The new 365 by Whole Foods is amazing, and clearly nearly everyone else agrees. As I pull into the disaster that is the parking lot of the new 365 store off Glendale in Silverlake, I wonder if I’ve made a mistake coming here, rather than spending half my paycheck on the five things I need at Lassens or Gelsons. The parking lot attendants,
unlike the seasoned Trader Joes parking crew, merely look on at the blocked cars and chaos. They simply don’t know what to do either. The millennial in me lets out a whispered, “I just CANNOT.” But I “could” and so could everyone else, because we get to shop the significantly cheaper Whole Foods 365 brand items (compared to other brands sold at Whole Foods) in an awesome warehouse style layout. The 365 store sells pretty similar items as other health food stores, but is significantly less pricey. It’s already been several weeks that the store has been open, and its overwhelming popularity has yet to die down.
Despite dealing with hoards of people for hours, the staff remain friendly and helpful. Timing the lines, helping
customers find what they need quickly, and answering questions in a cheerful, yet genuine manner. Prices are more than Trader Joes, but the quality of certain items are much higher. The meat and fish, for example, all have a significant degree of humane raising and the fish is wild or from leading farms in the industry. There is less selection here, overall sections are more streamlined. However, they have carefully researched which items customers want choice in, and carry many brands for those items. For example, there are a lot of yoghurt options, and several different brands for dairy products in general. The wine and beer selection is pretty impressive. There’s lots of local southern California beer brands, a few options for organic brews, and craft ciders. In terms of wine, most bottles are under $20 and leaning heavily towards organic and biodynamic wines. They even sell small bottles of the often elusive St. Germain elderberry liquor. If you haven’t tried this in a cocktail, you should!
365 by Whole Foods is a very welcome newcomer to the Silverlake grocery scene. However, I can only hope that just a bit of the excitement will wear off, increasing the ease in which I can walk in and out. But for now, the chaos is here to stay, and it hasn’t deterred me yet.