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PHOTOS: A First Look Inside Whole Foods Market JP

Whole Foods opened its doors to the media four days before its anticipated and controversial opening.

At 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Whole Foods Market Jamaica Plain is set to open. But you don't have to wait to get a peek at the inside of the grocery store. Whole Foods offered tours to the media on Saturday.

Later, we'll also be posting a video tour.

For all JP Patch coverage of Whole Foods coming to JP, please visit this topic page.

Bob from JP October 30, 2011 at 09:14 PM
Whole Foods, and other sane JP residents don't want you to shop there either, so it works out well.
James October 31, 2011 at 02:45 AM
My money was on Ben Mauer to be the turd in the punchbowl. Forgot about Reed.
Em October 31, 2011 at 03:36 AM
I'll shop enough for both of us, no worries :)
Em October 31, 2011 at 03:38 AM
Will, you should make a blog post or get the Patch to run an article on this
Sarah Lydon October 31, 2011 at 12:56 PM
Thank you, Gretchen!
Sarah Lydon October 31, 2011 at 01:02 PM
Reed--it's incredible to me how you and others keep popping up to comment without ever attempting to engage in any kind of civil dialogue about this issue or listen to the opinions of anyone who disagrees with you. If you don't want to shop at WF, don't--feel free to buy your groceries at another local business that has met all of the demands that you're making on WF. I'm still waiting eagerly to hear which business it is that has signed a CBA, pays their workers a starting salary of more than $10 an hour, isn't "profit-hungry" etc. etc. Best of luck.
Sarah Lydon October 31, 2011 at 01:03 PM
Will--thanks for posting. Like many of us, I'm sure, I'm spread my food dollars over a range of sources, and I'm thrilled to have you guys in the neighborhood.
Drew October 31, 2011 at 02:11 PM
@Reed - Can you point me to any actual data or facts that might quantify your assertion that WF is going to have "negative impacts [sic]" on our neighborhood? I have yet to see any such data, after all of the "debate" that's occurred this year. Also, can you point me to a single business in JP (of the CVS, 7-11, Stop & Shop, Dunkin' Donuts variety) that has signed a profit-sharing agreement with the community like the one you think is so "reasonable"? I'll wait for it. Meanwhile, I'll shop at a store that, as Gretchen points out, hired every former Hi Lo employee who interviewed, gave $$ to the Hyde Square Task Force and a salad bar to the Curley School before opening, brought 104 jobs with benefits to Hyde Square, and partnering with six other WF stores to donate 5% of their profits on 11/15 (and a minimum of $20,000) to a JP nonprofit. Oh, and there's that small matter of filling an empty storefront in Hyde Square with a vibrant, proven business.
Drew October 31, 2011 at 02:13 PM
Will, thanks for sharing. I heard some rumblings about this through the grapevine and intend to check it out--along with Whole Foods!
James October 31, 2011 at 03:18 PM
Just got a Tweet from WF that they're open as of today -- two days early. Nice work, guys! Looking forward to going there. Not looking forward to the puppet show outside.
Reed Miller October 31, 2011 at 03:30 PM
@ Sarah Lydon: Let's review recent history. Whose Foods? has hosted several community events where people came together to discuss this issue. As far as I can recall, Whole Foods supporters have not hosted a single event. Whole Foods hosted a forum allowing for a mere 1 hour of Q &A which was shut down by the police due to a simple banner drop. We have had a presence at nearly every JPNC meeting, and on the JPNC Ad-Hoc Committee. I think the record speaks for itself--Whose Foods? has done quite well as a volunteer group engaging people in dialogue.
Reed Miller October 31, 2011 at 03:37 PM
Also, you folks forget that you stoop to a new low and use personal attacks very often on these forums. Instead of dealing with childishly being called names like "a turd in the punchbowl" on this forum, I've instead chosen to taken time to have in-person conversations with neighbors who show me respect, even if they disagree.
Sarah Lydon October 31, 2011 at 03:56 PM
By all means, enjoy the rally. I'm going to enjoy a little trick-or-treating and then maybe do some grocery shopping. Still curious to know where the Whose Fooders do theirs, but I'm not holding my breath for an answer.
James October 31, 2011 at 03:58 PM
Requests for the beatification of Reed Miller, who puts the "than" in "holier-than-thou," can be sent to benedictxvi@vatican.va .
Chris Helms (Editor) October 31, 2011 at 04:01 PM
Hi everyone -- please remember that we're all neighbors here, even when we disagree. Let's put a stop to the name-calling.
James October 31, 2011 at 04:11 PM
You're right, of course, Chris. I look forward to the Whose Fooders' neighborly behavior toward the new business employing over 100 of their neighbors, and where many other neighbors will be shopping today! We should all be neighborly and offer the ralliers snacks bought at Whole Foods when we leave the store tonight!
Hillary October 31, 2011 at 04:29 PM
Thanks. :)
Hillary October 31, 2011 at 04:29 PM
Hope the weather will be good!
Ben Mauer October 31, 2011 at 05:05 PM
Whole Foods is the biggest turd in the wonderful punch bowl that is Jamaica Plain! Yeah! The Patch has become my favorite source of childish entertainment, right after the 5 hours of Teletubbies that I watch every day before nap time. Here's a real turd for your punch-bowl, fresh out of the oven: "Walmart may try Whole new recipe" (http://bostonherald.com/business/general/view.bg?articleid=1376494). That's right, Walmart is hoping to copy Whole Foods most excellent, incredible, and amazing business model and circumvent traditional means of community opposition by leasing smaller spaces that already exist.
