As anyone who eats and/or lives below 14th street knows, today at 8:00 a.m. the Whole Foods Bowery will throw open its doors to the unwashed masses desirous of fresh produce and hoity-toity foodstuffs in aisles stretching toward infinity. Many predict a foodie riot when the doors open, as residents who have waited years, YEARS, for the opening clamor for a taste . I'm suiting up in my flak vest, and yuppie fatigues to check out the scene. Expect live updates via Blackberry, (stk is sld out, womn gves birth! LOL) after the jump!
Doors open. After a short speech (this is the best store in the whole northeast region!) there's a bread breaking ceremony with a ten foot loaf [Ed Note: Ewww!] and the customers are applauded and let in!
Cedar wrapped primavera salmon! $8.99
Lemon dill sockeye salmon burgers! $6.99
Lady at salad bar not impressed. "It's not fully stocked," she complains. And she's pissed the olives are ten bucks a pound and not eight, like the rest of the salad bar. She's got a point!
Cafes of plainclothed employees with digicams are roaming the store. And by cafes I mean cadres. $%&$ blackberry!
Staff to customer ratio starting to level out at comfy one to one.
Sausage party! Sixteen types of sausage including Apulian chicken sausage in lamb casing and pineapple Ligurian chicken sausage in pork casing!
Weird organic clothing upstairs. Living Planet camisole for seventy bucks? One woman walked by and said, impressed, "Well they don't have THESE at Trader Joe's!"
Oh shit! They have Highlights! I love goofus and gallant. And also Hip Mama, the parenting zine. No Child, obvi.
Just saw an employee feather-dusting jars of whey protein!
The healthy lifestyle center has yoga mats, candles and copies of Good magazine.
What's missing? Samples!
First baby spotted.
Man eating tofu drops a cube. One employee kicks it by accident, one steps on it. Finally a manager wipes it up. Crap, did I say employee? I meant "team member."
Register broken at Allegro coffee! Is broken! Free coffee!
holy shit wifi!
Man, no more stupid Blackberry typos. Sitting now at a long table upstairs connected to Default. Lots of contractors up here. Few customers. The employees of Sushiya busily preparing sushi.
That woman who loved the organic clothing is a laid off Money magazine employee! Ha!
At the coffee place, Allegro; at the sushi place, Sushiya; at the Italian place Rustica Minardi and at the salad bar, combined, there must be 40 signs saying, "No Tipping." Okay, we get it.
Caravan of stroller, cart, stroller, cart, stroller, stroller just passed. We should start calling this place LES Slope or something.
Just got in a shoving match with the same douchebag who dropped the tofu! I expect this kind of thing to happen a lot as social outcasts come out of the woodwork for the organic produce.
Just got a sample of the Sonoma chicken salad and the woman couldn't figure out how to open the deli case. Adorable! (Salad is delicious.)
Chocolate hazelbut gelato from laboratorio del gelato already sold out!
The sushi place has a conveyor belt! Genius!
There's a Q and A board full of made-up questions, like Whole Foods looks like a hard place to work... How do I go about the process of future employment? And other messages, all in the same girlie hand writing and signed with men's names. Just like magazines!
Fake graffiti in the rumpus room! It says 'LES'!
David Haskell, editor of Topic magazine, says: "No smoothie bar! That's what I love! But in general I'm elated!"
A bunch of off-duty Union Square Whole Foods employees stop by. Consensus? This one's prettier but Union Square is the money maker. Says one: "That's right baby. We the money maker!"
I'm fucking bored out of my mind.
My nostrils ache from the many wondrous strange odors, my eyeballs burn from all the wide-eyed awe, my thumbs are sore from the live blogging and I can't take any more of the swing music that they're piping over the loud speakers!
Just noticed the aisles are named Delancey, division, bowery, second Ave...etc. Just picked up a scone at st marks place. Sadly there aren't any dirty pink urchins here.
Pommes frites bar open in t minus ninety minutes!
Staff-customer ratio revision: everybody works here! No uniforms but you see their creepy smile and you know. Also they have name tags.
This is the longest I've ever spent in a grocery store.
Holy shit! Just met the woman responsible for the Whole Foods font! Her name is Charlotte and the font's name is Molly. She is a sweet older lady with an angelic face. She's responsible for the whole northeast. She says each store has a couple of writers or "store artists": this one has two.
The shnozberries taste like shnozberries! [Ed. Note: Josh is losing it. Can someone go pull him out?]
10:05 a.m. You can make your own nutter-butters!
10:10 a.m. FREEDOM is just another word for getting out of whole foods. The crystal air of the bowery has never smelled so fresh.