Whole Foods Market opens in Glasgow

Whole Foods Market, Glasgow

A trolley-tour round Glasgow's popular new ethical food outlet

You have to hand it to the Americans – they certainly know how to create an impressive supermarket. The opening of Whole Foods Market in Giffnock has had foodies, healthy eaters and ethical shoppers from Glasgow (not to mention resentful Edinburghers) swooning in the aisles – packed as those shiny shelves are with such a bedazzling array of healthy, natural and organic produce that it feels like a detox just walking around.

While adhering to the chain’s ‘Four Pillars of Healthy Eating’ (wholefoods, plant-strong, healthy fats and nutrient dense), it’s all distinctly upmarket – think Waitrose with a bigger moral compass – and undeniably American in the extravagant range of high-quality produce and faultless presentation, with not a whole cheese round or sourdough loaf out of kilter. Like scoop shops of old, there’s plenty to bag or bottle yourself, including coffee beans, nuts, pulses, oil and even beer.

To say it’s completely new is rather unfair on places such as Grassroots Organic and Roots & Fruits. OK, they’ve no mighty US machine turning cogs but in Grassroots case they’ve been offering Glaswegians those same ‘Four Pillars’, just in miniature, for three decades, roughly when Whole Foods began in Austin, Texas.

Nowadays, Scotland’s burgeoning small-scale producers have highlighted the impressive larder on our doorstep, and we are a bit wiser to the ethical implications of our consumption, from how vegetables are grown and animals reared to food miles and packaging. Whole Foods Market is a welcome windfall for the hundreds of carefully chosen suppliers they use, from cheesemakers, brewers and scallop-divers to pig farmers – although it must seem more of a destructive Atlantic storm system for the fishmongers, butchers and delis nearby.

The shopfloor’s faultless set-up doesn’t extend to the undersized café where food bought in the shop is microwaved and eaten from disposable packaging. It is no way to enjoy the tantalising food on offer, all prepared in-house, from a tasty Tuscan soup and a chunky Mediterranean focaccia to delicious parmesan-crusted chicken, and sage-infused quinoa and sweet potato cakes.

Those looking for a healthy start to the New Year should pop in for some unadulterated goodness, although if you’re tightening the purse strings as well as the waistline you may want to whistle Dixie at the checkout.

Whole Foods Market
124–134 Fenwick Road, Glasgow, G46 6XN
0141 621 2700, wholefoodsmarket.com
Mon–Sun 8am–9pm
Ave. price meal: £11

+ A blueprint that all our supermarkets should use
- Proof there can be too much of a good thing

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