Thursday, February 22, 2007

Whole Foods and Wild Oats

So Whole Foods and Wild Oats are merging.....This has created controversy in Santa Fe where Wild Oats customers are not pleased. In today's New Mexican, they were described as "stunned and dismayed". One shopper denigrated Whole Foods as the "Wal-Mart of natural groceries"; another described them as part of the "big box thing taking over this town". Still another did not want to shop at Whole Foods because it's where "the disposable-income people shop, look good, and flirt."

When I lived in Cambridge I shopped at Whole Foods pretty regularly. It had lots of great products, and you could get things there (like fresh-squeezed tangerine juice or out-of-season raspberries) that just weren't available anyplace else. But I have to say I liked it better when it was Bread and Circus, and local.

Here in Santa Fe, I've become a Trader Joe's fan, where the prices are much better.

But none of these places can hold a candle to Idylwilde Farms in Acton, Massachusetts, where I shopped for years, and would still shop today--except it's a bit of a drive from New Mexico. Even when I lived in Cambridge (25 miles from Acton), I used to shop there every 8 weeks or so--it was like an addiction! Those of us who shopped there on weekends used to say it was like going to church--that we worshipped at Idylwilde on Sunday mornings. They ground their own coffee beans and juiced their own oranges and baked their own baguettes on site--what delicious smells! Fresh flowers from their own greenhouses, perfect produce, an incredible choice of cheeses, imported foods, and their own farm-grown food in season--it's hard to do it justice on paper.


monica said...

oh. my. god! Just had to un-lurk (as another "recovering New Englander" in Santa Fe, I've been enjoying your blog) for this post: I grew up in Acton, and remember, as a child, going to the original Idylwilde Farms store, before they built the big version, when it was just one, low room. Wow. Thanks for the memory!


SantaFeKate said...

Oh yeah....though the real original was a pushcart in the North End a couple of generations back!!!

Did you go to ABRHS? My sons went to McCarthy-Towne and graduated from ABRHS in 1986 and 1990.

monica said...

yeah, I did go to AB, graduated in '87. Was your son in the band? :) Went to Gates for K-1, Douglas for 4-6 (we lived in Michigan in the intervening years). My sister would have graduated from AB in 1992, but my folks moved to Maryland in 1990.

If you haven't discovered it already, Santa Fe is the land of "small-planet-small-town" connections, serendipity, coincidences, synchronicity.