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Question of the Day: The New Whole Foods Vs. Roche Bros.

Tell us your opinion in the comments.

On Monday, a brand new Whole Foods supermarket will open where and used to be – 448 Washington St.

The Whole Foods is as modern as a store can be, complete with a walk-up food window, an entire room dedicated to cheeses and beginning next spring, a farmer’s market next spring.

This new store will be the only other grocer in town besides at Linden Square.

While the two supermarkets technically cater to two different segments of the population, do you think the new Whole Foods will take business away from the longstanding Linden Square staple?

Hiker Mom August 19, 2011 at 09:02 PM
I'm very excited about the new Whole Foods. I rarely went to the old one because of the size and parking issues, but I love WF's natural and organic meats and cheeses. Roche Bros is really lacking in that department. They will definitely have to step it up in order to compete with some of WF's offerings, and that's not a bad thing. Overall I've had good experiences with Roche Bros, but for my shopping needs I think the new WF will probably be a better fit.
MS H August 20, 2011 at 01:21 AM
I'm sure it's going to impact Roche Bros. How can it not? Since the (unfortunate) closure of Star Market,Roche Bros. is, essentially, the only grocery store in town. Personally, I hate Whole Foods--the pretentious healthy-ness, organic this and that, and the incredibly high prices, not to mention that they don't carry everything I need from a store (or, in other words, carry the stuff I'm willing to pay for--has anyone checked out the prices on laundry detergent or meat at Whole Foods??). BUT, but, that said, I live on the side of town that it's easier/more convenient to get to Whole Foods than Roche Bros., and that will be the rub. I recognize that in Wellesley, I am the minortiy demographic--a lot of Wellesley is happy to pay way too much $$ for "organic" and "healthier" foods. I am not. But, I will end up shopping there just because it's close to where I live and I can afford to--I know I will end up running in there more than I should to pick up bread and eggs just because it's convenient. So, Roche. Bros, enjoy the extra $$ you've earned since Star Market closed; if you want to compete with Whole Foods, your only choice is to beat them on price or hope that more people live on that side of Wellesley than the Whole Foods side. Either way, I predict your revenue from the Wellesley store will go down significantly beginning 8/22/2011 (not that I'm happy about that).
S Out August 20, 2011 at 01:14 PM
Thank you Ms H. I am so happy to hear your very valid assessment of Whole 'Paycheck' Foods. I have a degree in Food Science and Nutrition and while I think there is some merit to the locally-grown, more natural approach to food, there is too much hype, fear and backwardness. People must use scientific methods (statistically accurate, peer-reviewed research) to prove and disprove ideas. Much of the health food industry is under-regulated and often claims are misleading and false. Food should be safe to eat and provide nutrition. A well-rounded diet of whole foods (not to be confused with the mega-corporation opening a store here on Monday) is the most important factor to nutrition. Humans do themselves and the planet a huge service by eating very little meat/animal protein and a lot of fresh fruits and vegetable and whole grains all of which are minimally processed. Whole Foods has so many processed foods disguised as healthy that it makes me cringe. Let us not forget that Whole Foods wants your money - and it is easy to realize that when you see their prices. The benefit to Wellesley of Whole Foods over Shaw's is the aesthetic appeal of the new store. It's beautiful.
Liz Ci August 20, 2011 at 01:25 PM
Personally, I will be switching from Roche Bros to Whole Foods. For the foods I usually buy, Roche Bros. is actually more expensive than Whole Foods. I live closer to Roche Bros but I will go out of my way (a little) for a better overall shopping experience.
Matthew August 22, 2011 at 06:16 PM
Roche Bros can actually be more expensive on many basic items, from what I've observed. I usually shop at Roche for convenience but also made periodic trips to the WF in Dedham for better quality produce. Going forward I'll lean towards WF for produce and Roche for boxed or frozen stuff (although prices can be higher).

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