a trip to whole foods

We had big plans for Sunday. We were going to have pizza at this place in Costa Mesa that we have heard about frequently. Then we were going to go back to the open to the public restaurant supply store we recently discovered before hitting the library. But those plans got nixed since we got a later start than anticipated.

Instead, we headed straight to Newport Beach. We had lunch at R + D. It had been a while. Everything was delicious, and there was so much food, we figured the leftovers would be perfect for dinner since we still had a long day ahead of us.

As we were pulling into Fashion Island, we both had the same thought – that new Whole Foods is open. We should go to the library and garden store, and then come back and check it out. So that is what we did.

I finally got to see the second floor of the new library. I never made it up there when we visited three weeks ago for the Jon Klassen event. It is lovely. It is amazing how they integrated the building into the new civic center. Looks like there will soon be a cafe up there too. I really think it is time libraries embrace America’s caffeine addiction and turn it into books!

After checking out some books, we headed over to Roger’s Gardens. I decided it was time to liven up the back patio. Hopefully those baby squirrels in the yard won’t get too curious. I literally just picked some random plants and hope they will work out. We shall see. Once we loaded up the car – with a little help – it was back to Fashion Island.

We had parked near the Whole Foods earlier and decided that maybe we should park in the covered lot nearby. I did it mostly to keep the plants from wilting. In the future, I’d try to find a space adjacent to the store, although the people are pretty impatient. There is no where to return your car in the covered lot. Plus that is a long walk back on sidewalks that are not cart friendly.

Inside, the store is welcoming, but crowded. It is like everything is scaled down to fit, but it doesn’t quite work. The produce section isn’t as big, nor are the fish and meat departments. Still, we managed to find most of what we wanted.

I decided to check in on the Tejava prices. It was still $1.29 for a liter bottle. They only had one bottle and the shelf space for the product was less than 5 bottles. We decided to stop at the Customer Service desk and see if they had a case in the back. We actually did have a Tejava box in the car just in case.

We had to wait for a bit, but learned that they did not have any more in stock. It sounds like they were not aware of the bargain they have hiding on the bottom shelf. They were happy though to special order a case for us. I actually ordered a case and should get a phone call in a few days. I guess we will make a return visit soon.

The dairy department is very pretty with its shelves and back lighting. Apparently one of the team members was talking up the Cocoa Metro chocolate milk that we recently discovered. It is expensive, but I assure you, it is like no other chocolate milk you have ever had.

I always like to stop and look at the bakery. Again, they had many of the same things at the Tustin location – just less. They had samples out of their breads, which I thought was nice. I picked out a loaf of sliced sourdough. The bag was wet. No idea what that was about.

I think the push at this market is for their ready made items. They have a very large seating area around the outside of the store. They also have a full service restaurant, which looks promising. It smelled delicious. I think they are doing Santa Maria style BBQ on Sundays this summer. We might have to check that out next trip.

Overall, I wasn’t that impressed, and it wasn’t just the parking situation. I think this store is more for the locals who want to bring home dinner after spending the day shopping at Nordies. It may also be popular with the people who work at Fashion Island, especially to grab lunch.

We will probably continue to shop at the Tustin location, which is still about 25 miles from the house (each way). I think the best thing I learned is that you can call ahead and essentially reserve a case of Tejava. Did I mention the 10% case discount? Guess which number is going in my speed dial?

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