Tag Archives: Whole Foods

New Upper East Side Fairway Opens July 20; Boasts Speedy Elevators, Wider Aisles

New Fairway opens on Upper East Side. Photo:Fairway.

With the new Upper East Side 25,000 square foot Fairway opening July 20, will Upper West Siders get Fairway envy?

The new store boasts three high-speed elevators to whisk you to the second floor. No balky, coughing, wheezing contraption like the conveyance in the UWS locale. The aisles will be wider in the new store too, according to a Fairway spokeswoman.

What will Fairway be like without scowling little old ladies jamming their shopping carts into your shins?

I for one will be sticking to the original Fairwary on Broadway and 74th. The new one sounds too glitzy, too Upper East Side.

The new UES store is the first to open in Manhattan since the Harlem supermarket debuted in 1995. Located at 250 E. 86th Street between 2nd and 3rd avenues, the new locale means that Upper East Siders won’t need to schlep across the park to shop at the supermarket-cum-specialty food store. What’s more, the UES store makes Fairway a player in the supermarket wars sweeping the city as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods establish beachheads in Manhattan.

Here’s what’s  being rolled out at the Upper East Side location:

  • a fresh mozzarella station
  • more than 50 kinds of marinated olives in tubs.
  • sushi made fresh daily on premises; hot take out dishes
  • specialty, organic and kosher departments
  • butcher and seafood departments
  • a “Fairway To Go” café, offering items like bagels, sandwiches, coffee, a chopped salad bar, including pastries in a separate space next door to the grocery superstore. There won’t be a full-service restaurant.
  • over 600 cheeses
  • over 100 varieties of olive oil
  • gluten-free groceries and frozen foods




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Upper West Side Butcher Competes in Whole Foods Meat Meet

Butcher from Bilgit, Hunza, Pakistan. By Jobopa via Flickr.

Butchers and butchering are big. No big surprise then that Whole Foods, the organically-leaning supermarket chain, is trying to hop onto the trend. On June 22nd, you can cheer on Upper West Side butcher Orlando Vega (he wields his cleaver at the Columbus Circle Whole Foods) who will meet three other Whole Foods butchers in a face-off to determine who is the best knife man in the store’s northeast region.

Famed meat purveyor Pat LaFrieda and food writer Josh Ozersky will sit on the panel of judges.

You’ll have to take the train to the Bowery store, but there should be some Upper West Side pride here. The only butcher to be selected for the meat meet who hails from Manhattan is an Upper West Side-based meat carver. Perhaps that’s appropriate. After all, we Upper West Siders love our grocery stores.

Here are the details:

WHAT: Whole Foods Market’s Best Butcher Competition brings together what the chain claims are Whole Food’s top butchers in the Northeast. Contestants will be graded on items like presentation and efficiency. Other categories include workmanship, visual appeal, cleanliness, knife-handling skills, and trim specification.

WHO: Whole Foods Market northeast region butchers tasked with cutting up their meat in less than three minutes. Butchers include: Orlando Vega(WFM Columbus Circle), Jim Crookston (WFM White Plains), Chris Durko (WFM Madison, New Jersey) and Sal Cacicia (WFM Lake Grove Commons)

JUDGES: On the panel are Pat LaFrieda, along wit food writer Josh Ozersky as well as a Whole Foods official.

WHEN: JUNE 22ND, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

WHERE: Whole Foods Market Bowery, 95 East Houston St.



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Upper West Side: Whole Foods’ First Birthday Party at Columbus and 97th St. Store

Whole Foods fans—the store’s celebrating its first birthday Friday.  There’s cake too.  And “local” Upper West Side foods, whatever that means.

Here’s the announcement:

This Friday marks the 1-year anniversary for the opening of Whole Foods Market on the Upper West Side. To celebrate our birthday, we’re inviting the neighborhood to come commemorate with a slice of cake and a toast to the community. Enjoy a complimentary evening of delicious wining and dining with live jazz performances by the Sugar Hill Quartet.

From African Peanut Soup and Dominican Rice and Beans to beer and wine, all of the food served will be as local as it gets – honoring the history of the neighborhood.

Here are all of the details:

WHERE: Whole Foods Market Upper West Side

808 Columbus Ave at 97th Street

WHEN: Friday August 27th

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Upper West Side: It’s Arrived–Whole Foods Previews Its Store for the Neighbors

For the food market deprived—that would be anyone living in the area around 96th Street on the Upper West Side—yesterday was a big day as Whole Foods welcomed the neighborhood to an open house to preview the new store.  While the food market won’t officially open img_25551until August 27—the liquor store is already operating—the market flung open its doors to introduce area residents to its layout and products.

