ENGLEWOOD — You might want to skip your local Whole Foods and head to Englewood the next time you go grocery shopping.
When plans were announced to open a Whole Foods in Englewood, a South Side food desert, officials said prices would be more affordable. On Wednesday, when the doors finally opened, the store put its money where its mouth is.
Compared to prices at the Whole Foods' Lincoln Park location at 1550 N. Kingsbury St., prices on many Englewood Whole Foods items were far cheaper.
We comparison-shopped a grocery list of items. Check out the differences:
Allison Phelps, a Whole Foods spokeswoman, said shoppers should expect the prices to stay cheaper, but did acknowledge there were some grand opening sales.
“We have grand opening specials and will run sales, but we believe fresh, healthy foods should be accessible to everyone in every community," Phelps said.
"We’ve worked across the board to lower prices at all our stores, and at our Englewood store, like all our stores, we’ve created a curated product mix based off of community needs and feedback from residents. We’re focusing on products that bring exceptional value like our 365 Everyday Value line; more conventional fruits and vegetables alongside organic offerings; and bulk products, as well as lower prices on key staple products.”
In practical terms, that means some items, including produce, dairy, meat and seafood, are much cheaper at 63rd and Halsted.
An example of the gap: Whole milk — a must-buy item for many families with children — was selling for just $1.99 in Englewood, while it was priced at $4.19 in Lincoln Park. The price was the same — $5.99 — at both stores when it came to organic milk from Whole Foods' 365 product line.
A dozen large white eggs, just $1.99 at Englewood, were twice the price in Lincoln Park ($3.99). Fresh Atlantic salmon cost $12.99 per pound in Lincoln Park and $8.99 in Englewood on Wednesday.
Kelly Bauer compares prices at the Englewood and Lincoln Park Whole Foods.
George Lyke, of Englewood, said he came to the store opening to check out the prices for groceries. The prices in the produce section were noticeably cheaper than what he's seen at other Whole Foods, he said, and were "reflective of a more community price" to serve Englewood's residents. He plans to come back to the store.
"So far, I'm impressed," Lyke said. "Maybe not as great as I thought it would be, but nevertheless it does reflect a difference of pricing."
And in Englewood, some produce items — like a banana or cucumber — were priced per item, while those groceries were priced per pound in Lincoln Park.
Tina Hammond, of Englewood, said some of the items were more expensive than she was used to but she thought the cost was worth it for healthy food. She was able to sample chicken salad before deciding to buy it, saying that it might be "pricey" but it was "delicious" and worth the cost.
"Some of it [is] a little bit pricey," Hammond said. "Spending the extra money, if I have to, I don't mind doing that. It's my health. If I don't do it right now, I'm going to pay for it later."
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