Posted by: Bruce | August 15, 2009

HERE WE GO…and is Whole Foods coming??

Dear All,

I started this blog when we first began our campaign to bring Trader Joe’s to the Capital District.  Back then, I think I was writing for afew hundred of you.  Now, there are over 3,500 in our group!  I’d like to use this way to communicate with you so I can keep my emails to you shorter.  I will link this blog to my emails so those of you who are interested can get the whole scoop.

So, let’s begin with a little bit of curious “food for thought.”  I received this email from one of our members:

“On a related note, I also always mention the Albany area at Whole Foods, and one of the managers I was talking to said that it is very close to happening – they’ve got a site picked out, but haven’t signed the lease yet. And of course, where Whole Foods goes, Trader Joe’s is soon to follow!”

Interesting.  I’m not necessarily advocating for a Whole Foods, but it might help our goal of bringing Trader Joe’s (and creating more variety in our area).  Your thoughts?




  1. I think any store with a better/healthier variety of foods would be a wonderful addition to this area; which seems to be monopolized by two grocery stores that are mediocre at best. Whole Foods is a start!

  2. It doesn’t bother me one bit if Whole Foods comes into our area too, along with Trader Joe’s. I’m a firm believer that having a diverse, competitive marketplace will, in the long run, be beneficial to our community as a whole. It will bring new merchandise offerings, as well as force the local retail monopolies to rethink their pricing structure. And perhaps, with any luck, they will start to think about locating in neighborhoods that currently don’t have access to a market, where going shopping is a real hardship.

  3. I would love to see both stores here. The variety would be great. I’d shop at both stores.

  4. We have finely arrived into the 21 century but our choices stay in the 20th century when it comes to the marketplace. Granted we are finely getting a larger verifity of establishments that we can patronize in the capital district, but look at other State Capitals. Being a small business owner of 55 employees, it a shame how our own state continues to claim they welcome new businesses when they do nothing to support the ones they have now. Taxes are out of control for what we get. Hopefully our cause to bring Trader Joe’s to the area won’t scare them off. I lived with both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods before moving here and would be the first in line to welcome them. Lets continue the cause with strong postive support.

  5. Do you think the addition of the Fresh Market that is going to open in Latham will have an effect on either Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s coming?

  6. I think having both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods will be a very welcome addition to our area. We NEED choices other than Hannaford and Price Chopper. We used to have Grand Union, Shop Rite, and P&C. There used to be variety here, but no more only two chain choices now

    • There are other options besides Hannaford and Price Chopper, including the Honest Weight Food Coop which could always use more community support. Whole Foods is no great shake – especially in light of the latest development with the CEO.

  7. I suppose having a WF would encourage competition and hopefully lower prices across the board, and that would be a good thing. But I understand that WF tends to be quite expensive? I’ve actually never shopped there and don’t really plan on starting, even if there were one locally.

    I read in one of Michael Pollan’s books (I think it was In Defense of Food) that WF doesn’t really support local farmers very well. That may have changed in the year or so since the book came out, and I hope it has. Anyone have any more recent info on this?

    At the moment I’m pretty much content with the variety of foods available in the CR. There are several local farms selling shares, and lots of farmers’ markets, all of which provide amazing, seasonal food. For things like Puffins and other processed items I do OK at Hannaford and Honest Weight. Obviously having a Trader Joe’s in the area would help us all save money on these goodies, and that would be awesome!

    One thing I haven’t found anywhere in the area is low or no-salt spaghetti sauce. My husband has high blood pressure so I’m really trying to decrease the amount of salt in our diets. I found an AMAZING no-salt pasta sauce at Trader Joe’s. The taste was just a complete revelation, and I’m a die-hard salt lover. But neither Hannaford nor Honest Weight carry any reduced-salt sauces. I can make my own, but there are only so many hours in the day. It’s essential, IMHO, to have a few jars of sauce on hand to quickly feed hungry, whining kids! Guess a roadtrip to TJ’s is in order…..

  8. I think getting a Whole Foods in the Capital District is great and I hope its true. Even though they are pricy, they do have amazing seafood, meat and produce. There is a market for both them AND Trader Joe’s. When I live out West, I shopped at both and hope to be able to do so again soon in the Capital District.

  9. What concerns me about this area (I’m a transplant from downstate) is the amazing number on the “used-to-have” list. Not sure what that’s about — whether it concerns supermarkets or retail stores. For a state capital to have so many “big box” discount stores that sell sometimes-good, sometimes-questionable &/or poorly-made products at very cheap prices — and a relatively limited selection of other department and specialty stores with more durable offerings — is an odd situation. It makes me wonder what it is about this area —
    Nonetheless, I think a TJ’s would be supported and could do a thriving business, just on the basis of the limited & overpriced selections in the supermarkets & Co-op, and TJ’s reasonable store sizes and price range. Whole Foods? I’m surprised — it’s exactly the kind of store that I’m not sure will be supported in this area over the long haul. Even for shoppers in major affluent areas, it’s often considered overpriced & used mainly for special purchases rather than weekly shopping. It will be interesting to see how they fare.

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