Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Everything's bigger in Texas...even the Whole Foods

Ahhh...the Whole Foods flagship store in downtown Austin. How I miss thee. Thy rooftop deck with dining tables and playscape for the kiddos. Thy mouthwatering, awe-inspiring bulk foods section.

"How can a bulk foods section be awe-inspiring?" you ask. After all, bulk foods sound sensible, economical, but hardly jaw-dropping. You haven't seen nuthin' yet, my friends.

(I had to get special dispensation from the very nice Whole Foods higher-ups to take these photos. I wore a special badge sticker and felt quite special.)


...the mighty wall of spices and dried peppers...This wall reminds me of an incredible pantry. Vintage and organized and inviting...all at the same time.

Flours, grains, beans...oh my!

I'm absolutely in love with these specialty sugars. So much that little bags of the green chili cane sugar and lime cane sugar came home with me. The green chili sugar is amazing. Redolent of green chili. Spicy and sweet. I think it would pair beautifully with shrimp. And the lime sugar just speaks to me. "Perfect for rimming margarita glasses," it says. 

Whoever thought dried beans could be inspirational? Here, they are. Their subtle, varied colors and textures displayed in these old-fashioned bins remind me of artisan-made beads. Art in legume form.

Thanks to the Whole Foods folks for allowing me to share these photos with you. There's lots to think about here. Ways to use stored foods decoratively. Chalkboards with hand-written quotes and info. Fabulous flavored sugars. Definite food for thought.


  1. oh lord, that is awesome. I have heard the Dedham MA store is the flagship store for this area. I'd like to take a trip down and see someday, I don't think it's as fab as the austin store though.

  2. What an awesome store! My daughter is in Tulsa, and is convinced the South is devoid of healthy food, or at least has a lot of trouble finding things she was used to in the Whole Foods and similar stores in Seattle.. Her fiance is from Texas and I think they go through Austin to his home town, so I'll have to tell her about this store!

  3. Oh man I wish the closest Whole Foods wasn't TWO HOURS away! Can you pick me up some vegan donuts?

  4. Debbie, The Dedham store is really nice. It's not my local store, but I get over there every once in awhile. The Austin store is the national flagship (the company is headquartered there) so I think they pulled out all the stops.

    Rhome, I think your daughter would love it! It's at 6th and Lamar. Let me know if she ever visits it.

    Deva, two hours??? Wow. Is there any organic grocery close by like Sprouts?

  5. I saw the name of the blog and had to stop in and give you a BIG, warm TX hello!

    Hi, My name is Meme from Screaming Meme. It is so nice to stumble on to Texan blogs...:) Stop by and sign up for one of my many giveaways in my giveaway series...This week is a slipcover...

    Xo, Meme

  6. We have a gem of a family owned grocery shop called Wards. They have organics, bulk bins and also regular stuff. It is an eclectic mix of hippies,yuppies,poorer neighborhood people and college kids shopping there. So, I guess it is good that there is no Whole Foods bc that would put Wards out of business. But still...


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