I hopped in my car today and drove up the street (less than 15 minutes!) to the new Whole Foods at the Legacy Place shopping center in Dedham.
The store is 60,000 square feet - about 70% bigger than any other in the area. It's the first store in Massachusetts to be powered with on-site fuel cell technology. The store has a walk-in fromagerie with 30 cheeses, macrobiotics, salad, soup and sushi bars, a shawarma station including beef and lamb shawarma, falafel and chicken and salmon kebobs, a beer and wine section with more than 370 beers, including many New England brews, made-to-order seafood (I had some Manhattan clam chowder), and a butcher shop, not to mention freezer and shelf space dedicated to gluten-free living. It also has one of the chain’s largest selections of organic produce in the country (323 organic produce items in stock, as the sign boasted), and one of the biggest bulk food sections, with over 200 items including beans, nuts, agave nectar, honey and maple syrup.
I navigated my way around the store pretty well, considering the layout is new to me and I had a toddler who seemed to grab for every glass jar he could find! The staff was helpful, and the store was fairly well-marked. They even had maps, and were giving away tons of free samples and free heavy-duty canvas grocery bags.
And lots & lots of staples were on sale! Enjoy Life chocolate chips (GFDFSF) were on sale for $2.50 (regularly $3.49 at WF and over $4 at the regular grocery store). Coconut milk was $2.50 (regularly $4.39!), and coconut milk ice cream was $3.50 (regularly over $5!). I had a $1 off coupon for both, which made it an even more awesome deal. I even splurged and bought 2 kinds of kombucha ($2 a bottle) and some raw sauerkraut ($3.99).
Only a few things were disappointing to me. First, there were no dried apricots in the bulk foods department, a staple in this sulphur-free household. Second, they didn't have kid's carts, the small, kid-sized ones that Bear likes to push around. Technically, he's 35 pounds and just about too big to ride in a shopping cart. Last, they didn't have the soy-free margarine we buy. This was especially disappointing because Whole Foods is the only place I can find it, and it's one of the main things I purchase there. I was able to track down the dairy buyer, and I was actually the 2nd person who asked for it (even though the store had only been open for 2 hours!). He is planning on keeping it in stock and is going to call me when it comes in. How awesome is that?
So overall, it was a very positive experience and I'll definitely be shopping there again!
Edited to add: Since I posted this, they not only have dried apricots (sulfur-free) in the bulk section, they also have plenty of soy-free margarine. I have to say that's very good customer service.