Kensington Whole Foods, the UK flagship store of the American company, is currently celebrating its two-year anniversary with a customary explosion of colour and taste. Events have included a Healthy Eating Fair, featuring local suppliers and producers showcasing their products, from tempting raw chocolate bars to vegan pesto and fruit smoothies. Store team leader Jade Hoai told Londonist that Whole Foods has had a really positive experience since opening for business here. “Initially customers were a bit hesitant when it came to handling and choosing the products here, since we have a very different approach to packaging,” but she says that customers now love the choice that the store offers and the fact that they get to know staff by name.
It seems the producers have found a happy home here too: David, one of a tiny team making Italian foods sourced from Seggiano, a small village in Tuscany, told Londonist it made such a difference to work with a big store that wasn't constantly seeking to drive down prices.
On hand for the Healthy Eating Fair, nutrition consultant Ian Marber (aka the Food Doctor) told Londonist he’s glad Whole Foods exists: “Even if people are just coming in to look, it's a way of healthy eating filtering down.” There's still a big regional divide when it comes to ideas about diet in the UK, but things are gradually changing with the likes of Whole Foods making their stores interactive and accessible.
Visit the Whole Foods website for a calendar of events.
Words and photography by Elizabeth Wells