James October 31, 2011 at 05:09 PM
Hey, Ben! Plugged your laptop in over here in JP for the afternoon, did you? Did you get much snow in Roxbury over the weekend?
Marc near the Park October 31, 2011 at 05:27 PM
So, a dormant our dilapidated property is preferred to a new business that a small minority doesn't agree with? Whole Foods and Wal Mart are two VERY different companies, apples and fake plastic oranges made in China. Not every "corporation" is bad and to paint with a broad brush is foolish.
Marc near the Park October 31, 2011 at 05:28 PM
*or
Drew October 31, 2011 at 05:50 PM
Ben, the fact that you equate Wal-Mart with Whole Foods, presumably because they both sell things and have chosen to incorporate, is bizarre. Take a minute and read up on their respective business models, labor practices, product sourcing etc. and I think you will reconsider. But more importantly, after all these months I still have yet to hear a factual basis for "community opposition" to Whole Foods. Do you have any third-party data you can provide to support the position that Whole Foods is going to be bad for JP? Because the opposition that I have heard has seemed lacking in factual, as opposed to rhetorical or anecdotal, support.
Ben Mauer October 31, 2011 at 06:27 PM
@Drew: They are in fact very similar and becoming increasingly so. 1. Whole Foods is the second largest non-union food retailer after Walmart. 2. Walmart is pursuing an aggressive up-market strategy and diversifying its supply chain, particularly on organic food. At the same time, Whole Foods is aggressively pushing a down-market strategy, using its increased buying power and store brand to put downward pressure on prices for organic foods by buying outside the U.S. ("Whole Trade" and buying fake organic lettuce "mix" from China), and increasingly participating in the "big agriculture organic" system. Increasingly, Walmart and Whole Foods will be battling over the same large-scale supply of organic food, with the real losers being local small farmers. Whole Foods whole "local" line is just marketing smoke and mirrors. 3. As the article I posted suggests, Whole Foods and Walmart are pursing the same strategy in terms of aggressively pursuing urban markets and moving into smaller store footprints. It's in fact the same strategy. So they're the same there. 4. Their CEO's are both right-wing libertarian nut-jobs who hate paying taxes and put a lot of energy into dismantling any obligations for actually paying for healthcare. So, there are 4 ways in which Walmart and Whole Foods are similar.
Ben Mauer October 31, 2011 at 06:34 PM
In terms of hard evidence that Whole Foods will be bad for JP, just read this great op-ed on the "Whole Foods Effect" that appeared here in the Patch. http://jamaicaplain.patch.com/articles/an-open-letter-to-jamaica-plain-on-the-whole-foods-effect The existence of Whole Foods has been proven increase property values so rapidly that a neighborhood is not able to act quickly enough to address the displacement that ensues. Unless we are able to put a large amount of funding towards anti-displacement work right now, we risk losing many many families to increased rates of condo-ization and rising rents. That is why Whole Foods signing an agreement that includes specifically anti-displacement work is so important. That Whole Foods is giving money to Community Servings is laudable, and certainly gives Whole Foods a nice list of buzzwords to check off their marketing plan, but that doesn't stop displacement.
Marc near the Park October 31, 2011 at 06:41 PM
This so called Whole Foods effect, when did these studies take place? Wasn't the study published in 2007? I'm guessing they sourced data over several previous years, thus, these large and unjustified upswings in property value could be related to housing boom.
Marc near the Park October 31, 2011 at 06:55 PM
http://www.prx.org/pieces/15461-the-whole-foods-effect#description A 2006 NPR story. A lot of things have happened since then, especially to the housing market.
Bob from JP October 31, 2011 at 07:46 PM
Uhh..... how exactly is an opinion piece written by a Whose Foods comrade of yours "hard evidence"??????????????
Bob from JP October 31, 2011 at 09:54 PM
"Their CEO's are both right-wing libertarian nut-jobs who hate paying taxes and put a lot of energy into dismantling any obligations for actually paying for healthcare." So If they are "right-wing libertarian nut-jobs", where exactly does that leave you? "Holier than Thou bleeding heart pinko commie leftist liberal lunatic"?
Maura November 01, 2011 at 02:06 AM
1. Unions are not, by definition, good. There can be benefits. There can be drawbacks. It is up to the workers to decide. 2. I bet the many, many small producers who do business with WFM don't consider it smoke and mirrors. It's called SALES. 3. Pursuing smaller markets, particularly in urban areas is good business sense and serves the community well. How many places are there in our fair city that could accomodate a store the size of River St in Cambridge? Or the Dedham store? 4. There's a ton of nut-jobs out there. All kinds. Many right here in JP. But you cannot say that WFM has crappy healthcare benefits. They may not be gold standard but they aren't bad.

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