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WH makes its Vancouver Move


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WH, like Urban Fare, is all about image. Hip people buying hip food.

That actually sounds like a real turn off. More like hip people with no sense of adventure, doing what they're told is hip. Ick!

You are so lucky in Vancouver with the wealth of urban ethnic markets and farm markets in the summer. Look at Commerical Drive, look at Granville Isl. market, although I understand the need for convenience in your neighbourhood, but come on, support local.

s

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I think there is the perception that big stores are better. Sure you can get all of your shopping done in one stop. But you usually pay a premium via higher prices. Take the time to compare apples to apples.

Support your local small grocers, farmers markets and specialty food stores, or they may dissapear.

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Neil, the Royal Bank is staying; it was a funny little part of the DP application meeting, actually, that the RBC is a little unhappy about the proposed underground RAV entrance from the site, as they consider it negatively impacts on security, to have a bunch of people digging under their bank :laugh:

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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The whole Whole Foods thing is interesting. I live in West Van, about a five minute drive from Park Royal. When the WF first went in we went and gawked, bought a bunch of stuff, and then suffered price shock at the check out. I think that's true of a lot of the people in my 'hood. A neighbor of mine actually went, did some shopping there, then (because she was so surprised at the cost) went to the local Safeway to price any identical products. She found they were 2 to 3 times as expensive at whole foods FOR THE SAME THING. She has decided that she will now only go to WF for special treats she can't find in other stores. We've adopted the same policy and most of West Van must have since the number of people shopping there has dropped considerably in the last month. It's only really crowded now for an hour after work -- when people are rushing home and they need a quick meal -- and on weekends, when people are browsing. Go there during the day most other times and it's empty.

That being said, their roast vanilla pepper chicken is TOO GOOD. It always sells out. And the cheese selection is great, though more expensive than the Cheese Shoppe in Park Royal.

I actually think a branch on Cambie, or whatever, might do better than Park Royal because you have a lot more single people who would appreciate the convenience of the prepared foods.

Paul B

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what ever happened to the thrill of the hunt?  like actually going to a true italian deli for italian sausages?  getting fruit and vegetables straight from the people who grow them at the farmers market at trout lake?  driving up and down Kingsway looking for ghee and garam masala at the Indian supermarkets? 

To paraphrase the immortal chuck D: if I ever pay $15 at one of those supertrendymarkets for a bottle of olive oil that you can get on Commercial Drive for 9 bucks, you can slap me right here.

Thanks for some focus.

I think if this thread were about a new branch of a chain of restuarants rather than a supermarket, the discussion would be different. Generic yuppie psuedo-greens in their german SUV's buying organic bottled water isn't really that interesting.

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Thanks for some focus.

I think if this thread were about a new branch of a chain of restuarants rather than a supermarket, the discussion would be different. Generic yuppie psuedo-greens in their german SUV's buying organic bottled water isn't really that interesting.

Speaking of focus ...

Let's keep the discussion focussed on WH, Save-On, Capers, etc. opening up a new store in Vancouver rather than a discussion of their merits or lack thereof.

I for one am amazed that so many are looking at opening up in such close proximatey. A WH at 8th would crush the Capers going in up at 16th ... and a Save-On would split the market so baddly that it would end up a war of attrition.

A.

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what ever happened to the thrill of the hunt?  like actually going to a true italian deli for italian sausages?  getting fruit and vegetables straight from the people who grow them at the farmers market at trout lake?  driving up and down Kingsway looking for ghee and garam masala at the Indian supermarkets?  

To paraphrase the immortal chuck D: if I ever pay $15 at one of those supertrendymarkets for a bottle of olive oil that you can get on Commercial Drive for 9 bucks, you can slap me right here.

Thanks for some focus.

I think if this thread were about a new branch of a chain of restuarants rather than a supermarket, the discussion would be different. Generic yuppie psuedo-greens in their german SUV's buying organic bottled water isn't really that interesting.

I don't think that it is fair to label WH as strictly a yuppie market. I shop there and they have introduced me to local products that I otherwise had not tried (Mont Royal Bagels for instance). They try to feature local farmers and the stores are encouraged to source locally. I have seen on their shelves Savary Island Pies, Denman Island Chocolates, Lesley Stowe's Rain Crisps, etc... They have the biggest selection of Avalon dairy products I have seen in a supermarket. They used to really push Island Farm products until it was sold to Beatrice in Quebec.

WH does alot to help mainstream alot of organic products. For example the now carry Blue Goose Cattle - which is BC raised organic beef. I can't think of another place where I can buy a clearly identified BC beef product. All the better that it is organically and humanely raised cattle.

