If you would have told me a year ago I would get excited about trying a new supermarket, I wouldn’t have beloved you, but a year into the pandemic and here we are.
With my weekly trip to the supermarket being just about the only thing that hasn’t been cancelled, postponed or altered drastically by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it’s definitely become more of an occasion than before.
It is one of the few occasions where you get to see the general public, and the few reasons to even get dressed in the morning.
Last week I decided to deviate from my usual trip to Sainsbury’s and ventured to Kensington High Street to visit Whole Foods.
The American supermarket chain sells products which support their message of living well and eating well.
Their products are all free from hydrogenated fats and artificial colours, flavours and preservatives.
The Kensington shop first opened back in 2007, and the chain now has seven stores around London in areas such as Clapham Junction, Camden, Fulham, Piccadilly Circus, Richmond and Stoke Newington.
The trendy supermarket sells an array of goods such as organic foods, plant-based products, and fancy wines that will set you back a fair bit more than anything you would find at your local Asda.
I have often heard American influencers talking of Whole Foods and seen a number of celebrities photographed during their visits, and wanted to see if it was really worth the hype.
The first thing I noticed was how quiet and clean it was. Everything was so neatly placed on the shelves and there was lots of space to move around without people crowding you.
When I entered I was surprised about how much plastic I saw in it’s bakery sweet goods section by the front of the store.
I was expecting for a store so focused on organic, healthy living that there would be minimal single-wrapped items in plastic coverings.
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As I ventured further into the store I found better, more environmentally friendly examples of their products, such as in the fresh-food section.
The colourful fruit and vegetables sat nicely, hardly covered in the extreme plastic wrapping which is often found in other supermarkets.
The Kensington store is deceivingly big with a massive lower ground level full of an array of goods.
I was pleased to see grains, nuts and seeds hanging in containers on the wall which allow shoppers to refill containers rather than buying plastic wrapped goods.
This also means you only have to buy the amount you actually want or need.
However, one of the best parts of the store was their range of plant-based, vegan products.
Mainstream supermarkets have made great strides over the last few years, and now offer a substantial range of alternatives, but this was like nothing I had ever seen.
While most supermarkets offer a range of brands, generally they sell a lot of the same.
Whereas in Whole Foods there was such a broad mix of products, with varied ingredients and unique selling points.
However, the biggest downfall, as you could imagine, is I would never be able to afford to do a full shop here.
As much as I would love to try their vegan Camembert, forking out £8 on the tiny item isn’t the easiest to justify on most people’s salary.
While it was nice traipsing around the well-presented store, full of unique plant-based, organic items that you don’t generally find in other supermarkets, I couldn’t justify doing a full weekly shop there.
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Artisan, organic, local products that are presented beautifully in a clean, open, expensive-feeling supermarket are great, but being able to pay my rent each month is also great too.
So unfortunately I’ll have to leave the Kensington locals to their endless options of beautiful organic, plant-based options.
If nothing else, I do highly recommend their vegan chocolate cookies though.