Haute Food: Haight Ashbury Welcomes A Whole Foods of Firsts

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The space where Cala Foods once stood has been vacant for the past five years, and with the face of Haight slowly changing, a grocery superstore befitting the area’s organic food craze was a must. Across from Golden Gate Park, Whole Foods Stanyan Street was welcomed to the neighborhood with a surprise soft-opening before its scheduled grand opening on Feb. 16.

Now up-and-running, the Whole Foods in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood offers more locally-made products than any other, and utilizes plenty of recycled and reclaimed elements. A former Richmond high school gym floor is now the store’s checkout area, and redwood beams structuring the store can been carbon-dated to some 2,200 years ago, having been recycled by Pacific Lumber Co. A store full of firsts, this particular Whole Foods’ exterior signs are solar-powered LED lights. The store’s opening is a much-needed change from the wave of grocery store closures that has been rippling throughout urban San Francisco. Giving you more reason to shop here, taxes from the site go directly towards funding the city’s schools and infrastructure costs.

The new Whole Foods promotes local San Francisco with help from Harvindar Singh, Whole Foods’ Northern California forager. Employing its “415-bivore” program, Whole Foods tags its made-in-San-Fran products with specially-devoted signs denoting which specific neighborhoods the products came from. 415-produced products will grace most every aisle of the store. Stop by and get a glimpse of Whole Foods’ new animal welfare rating system, which guides consumers to make more ethical meat choices and helps them understand why certain meat prices appear higher than others.

The 21,000-square-foot Whole Foods located at 690 Stanyan brings Bay Area street food culture to its store and proffers full coffee bar and bakery. You are what you eat, and this San Francisco Whole Foods is chock-full of good food.

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