Silver Lake Resident Wants REAL Whole Foods, Not This Budget Crap
A petition to get the planned Silver Lake 'budget' Whole Foods to turn into a real Whole Foods is circulating, claiming that the company has the trendy neighborhood's demographic all wrong. It was sent to us by its creator, Dawn White, and is supposedly hoping to gather 10,000 signatures by September 30. The petition is titled, "Whole Foods! We want the REAL thing and not some budget 365!!!!" Currently, there are about 20, including one from France, one from Poland, and a few from states that are not California.
Whole Foods recently announced they'd finally be moving into Silver Lake by replacing a Ralph's, but there was a catch. This location will be the company's first budget-oriented store, known as '365 by Whole Foods Market.' 365 will offer less options at a cheaper price, and is more apt to compete with Trader Joe's than Erewhon or Gelson's.
White only lives a few blocks from the proposed location at 220 Glendale Blvd., and said that numerous neighbors she's spoken to feel the same way about the new store.
"The demographic is largely middle-aged couples with average incomes exceeding six figures who can afford and want a high-end market. We want everything a Whole Foods has to offer and we don't want to be the guinea pig for their new brand of budget-friendly store. The fact that most residents are willing to drive to Glendale to shop at a Whole Foods is further evidence of its demand in Silver Lake," she told LAist in an email.
White said she also heard from someone in real estate that having a Whole Foods in the area would increase overall property values.
The petition points out that a Trader Joe's is already just a mile away from the store's proposed location, and claims that most people in the neighborhood are already shopping at Gelson's, driving to the Whole Foods in Glendale, or using a grocery delivery app "because access to a variety of quality products is the most important factor to us in deciding where we shop."
However, White doesn't feel as though the Vons, Gelson's, Trader Joes or even the Lassens is comparable to a Whole Foods. "Vons is struggling because of the fact that they don't carry higher quality offerings, while a boutique shop like Cookbook in Echo Park thrives because though very small, the wares are curated for the residents of the neighborhood," she said.
Whole Foods, derisively called "whole paycheck" by some, is known for being pricey, and has gotten into hot water for allegedly overcharging customers in California and New York. Plus, they had that hilarious $6 asparagus water screw up.
Jeff Turnas, president of the new 365 line, said in a statement, "We think the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles is an ideal community to plant our first 365 store flag and bring a modern shopping experience that draws from the best innovations of Whole Foods Market stores and gives them a new expression."
As for what exactly the 365 brand is, the company has yet to announce the finer details. They've stressed that it will be affordable and convenient, without sacrificing quality.
It may seem silly that anyone would argue to get a more expensive grocery store in their neighborhood, but maybe they have a point. The rent is pretty high in Silver Lake, and there are certain items that the health-conscious consumers can only get at Whole Foods—plus they have a nice to-go buffet bar. But then again, if you can afford to have your luxury groceries delivered, do you really need a Whole Foods more than your lower-income neighbors need healthy food they can afford? Or does this petition mean there are no low-income residents of Silver Lake left?
Either way, if you agree that the well-off denizens of Silver Lake deserve an authentic Whole Foods experience, you can sign on to the petition here.
Other 365 stores will be opening in 2016 in Santa Monica, Portland, Houston and Bellevue.