Posted in Around Town

The Whole Foods Flagship

Hello, Pasadena! The ship has docked. I haven’t been yet—but I know I will go. And I will be both amazed and disgusted by this new Cathedral of Foodism. Amazed because of the beauty and variety and aroma of freshly roasted nuts. Disgusted because this screams “bigger divide between haves and have-nots” to me. Do they take WIC?

As far as I can tell, the only thing they don’t have is rooms for rent.

Here’s some linkage for you:

Eater LA: Liveblogging Whole Foods: Nothing Like a Glass of Wine Before Hitting Aisle 4

Eater LA: More Whole Foods Than We Can Handle

LAist: New 2-story Whole Foods in Pasadena: Wow

KCHblog: The new Whole Foods in Pasadena will blow your mind Christie’s got a photo of one of the chocolate fountains.

Eating LA: Whole Foods Pasadena: The next fern bar?

Rainy Days & Sundays: I’ve Died and Gone to Whole Foods

Tableau Vivante: Whole Foods behemoth careens into Pasadena (TV hasn’t been yet but gives good linkage.)

Curbed LA: Whole Foods in Pasadena. In Pictures. Photos from last summer when it was a foodgasm under construction.

Whole Foods site (Worth reading for their descriptions. Eco-chic apparel? Gimme a break.)

Bye bye, Wild Oats at California and Lake. Are you going to turn back into a Gelson’s (which is what you were before your new building)?  UPDATE: Nick has pointed out that I mean Jurgenson’s, not Gelson’s.  I didn’t shop there, but I used to have their big yummy-but-gloopy sandwiches once in a while.

Nah, I guess Gelson’s will keep hanging on over there at the Paseo. Are you going to be a Fresh and Easy? Whatever—just please don’t sit empty for long.


This is a personal blog. Expect a potpourri of stuff.

13 thoughts on “The Whole Foods Flagship

  1. What a great collection of links! I went on Friday and it was HUGE! It was so big that it was a little hard to find stuff. I miss the cozy atmosphere of Wild Oats. But I was able to get 100% grassfed beef hamburger, which Wild Oats didn’t carry.

  2. I don’t shop at whole foods because I think it is a little pricey. My choice. Whole foods providing expensive food for those who can afford it does not take a single crumb out of the mouths of the poor. They do provide entry level jobs and a market for boutique and organic farms who may not, under other circumstances, have a stream of distribution in the agri-business dominated super markets. There is room for everybody. As for class divide welcome to America a lot of folks from St. Francis to Marx have tried to solve that one. If anyone comes up with an answer I will be happy to listen.

  3. Fresh N Easy – that would be a great fit for that space! I’ll have to go check out the Arcadia location soon – I didn’t realize Tesco already launched here.

  4. “Groceries are as exciting as laundry is to me.” MH————-Call me when it is underwear day baby! Please forgive me if I have caused a hostile or offensive blogging environment. See I paid attention at the seminar.

  5. Finally went today at lunch. While I am impressed with the vaulted giganticness of it, I could help but feel it was all a little vulgar. It was like the ultimate temple to consumption.

    I think my current routine better suits my conscience and budget. Unless there is something completely unique there that is unattainable elsewhere, I can’t see making it a part of my regular food runs.

    And I echo Jill’s initial comment on the size to findability ratio. What a maze.

    Though I think the cart escalators are cool. Reminds me of trolley cars scaling San Fran’s famous hills.

  6. I don’t remember that Wild Oats being a Gelson’s, are you thinking of Jurgenson’s? That store was so out of touch with the times that it had to fail. I was hoping Whole Foods would retain the location as a Whole Foods Jr. type of operation, since it’s located in a San Marino-friendly spot. But I wouldn’t mind seeing a Fresh and Easy there, just to make the whole gamut of trendy food outlets convenient to me.

  7. Nick, you are right. It was Jurgenson’s, not Gelson’s. I never shopped there, but I remember eating big gloopy sandwiches from there at work-related meetings. Thanks for the correction.

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