Billed as a fundraiser for the Riverside Park Fund, the event was packed with young and old.  Baby strollers were in abundance.  So were lines for the copious free samples that were being dished out. There were crab cakes, chocolate, cookies, soup, and soda.  Two cold soups, melon and carrot/ginger , by kosher maker Foremost Fresh, a New Jersey concern, were standouts.

Throughout the bi-level store, which is smaller than many others in the city, shelves were almost fully stocked with what we’ve come to expect from the organic and healthy foods purveyor. Lots of varieties of yogurt. A still-empty salad bar. Meat counters and fish counters. It was a bit strange, however, to be walking around a supermarket in which no one was pushing a shopping cart.

Many items were affixed with bright yellow sale stickers. Several people noted that despite its reputation for pricey fare, Whole Foods appeared to be competitive with other local food sellers.

In any event, happiness was in the air. Even among this famously liberal Upper West Side bunch, no one seemed too concerned about Whole Foods CEO John Mackey’s stand against the Obama Administrations push for health care reform.

“I’m thrilled” with the new market, said one middle aged man, who added that he was disgusted with existing neighborhood shopping options.

In a final gesture of welcome to the neighborhood, store personnel offered potted mums, which had adorned the two levels of the store, to anyone willing to cart the pots home.

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Upper West Side: New Whole Foods at Columbus & 97th Draws Mixed Response From Area Residents

Peering into the new Whole Foods opening Aug. 27th at 97th Street and Columbus Avenue, I can spot café tables and gleaming check-out counters.

Among the store’s offerings will be a stand-alone 1000-bottle wine shop—the first to grace any Whole Foods in New York—and a “grind your own” peanut butter station.

whole-foods-sign-june-071But the new store is drawing a mixed response from neighborhood residents. Along with its reputation for quality organics and healthy fare, Whole Foods appears to be dogged by its reputation as a high-priced emporium.

“I don’t think I’ll shop there. It’s too expensive,” said 33-year old Josh, who works in finance and who lives near the new market.“You have to have money to shop in that store,” agreed a woman parking her car alongside Park West Village, a complex of nearly 50-year old apartment buildings  now surrounded by five luxury rental towers, one of which houses the Whole Foods market.  Said Joel, a 33-year old advertising executive: “I’m nervous because it’s expensive” and “my wife will love it and go there every day.”

According to a Whole Foods spokesman, the store will be running weekly and bi-weekly specials. In addition, the Upper West Side store will offer consumers “value tours.” Employees will guide shoppers around the store to point out more economical options, like Whole Foods’ store brands and products that can be bought in bulk.

“In comparison to other supermarkets, our prices on like items are very competitive,” the spokesman insisted, pointing out that price june-2009-wholefoods-002comparisons between organic and conventional products are often difficult to make.

Putting Out the Welcome Mat

In fact, other neighborhood residents said they looked forward to the new store’s broad selection of healthy and organic offerings.

Pushing a baby stroller, Yani, 21, said she valued Whole Food’s reputation for “good, healthy food.” Others, like Leyda, a longtime resident of the neighborhood, admired the store’s sleek design.  It’s  “really nice,” she said.

And while tenants of Park West Village fought the construction of the new rental buildings, called Columbus Square, the arrival of Whole Foods appears to be winning favor, at least among some.

“A lot of people think Whole Foods is the only good thing about the project,” said a woman who answered the Park West Village Tenants’ Association hotline and who asked not to be identified.

Meanwhile, Whole Foods may have to contend with some ingrained shopping habits among Upper West Siders. Many area residents do their food shopping at a variety of stores while strolling up and down Broadway.

For example, longtime West End Avenue resident and mother of two, Marlene Lieberman, said that while she plans to patronize the new Whole Foods, she’ll continue to frequent local vendors like Zabar’s and Fairway.

Local Merchants Await the Newcomer

And how are neighborhood food merchants reacting to Whole Foods’ arrival?

Most, like Joon Ko, who operates his 17-year old fish market at 98th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, expressed confidence that their regular customers wouldn’t desert them.

Others are planning to directly challenge Whole Food’s bid for local customers’ loyalty.

Associated Foods, at 97th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, will be opening a new store with twice the square footage of the current space in a couple of months, according to Vinicio Ortiz, the store’s manager.

“We’re going to kill them,” he said, referring to his new competitor up the street.

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