The years-long dance between Whole Foods and the wait-isn’t-there-a-Whole-Foods-there-already neighborhood of Williamsburg in Brooklyn finally reached its climax this morning with the grocery chain’s customary bread breaking at the new location at 238 Bedford Avenue. Before the hundred or so assembled Brooklynites waiting in line for over an hour in the 90 degree heat descended on the Kamut and green juice, we got to tour the place.
Inside it’s as local as a single outpost of a chain with over 450 locations can be. The market leans heavily on the artisan food and drink boom that has taken over New York’s outer boroughs in recent years. Freshly ground bulk flours come from the Brooklyn Bread Lab, a collaboration beer with Queens’ Transmitter—noted brewer of funky beers—comes in bomber bottles and an exclusive cheese from the Crown Finish Caves deep below Brooklyn’s Crown Heights sits behind the cheese counter. Not to mention premade pie crusts from Four & Twenty Blackbirds, pints of Oddfellows ice cream and a pastry program from beloved Bushwick pizza spot Roberta’s.
They are also one of the first stores with a program, albeit a small one now, devoted to selling ugly produce—perfectly good vegetables that are usually thrown away because they are deemed too ugly for public consumption.
They also have a surprisingly cozy delicatessen/tap room where you can sit down with a sandwich loaded with gribenes as well as the best New York beer list we’ve seen inside a grocery store.
Check out our look around the store below. And if you feel like your pantry has been lacking a certain hipster credibility stop in and load up your shopping cart.