This Is Framingham

This Is Framingham
Life in the 'ham

Whole Foods

July 5th, 2008

Whole Foods is about an 18 min walk or 4 min drive and I like that it’s right across the street from Trader Joe’s.
In general, I like their mission and “whole food” and “green” concepts.  I got these great re-usable bags from there that I use for everything and getting 2 for $3 was definitely worth it for me.

My mom is a die-hard fan of Market Basket and I like to go there for produce (their fresh dates are fantastic) and to look at their beautiful donuts, but she gives me a hard time if I buy anything at WF and says things like “Oh, must be nice to buy your groceries at Whole Foods“.  Like I’m so fancy that I only buy my groceries there, but I don’t.  What I like about Whole Foods is that it’s a place nearby that I can go get some specialty items for a nice dinner or maybe some chocolate chips that don’t have high-fructose syrup, things that I don’t use every day.  Although I admit, it would be nice to buy all my groceries there and that’s where I was introduced to soy whipped cream which is so awesome I won’t go back to regular whipped cream.
But, I like to point out to my mom that I have found several items at Whole Foods that are the same price or actually cheaper there than at Market Basket and they weren’t even on sale.  
The only real problem I have with Whole Foods is that when I wanted some extra money, I tried several times to get a part-time job there and they wouldn’t hire me.  They have this online application that asks you all sorts of questions/statements that you can only answer yes or no (or agree/disagree) to like “You feel you deserve everything you have”. ?????? ??? ??   I answered all the questions honestly (as the way I tried to understand them) and they didn’t call.  I took a look around at the employees and  tried to figure out if they were exceptionally cheery or something but they’re not, some are, but some seems to be less enthusiastic to be there.  Just for kicks I filled out another application with an ultra cheery attitude, still nothing.  I saw they had an open house job night so I went and actually sat down with someone who, seemed to be about 10 years younger than me and didn’t seem interested in me from the start.  So I don’t know what the secret code is to work there. 
I ended up working my part-time job at the 400 Plus and there was a waitress there who mentioned that when she first moved here from Florida she worked at Whole Foods just to have something while she was looking for a job in her field and I remember saying “Oh my God, you did??  How did you answer the questions on the application??”  She laughed and said she really didn’t put much though into it and thought it was funny that I had such a hard time getting a job there. ????? ?????? ???????   So I don’t know what the deal was, but I still like shopping there.
Kind of ironic, just before I took this picture of the front of the store, I saw someone I kind of know through Town Meeting and he said “Oh hi, funny running into you here- Do you work here?”


  1. I’ve never liked the snooty, pretentious stores like this one (and Bread and Circus. Alfalfa’s, etc.) that play on people’s emotions by insisting that the earth will self-destruct if we don’t spend our money at the store.

    I get particularly annoyed when these hucksters slap a very high price tag on something and tell us it’s better than a product available at a regular supermarket because it is “organic.” NEWS FLASH: anything comprised of carbon compounds is an “organic” thing, people. That’s the chemical definition of “organic” so when stores like this slick place raise their prices because something is organic they are ripping off their customers.

    I seethe and my blood boils when slick marketers like the ones behind these stores play their tricks on unsuspecting customers. They market themselves so high up that I’m surprised they even let us common people into their stores. Oh wait — they let us in because they want our money.

    Michelle, I hope you take heart in knowing that the crooks at this over-priced, snobby store wouldn’t hire you or even show you the courtesy of a reply and/or explanation about their hiring decisions. To me their disrespectful treatment of an applicant like you only underscores what a bunch of jerks they are.

    Me? I’ll stick with Market Basket, Lambert’s Marketplace, and WalMart, and I’ll continue to carry my purchases home in PLASTIC bags.

    Comment by Savvy Shopper July 6, 2008 @ 11:51 am

  2. I don’t do my regular shopping there but if I’m having friends over for a special dinner I’ll stop in. The quality is fantastic and worth the price to me on these special occasions when only the best will do.
    Other times I’ll stop in just to drool over the cheeses. I then totally cave and have to buy some St. Andre or some fresh English Stilton which is soooo much fresher than the stuff they sell at the supermarket which I won’t touch with a ten foot pole.
    I’m not a snob, and I’m not a tree hugger….I just enjoy the high quality of product at Whole Foods when I can afford to splurge every now and then…unfortunately few and far between these days. Plus, the prepared salad bar items were such a life saver during our mini heat wave a few weeks ago!