WH sells fish based upon sustainable fishing practices and species. They also treat their employees well - and they are given alot of autonomy to provide the best customer services as they see fit and are rewarded for it. There are governance policies in place that limit the gap between the highest paid person and the lowest paid person in the Company.

Are they perfect? Of course not. The pricing can be killer - if Costco sold organic meats and sustainable seafood... I would not be at WH a whole lot. But they do provide choices that were not previously available. They are providing organic farmers a way to up the volume of their crop and spread the word on organic food.

I still shop ALOT at local stores (you should join me on a sourcing weekend - I am going from one end of the city to the other - because it's fun). Last weekend I was at Santa Barbara Produce and a number of cheese places on Commercial. I buy my bread at Uprising Breads...

Anyways - it is about choices. I just happen to think that WH provides good choices. To be honest - I do shop less at their store since they opened up because some of the novelty factor has worn off - and I do enjoying 'sourcing'. But I make no excuses for shopping at WF.

So - to keep things on topic :biggrin: - a WF on Cambie and Sav On opening up right across the street shows how tough the market it going to get. I can't remember the last time I went to a Safeway (without being desparate). It is either local shops, Save On, Costco, or WF when I go spend my dollars. Grocery stores - becuase of the thin margins - always seem to be teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.

Uggh - I am now officially very late for work.

Edited by canucklehead (log)
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But my objection is that they add nothing to the city, with the exception of very nice produce available 7 days a week.

Agreed - I think that the value equation is going to be tough for them. Vancouver is definitely where their market is - but the choices in the city are exponentially higher then just about anywhere else in the lower mainland. Given the choice to fight to find parking in a crowded lot (probably underground) and a nice little walk down Commercial - well I know which I would choose. It not hard to see how it will be tough for WF on Cambie.

I was surprised that they did'nt hit some other suburbs first. South Surrey/White Rock and Fort Langley come to mind (I visited Fort Langley for the first time in YEARS and I was surprised how beautiful it was - some serious horse money out there).

Edited by canucklehead (log)
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If WF opens @ Cambie/Broadway the first place to go under will be Choices @ Cambie & 18th.

They have an older building, cramped and inconvenient and it's ripe for redevelopment with the RAV heading through.

As to Capers being killed-I don't see it.The walk down to Broadway will appeal to a few at times but convenience rules in this o-so-shallow world we live in.

Further to WF featuring local-Yes for a price.

Like canucklehead I do a lot of sourcing across the city-that won't change and is a large part of what makes this such a fabulous city to live in.In fact I'm cycling up to Little India in a while to buy Basmati/do lunch.

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If WF opens @ Cambie/Broadway the first place to go under will be Choices @ Cambie & 18th.

They have an older building, cramped and inconvenient and it's ripe for redevelopment with the RAV heading through.

As to Capers being killed-I don't see it.The walk down to Broadway will appeal to a few at times but convenience rules in this o-so-shallow world we live in.

I have some serious doubts about Choices even surviving the Capers opening, plus I think if anyone (Save-On or Whole Foods) open in the Cambie corridor it will be the end for the Safeway in City Square - probably the worst Safeway in creation.

Personally I would welcome Whole Foods or Save-On with open basket - competition has a way of benefitting the consumer.

''Wine is a beverage to enjoy with your meal, with good conversation, if it's too expensive all you talk about is the wine.'' Bill Bowers - The Captain's Tavern, Miami

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I think it is very interesting to hear people's comments on what can survive if competition comes in... my opinion is that there is room for most if not all of these places in close proximity. Cambie and Broadway is a VERY busy junction in our fair city with tons of traffic both pedestrian and car, with RAV it will increase accessibility. What we now have in that area is one of the lamest Safeway locations (in City Square), the worst of the Choices chain (I mean I shop there, but only because it is close) and the next closest grocery store is at Main and 14th ... well ok, maybe the downtown ones are closer!

In other cities where I have lived, there is MUCH more competition and yet everyone survives. I'm not sure we have room for all 5 in such a short radius, but why is it not good to see them all come in and battle it out. Whole Foods and Capers are both US based, with WF it kind of bothers me - I might be extra sesitive, but I stopped in during the week as I was in West Van, bought a few items on sale (those were the ones I could afford :blink: ) and when I asked for paper bags at the checkstand had this bizarre conversation about how they CANNOT get them imported to our country for a cheap enough price! Hello, everyone should know that paper shopping bags are so much better for our environment than plastic (yes I should have had cloth, but didn't)

Anyway, I'm off topic. I say, good news if they all come into the area and I hope there is some parking for those of us who no longer live in easy walking distance to that hood.

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