Sunday, February 8, 2009

Grocery Store Review: Whole Foods, Cary

We do most of our GF shopping at Whole Foods in Cary located in the Waverly Shopping Center at the corner of Tryon and Kildaire Farm Road.

Whole Foods has a green label on the shelves for items that are advertised as Gluten Free. They often have gluten free information right at the entrance. Their brand, 365 Everyday Value, has many gluten free offerings (including our favorite bread machine mix).

 Terrific selection of GF items are easy to find in the Freezer section, Cereal and Chips aisles, Baking aisle, Cookies and Pasta aisles, and Meat and Produce.

 An entire freezer of baked goods: sandwich breads, corn bread, cakes, pies, biscuits, and muffins is located on an end cap in the freezer section.  Some of our favorites are the corn bread and the pies. In addition to these items, gluten free pizzas, waffles, chicken nuggets, and fish sticks are available in the freezer aisle. 

In the cereal aisle, we stock up on Panda Puffs and other EnviroKidz products.  They are reasonably priced (much cheapter than Glutino) and they also have a wide selection of cereal bars (berry rice, peanut butter rice, peanut butter and chocolate rice).  These bars are great to have as snacks or to put in lunches.  Many cereals are clearly labeled gluten free and the selection is pretty extensive.

We often indulge in Glutino pretzels. They are relatively expensive but they taste great and even friends and family who do not require GF foods like them!

The baking aisle has lots of Bob’s Red Mill gluten free baking mixes and flours.  They also have a variety of brands of bread machine mixes, cakes, frosting, and cookie mixes.  The only problem is that the selection goes fast. 

Did you know about buying by the case at Whole Foods? If you buy things by the case, you get a discount. Check out the label on the shelf. For instance, if you see 8/16oz, it means a case is 8 of the 16 oz packages. Just be sure to get 8 of the exact same item.  I believe this is why it is sometimes hard to find a large selection of the baking mixes—people buy a case at a time (I know we do!). 

 In the cookie aisle, we can choose from Nana’s Cookie Bars (banana, chocolate, berry), Glutino’s chocolate and vanilla cookies, and a range of GF animal crackers, pecan cookies, and macaroons. 

The pasta selection has grown in the past few years.  Our favorite brand is Tinkyada PastaJoy Ready.  Great taste, texture, and variety.  They even have “fun” shapes for kids, which is unusual to find!

And of course, a beautiful meat selection and an extensive produce and cheese section lets us do all our shopping here.  Although some items at Whole Foods can be expensive, often prices are comparable or even cheaper than other grocery stories. Look for signs that compare prices to let you know you are getting a good deal.

Also, be sure to check out: the whole deal newsletter that can be found at the entrance of the store.  The recent issue (January-March) highlights the 365 Everyday Value Gluten Free Pancake Mix.  In addition,  you can get coupons for:

$1 off EnviroKidz Products

$0.50 off Nut-Thins

The best thing about Whole Foods is that the employees know what Gluten Free means. No one looks at you like you are speaking a foreign language. They will help you find items and even look for items in the back to complete a “case.”

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