Many rush through the grocery store with lists in hand, grabbing what is needed and getting out of there as fast as possible. As a food obsessed person, I generally completely loose track of time in any food shop and end up checking out new products and leaving with way more than I had planned. There is a happy medium though, as at West Vancouver’s Whole Foods Market tours can be booked to guide you through the store, ensuring you won’t be overwhelmed by the vast selection.
Justin, the store’s tour guide and concierge was on hand last week as I toured the West Vancouver location, the first in Western Canada and still the top ranking in sales. The big draw of Whole Foods Marekt for all shoppers is the value-added selections in pretty much all the departments. In the meat department Jason showcased the store-made sausages and burgers, vast selection of meat cuts and marinades added at no charge.
The seafood case is similarly set up with in-house smoking, complimentary marinades, and free oyster shucking. There is clear and full disclosure of the condition the animals and the fish grew up in and their exact position on the sustainability scale.
In the produce isle it’s all about the citrus fruit at this time of year, veggies are cut in house for easy home prep and fruit juice is cold pressed daily. Even the prepped vegetables and fruit are far more reasonably priced than I expected and throughout the whole store there is a mission to decrease food waste and all that doesn’t make the cut is composted.
Annie and Sandy dolled out juice samples; I had to have seconds of several.
In the cheese department you’ll find over 300 different cheeses and the knowledgeable staff can help you negotiate your way through the selection. Nitrate free meats are made in North Vancouver at Black Forest Meats with recipes developed especially for Whole Foods Market.
Pick up some of the hand selected olives, add some pickles and crackers you’ve got a cheese and meat plate ready for entertaining.
Baked goods, breads and desserts are sourced from a variety of top suppliers and the store has a huge bakery upstairs which fills the shelves with cakes, cupcakes, petit-fours, and all sorts of amazing creations. Just ask for a sample and you’ll be treated to something sweet.
At the coffee and smoothie bar there’s some tough choices to make. Don’t miss a wellness immunity shot full of ginger, apple and citrus juice, cayenne and tummeric; it’ll kick any oncoming cold out of your system.
The news at the take out counter is the bento boxes which are filled with healthy salads dense in nutrients and good fats. Order up a selection of four for lunch or dinner for just $7.99. I came home with a kale, quinoa, cauliflower and tofu filled box and snacked on it well into the afternoon.
You can’t leave without a stop in the flower department where they not only source fair trade florals, but actually go a step further to partner with suppliers, donating to the communities directly to contribute to infrastructure.
Don’t miss the Valentine’s Day roses, double dozen can be bought for $35 in a variety of gorgeous colours.
To book your own special tour, contact customer service in West Vancouver.
Whole Foods Market West Vancouver 925 Main St
West Vancouver, BC V7T 2Z3 Canada
Store Hours: 7am to 10pm seven days a week
Disclaimer – Thanks to Whole Foods West Vancouver for the tour and sponsorship of this post.