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Whole Foods Market Takes on St. Petersburg

The introduction of a new Whole Foods location to 38th Avenue North has had numerous effects on both St. Pete High School students and parents.
Fresh produce is a staple that attracts many St. Pete locals to the new Whole Foods Market.
Ilene Goddard
Fresh produce is a staple that attracts many St. Pete locals to the new Whole Foods Market.

On February 28th, the city of St. Petersburg welcomed a brand new Whole Foods Market to 38th Avenue North. Highly anticipated by the surrounding community, and even commuters who witnessed the construction, the market’s opening sparked much excitement among St. Petersburg residents. Whole Foods Market, a chain now owned by Amazon, has acquired a notable reputation as a “wellness consumer’s paradise,” with its variety of organic goods and overall clean and fresh aesthetic. Its passionate nutritious identity has made Whole Foods Markets across the nation major competitors to other chain groceries, such as Publix and Trader Joe’s. Especially to the residents of St. Petersburg, the opening of a Whole Foods Market in the area has shown to be a valuable addition, and has provided unique elements that set it apart from other grocery stores in the city.

Right as the sliding doors of Whole Foods Market greeted St. Pete High Sophomore Olivia Hoyt on opening day, her first impression was that “it [was] the greatest grocery store of all time.” Even from the entrance, shelves fully stocked with freshly-pressed juices and crisp produce are visible to shoppers and create a dreamlike setting that captures great attention at the start. The newness of the store is quite apparent with its pristine cleanliness, but the satisfying and thoroughly maintained color scheme of St. Petersburg’s location is a signature of the Whole Foods chain. Furthermore, the display of handmade items contributes to the store’s overall aesthetic; for example, the artisanal soaps at the front of St. Petersburg’s Whole Foods Market release aromas of lavender and citrus into the air, enticing shoppers to purchase these crafts and many others.

Although St. Pete High mom, Michelle Rollins, was initially “leery about adding another grocery store to such a small area,” after visiting the new Whole Foods Market, she is now happy with the addition and has visited the store multiple times since its opening. Having also been to the store on its opening day, February 28th, Ms. Rollins noticed many differences between Whole Foods Market and other groceries like Publix and Trader Joe’s. Firstly, she noted that Publix has an earlier opening time of 7 a.m., rather than Whole Foods’ 9 a.m. opening, which makes Publix more “dependable if you need to get something early in the morning.” However, Ms. Rollins utilized her Whole Foods app while she shopped to find deals on foods like avocados, grapes, and salad mixes; through the app, which is linked to her personal Amazon account, she was able to shop the deals of the week and receive discounts on those items. Additionally, Ms. Rollins noted the hot bar and the self-serve pizza slices offered at the store which are elements not seen at places like Publix. 

Despite being compared to other groceries, the addition of a Whole Foods Market to St. Petersburg has proven to be successful, attracting many residents to its clean and organic atmosphere. Enjoyed by both students and parents, the store has provided an outlet for healthy everyday goods, as well as the inclusion of both globally-known brands and local labels. And with unique, innovative elements such as a fresh hot bar, it is safe to say that the Whole Foods on 38th Avenue North is not only here to stay, but is remaining to create even more positive impressions on the surrounding community.

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About the Contributors
Kelly Fuss, Staff Writer
Ilene Goddard, Photography Editor

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