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Explore a New Country in Va. Beach

OK, I have to admit, one of my favorite things to do is go grocery shopping, especially in foreign countries. Well, get ready, local peeps, Whole Foods Market is opening next week—Wednesday, October 24—in our humble little beach town and walking down its aisles will be like exploring new territory!

Whole Foods Market, in case you didn't know, is the coolest grocery store you can imagine. It's like Trader Joe's on steroids. The first time I ever went to one was in Charlottesville, probably 15 years ago. (Amazing, actually, that C'ville had had a Whole Foods all these years, and we are just getting one!) As I walked through the store, I couldn't believe the amazing array of produce, meats, organic stuff, and specialty items they carried.

More recently, my son Ross and I were in Alexandria's Old Town and decided to take a break from the heat and wander through the Whole Foods Market there. It was just as cool as I remembered—and packed with folks of all ages and sizes. The seafood display was tantalizingly fresh, and the wine department carried a wealth of wine, many quite affordable.

So here's a preview for all you foodies like me who can't wait to discover this cool new store!

• Value-conscious grocery items to satisfy families of all sizes: 365 Everyday Value products from organic milk to frozen veggies and more than 2,500 items on sale daily. Plus value wines, a large bulk area and Whole Deal coupon book to offer shoppers great prices.

• Whole Body features bath salt, soaps, and sugar scrubs, as well as premium care products.

• Prepared Foods section offering daily chef themed with items crafted by Whole Foods Market chefs, seasonal spreads and more. 

• Locally sourced produce, Whole TradeTM bananas, mangoes and pineapples and cut in-house organic fruits and veggies.

• Fresh, high-quality seafood sourced locally and from around the world and certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).  The department also has a color-coded rating program, in partnership with Blue Ocean Institute and Monterey Bay Aquarium, which provides shoppers with sustainability status for all wild-caught seafood not certified by the MSC. 

• Floral department stocked with locally sourced items, including Whole TradeTM roses, fresh cut mixed bouquets, local tulips, potted hydrangeas, fresh tulips and more.

• Cultivate, the garden center, featuring spring varietals, hanging baskets, herbs, vegetables, bedding plants, local potting soil, compost, garden tools and a stunning variety of heirloom and organic seeds.

• Bakery department featuring conventional and kosher goods, gluten-free products, boutique cupcakes, a self-service yogurt bar and the finest Italian style desserts. 

• The specialty department will include hand stuffed olives and beer washed cheese among other exclusive and one-of-a-kind delights. 

• The full service meat department, with skilled butchers cutting in-house, offers a wide variety of product including organic pork and chicken sausages and locally sourced selections, raised without the use of antibiotics or added growth hormones that adheres to the Global Animal Partnership 5-Step Welfare Rating System:http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/meat/welfare.php.

Free tastings, live music, and much merriment will be happening on Wed., Oct. 24 beginning at 10 a.m. at the new Whole Foods in Virginia Beach. Enjoy!

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Peggy Sijswerda

Tidewater Women Magazine, Editor & Co-Publisher.

Website: www.peggysijswerda.com

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