    Comment by Jennifer July 6, 2008 @ 9:35 pm

  3. SavvyShopper – In order to be labeled organic, food has to be certified according to USDA standards that it was raised with no pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, etc. If you have a problem with the use of the word “organic” in this manner, your problem is with the USDA not Whole Foods.

    Many people choose to spend their money on food raised this way in order to ensure their own health and the health of our overall food supply. Mass market industrial agriculture has has many documented determinant effects on everything we consume.

    Comment by HealthyShopper July 6, 2008 @ 10:46 pm

  4. After a trip to Trader Joe’s and a stop at Starbucks, I took a stroll through Whole Foods one day. I was absolutely shocked at some of the prices. I try to buy healthy but Whole Foods would break my budget. Trader Joe’s isn’t as big and doesn’t offer as much, but their prices are much more reasonable.

    Comment by Susie July 7, 2008 @ 8:34 am

  5. Well, I don’t shop a whole lot there, primarily for the selection of cheeses and breads which are awesome but pricey at $4.50 a loaf for my favorite bread. The produce & seafood are good as well, but the meat isn’t all that great even if it does look good, which is strange!

    Comment by Stp July 7, 2008 @ 3:43 pm

  6. Now that my village has a local health food store, I shop at Whole Foods less.

    Still, Whole Foods is great. Where else can you close your eyes and pick out a perfect piece of organic produce?

    I buy most of my winter and spring produce and my personal care products at WF.

    Your story about trying to get a job at WF cracked me up! If college educated, environmentally aware, friendly you couldn’t get past the door…who are they hiring?

    Comment by Gruppie Girl July 28, 2008 @ 8:30 am

  7. Some of the prices on organic products are higher than conventional products because the standards at WF are more strict than even the FDA’s. They believe in fair treatment of their produce as well as their farmers and suppliers, i.e. they are paid MUCH BETTER WAGES than the market generally offers.

    Animals used for slaughter live happy lives on clean farms and are fed healthy foods. It takes extra financing to guarantee these standards, thus the higher prices. You aren’t paying for snobbery or just to say you shop at Whole Foods, you’re paying for better wages for farm workers and the better treatment of animals, not to mention cleaner treatment of the earth.

    Higher prices also account for better customer service and better treatment of WF employees. There are more team members in every dept. at all times than any other grocer. ALL employees get great health care, 401k plans and high wages regardless of position or the hours they work. Businesses would do well to employ similar practices. Maybe more working people would be content?

    Also, you sounded a bit nasty when describing the WF employment process. You seemed to suggest that you were, if anything, better than current employees and that WF is crazy for not hiring someone so overqualified. I applied to the one in Framingham without getting hired simply because my availability didn’t match what they were looking for. That’s the main point of consideration in one’s application. The endless questions asked on their application are just to test consistency. It also really doesn’t actually count for crap.

    Don’t mean to rant, but I felt compelled to clear the water.


    An educated and comfortable Whole Foods employee who is sorry she was hired over others, but is no less worthy of the job.

    Comment by Sarah July 30, 2008 @ 12:03 am

  8. Sarah
    I have to say it’s laughable that you think I implied I’m better than employees at WF. I do think it’s odd that even when I got to meet with someone, if scheduling was the issue, I wasn’t told that. I’m just a regular working class person, I was looking for a a part-time job for some extra money and I like WF, so I thought it would be great to work there. Apparently I’m not what WF is looking for whatever reason.
    I didn’t realize the 45 minute test/application doesn’t, as you say, “count for crap”. It’s a long application for people to take time to fill out and I think that at least deserves WF taking a few minutes to respond with a yes or no.
    As I said, I still like shopping there, I was disappointed with my attempts to work there and that was my experience.
    I’m glad you like working there so much though.

    Comment by michelle July 30, 2008 @ 7:03 am

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