Whole Foods Market 365 Santa Monica Opens Aug. 9
Yesterday, I attended the press preview of Whole Foods Market 365 Santa Monica. Located on Pico and Cloverfield, Whole Foods Market 365 aims to deliver high quality products without any artificial colors, sweeteners or preservatives. It’s a space with plenty of quick “grab and go” options, easy-to-read signage, and also a place to hang out or meet friends. I was watching my friend Aya’s kid, Winter, that day, so we put their carts and staff to the test. Here’s the fun stuff we experienced:
The Store Layout
Whole Foods Market 365 Santa Monica has a clean, direct, store layout, which is segmented into nine sections and two storefronts, listed as “friends of 365”. The 9 sections are:
- Meat and Seafood
- Customer Service
- Fresh Eats
- Specialty (wine, spirits, chips)
We sampled a lot some of their products at booths with brand-reps and owners. Local businesses are represented here, which make it a very local and convenient shopping experience.
The kids and I loved the sushi samples. Usually grocery store sushi isn’t that great, but theirs is fresh and they were kind enough to give seconds. Sushi can get expensive when eating out, so I can see myself buying a roll or two from here for a quick weeknight meal.
Health-Ade Kombucha is based out of Torrance, California.
- The only commercial kombucha fermented 100% in glass to prevent plastic and metal leaching.
- Hand-crafted in super-small 2.5 gallon batches for premium quality.
- Flavored with only the highest quality ingredients, like cold-pressed juice from organic produce.
- Certified Organic, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Raw, Vegan, Kosher.
I love a good burger, so when I first heard about Beyond Meat, the plant-based burger that “bleeds,” I was curious. Today, I finally had a chance to try it. It looks like meat and tastes like meat, but obviously isn’t meat, so it left me with a weird feeling. It might be a good product for someone who is transitioning from meat to a plant-based diet to try.
We are big fans of Applegate Farms, and with school coming up, I will be buying plenty of their lunchmeat.
There’s an array of fresh/frozen food in various sized containers. Made fresh, but then quickly frozen to reheat easily, there are several pasta dishes for an easy dinner that will taste homemade when you don’t feel like cooking. We tried their mac and cheese and it was good!
Kids Cuts Pasta
When you’re feeling not too lazy but make dinner fun, Kids Cuts pasta are available and come in a variety of shapes. There were dinosaurs, ABCs, and wheels!
Larder Baking Company
Larder Baking Company brings their breads to Whole Foods Market 365 Santa Monica. The Larder Bakery is the premier wholesale artisan bakery in greater Los Angeles and is based in Culver City. I totally carbed up sampling these breads!
Gelato by Naia
Not surprisingly, this was the kids’ favorite stop. Gelato by Naia is a California-based company. The flavors were delicious and the texture smooth.
Asian Box Street Food: All menu items are 100 percent gluten-free, customizable, and “dtam sang,” or made to order. Guests pick a base of rice, rice noodles or Asian salad, a protein like Six Spice Chicken, Lemongrass Pork, or Coconut Curry Tofu, then top it with a variety of ingredients likes wok steamed or spiced vegetables, crispy shallots, fresh jalapeno and caramel eggs. House made sauces include tamarind vinaigrette, Miss Jones’™ Sriracha, no-oil fish sauce, peanut sauce, and Asian Street Dust™.
Groundwork Coffee: Open daily from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., local favorite Groundwork Coffee features 100 percent certified organic hot and cold coffees and teas, including nitro cold brew coffee and a new vegan horchata & cold brew. In addition to coffee, Groundwork will offer a full menu of made-to-order breakfasts, sandwiches, salads, and bowls with many vegan, gluten-free, and vegetarian options. Highlights include house-made granola, Bitches Brew short rib sandwich, vegan kale caesar salad, and umami rice bowl. All eggs served are organic, and all meats are free of added hormones and antibiotics.
Taqueria: An in-house kitchen offers tacos, bowls, burritos, plus build-your-own pizza and convenient ordering via kiosk. This venue includes many vegan options like tofu picadillo and jackfruit al pastor tacos, plus a full menu of Detroit-style pizza.
Antipasto bar: A mouth-watering selection of olives, roasted garlic, tapenades, pickled and marinated artichokes, beets and cauliflower sold by the pound.
Specialty cheeses: Planning a party? Stop by the specialty cheese set for a hand-picked selection of nearly 30 artisanal cheeses, from Parrano and Pavino to Seaside and Vermont Creamery’s Minimont, made exclusively for Whole Foods Market 365 stores.
Organic soda fountain: 100 percent organic, non-GMO sodas by Tractor Beverage Co made without artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. The organic soda fountain will have rotating flavors on tap like Cola, Root Beer, Ginger Beer, Coconut, Cherry Cream and Cucumber.
Grab-and-go: Build your-own salad and meals at hot and cold bars with fresh ingredients. Shoppers can pick up ready-made wraps, sushi, pizza, sandwiches, pastas, breakfast tacos, plus crowd pleasing favorites like cakes, pies, fruit and veggie trays.
Fresh baked goods: Pick up baked goods by local favorite, Larder Baking Company, and choose from a selection of cookies, pastries and hearth breads. Plus, a bulk cookie bar will offer cookies by the pound.
“Flash Finds”: New, seasonal or unique offerings available for a limited time. Flash Finds for opening week include Jica chips, Severino pasta, Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwiches and Milkadamia Macadamia Nut Milk
On-site pairing kiosk: Scan wine bottles, beer or spirits for food pairing ideas, ratings, user reviews and recommendations. The beer, wine and spirits section has 400+ wines, 200+ craft, domestic and imported beers, 50+ spirits, with many organic and sustainable options.
365 Rewards: A free digital loyalty program that gives customers special discounts, free products and other surprises. 365 rewards members receive 10 percent off more than 100 items throughout the store. Program highlights include 20 percent off all berries on Wednesdays, digital punch cards with buy 5 get 1 free offers and $5 off a $25 purchase for new members. Shoppers can sign-up here.
Opening Day Celebration – August 9th
The first 365 shoppers will receive complimentary coffee, pastries and reusable shopping bags. Fun giveaways throughout the day.
Music on the patio by DJ Phatrick
Community Giving Day – August 23rd
On Wednesday, August 23, the store will host a “Community Giving Day” where 5 percent of the store’s net sales will be donated to KCRW, a service of Santa Monica College. From 4 p.m. – 7 p.m., KCRW street teams will be on-site to give away free memberships to shoppers who purchase $50 or more on that day with proof of purchase on receipt.