Saturday, February 7, 2009

Noe Valley - will Whole Foods be Holier than Bell Market

Big news in Noe Valley. We are getting a Whole Foods. The worst Grocery store in the World is closing Feb 14 with Whole Foods to enter as soon as August.

I would occasionally pick up some overpriced staples at Bell - shying away from their awful produce. I am a big fan of Rainbow Grocery and their 10% discount from the San Francisco Bike Coalition, but the Bell Market location is 5 blocks from my house. This Whole Foods is going to be a big plus for me.

Whole Foods is taking input on what to do with their new store, in order to make nice with the neighborhood. The store will be small and they are intentionally excluding the sorts of things that will simply serve to put local stores out of business - for example they won't have a cafe.

One thing that has been very annoying at Bell Foods - no bike racks, mediocre places to tie a dog.

Both of these are very relevant in Noe Valley, and with WF in play it will be more relevant - there is very little parking and the ability to bike or walk to WF and not be worried about your bike or dog is important. And this being Noe Valley, stroller parking is also a very relevant concept - if strollers can be parked somewhere then they won't be blocking the aisles of the small store.

Currently people lock bikes to each other as seen at the top of this post, or lock them to the guardrails around the trees in the parking lot.

Here is the opportunity to improve things. Getting people to walk and bike to this store will help mitigate the traffic problems caused by people waiting for the few spots in the parking lot. Preferably I would like a small indoor secure bike and stroller parking corral. Given the size of the store this might be a stretch, but there should be good bike racks and a nice stroller parking area and a place to tie your dog without being worried that a car will run it over.

Per the Noe Valley Blog

The community liaison for this project lives in Noe Valley, and works at the 4th/Harrison location. His name is Andrew Calabrese, and his email is He's fielding all questions and suggestions from the neighborhood.

I highly encourage people - especially SF and particularly Noe Valley residents - to email Andrew with a request for addressing this issue.

February 18 Whole Foods will be at a meeting including Supervisor Bevan Dufty at St Philips School. 7:30 PM. On February 19 is the planning commission meeting at 1:30.

1 comment:

djconnel said...

Whole Foods is "Whole Paycheck", right? Okay, things hit rock bottom. Time to cut back to the bare bones. You want to buy the following: dry rice, dry beans, oatmeal, corn meal, potatoes. Okay, the potatoes might be more at WF, but all of the other stuff, I guarantee a lot cheaper at Whole Foods.

Want to go cheaper than WF? Rainbow, usually, but the real bargains are the markets in the Mission or Chinatown, and they're not going anywhere.