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Saturday, 17 November 2012

Whole Foods, Cheltenham

Thursday morning, while the cobwebs were still bejewelled and the sky was fog-filled, we took a trip down the motorway to meet a friend and her little one, for coffee and shopping at the new Whole Foods market near Cheltenham. After reading about it on Emma Bradshaw's blog, and seeing a few photos, I was really keen to go and have a mooch around as its locally sourced food ethos sounded right up my street, and it's only a 30 minute drive away. (Although it could be argued that driving half an hour to get there negates any carbon footprint benefits of buying local produce...ah well!)

The shop has only been open for a week so everything looks brand spanking new, and is obviously gaining popularity as, even at 10am, it was filling up with inquisitive shoppers.


The fruit and veg section was impressively stocked, with fruit arranged in such precarious stacks I was rather concerned that any over zealous pram steering would result in fruit chaos.


I loved the self service section where you can weigh out quantities of dried foods such as pulses, porridge and popcorn. The nut butter machine was especially intriguing - I'm wishing I'd got some of the cashew nut butter (although, that's a good excuse to return!).


The cheese counter could be sniffed out before you saw it...phwoooarrrrr! The wooden dresser piled with gloriously golden cheeses looked delicious. The charcuterie and meat counters were equally tempting. If I wasn't trying to stick to a pre-planned menu and budget, I would've treated us to steak and homemade potato wedges for tea.

The cake counter was beautiful - macaroons in a rainbow of pastels, and cupcakes topped with huge, ornate flowers.



I liked the fact they had all the producer details on big signs around the store, so you can see how far the products have travelled, whether they're from a local farm or overseas. It definitely makes you think - fruit from 8 miles down the road, or from Thailand...I know which I'd go for.

There were more recognisable brands and 'normal' supermarket items on the shelves than I thought there would be. (I was thinking it was just going to be local meat, cheese, milk, fruit and veg, bread etc). So it would be possible to do a full shop there...if you're feeling flush with cash! For a few local items though, it's perfect. (And maybe even one of those macaroons as a treat...!)

1 comment:

  1. I took a visit after reading Emma's blog too. It's all very tempting isn't it. I love the local emphasis but all that abundance looks so lovely - chestnuts and clementines were heaped high by the entrance when I visited.

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