! Unfortunately (fortunately? for my checkbook) we don’t have a Whole Foods in my town yet. Closest one is a couple hours away!

  • Stacey (The Habit of Healthy)
    September 22, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Wow, that looks like quite the grand opening. Clearly you guys take Whole Foods seriosuly!

  • cathy b. @
    September 22, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Boo…no WF close to me, but it sure looks like fun!

  • Kate@andwhenshesays
    September 22, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Ha, you are so right on comparing it to a sporting event. When the WF mecca opened in Chicago last year it was absolute insanity. I absolutely love the beer cabin! We’ve got a pretty fab bar but it doesn’t have quite the same “character” as a cabin does.

  • Seglare (in Copenhagen)
    September 22, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Oh, so jealous of your Whole Foods! 🙂 How I wish that they opened a store in my part of the world as well (without adjusting their pricing, of course ;)). Enjoy your new store – it looks great!

  • stacey-healthylife
    September 22, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    That’s so funny and so cute. Love the little boy. 🙂

  • squash, kabocha squash, salads, seasonal ingredients — Eat, Live, Run
    September 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    […] what I’m really looking forward is storming the beer hut at Whole Foods tonight. What does that say about me? […]

  • zoe
    September 22, 2010 at 2:29 pm


    okay, way too much excitement. i’ve been waiting for daaaaays for this whole foods to open! the other santa rosa one is kinda lackin. and the sebastopol one kinda is too. the novato one, well, now there’s the best whole foods i’ve ever been in.

    anyway, thanks for letting me know! i cannot cannot CANNOT wait to spend my entire paycheck! hope it was fun 🙂

  • Amber K
    September 22, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    I wish there was one near me! It sounds fabulous.

  • Marie
    September 22, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    a Whole Foods with a bar!? oh my gosh that is like mecca. I am so jealous!

  • Sarah @ BikingNBaking
    September 22, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Wow that Whole Foods is awesome! A beer cabin!?! By the end of this year were supposed to get another whole foods in SF, on Haight by Golden Gate Park.. Which happens to be right in my neighborhood! Im pretty excited. I hope ours comes equipped with the beer cabin!!!

  • Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary)
    September 22, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Pretty sure my WF’s doesn’t have a beer hut! Jealous. 😉

  • Krystina
    September 22, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    If our WF had a beer hut I would be even more broke than I am now.

  • Krystina
    September 22, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Wait, wait…a kombucha bar?! Be still, my heart.

  • Brynne
    September 22, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Kombucha bar? Do you want a visitor/permanent roommate?

  • Laura (Starloz)
    September 22, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    how awesome?
    wholefoods needs to come to australia, like right now!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey
    September 22, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    I just love WF’s. It always puts me in such a great mood whwenver I go there!

    I’m glad you have one near you!

  • katie
    September 22, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    i’m sorry did you say kombucha bar? brb moving to california.

  • Peggy
    September 22, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Whole Foods is dangerous! Every time I go in, I find about $40 worth of stuff that I didn’t know I needed, but that I need, need, need. It’s like Target. Sigh. I’m going to have to get up to Santa Rosa, though, to check out the beer cabin. Beer+cabin+Whole Foods? It’s almost too much.

  • Jen
    September 22, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    I have a question not related to the post, but I’ll ask anyway, You said that you have gained weight since your move out there. How do you deal with it mentally and do you know why you gained? I have recently gained some weight and am having a hard time because I can’t trace the gain to much change in food or exercise.

  • Nancy @ The Wife of a Dairyman
    September 22, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Wow! Whole Foods just keep getting bigger and better….Beer Bar?! Self serve gelato?! Our Novato store just opened last year and it doesn’t have either darn it!

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    September 22, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Whole Foods! Whole Foods! Whole Foods! Take me to my leader! <3<3<3 Whole Foods!

  • RhodeyGirl
    September 23, 2010 at 5:02 am

    Our new Whole Foods has a pretty rad wine and beer bar, and I think it is the coolest thing to see wine on tap!

  • Marieke
    September 23, 2010 at 5:26 am

    I wish we had Whole Foods. I think the only place is London in the UK. Around here, a health food shop is like 2 small isles and you bump into things when you turn. Jealous!!

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    September 17, 2012 at 3:30 am

    In it something is. Thanks for the help in thios question how I can thank you?

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