I understand the challenges of produce in the north, but here in New Orleans we have Rouse's, which IMO has far better and cheaper produce than Whole Foods, with roughly the same percentage or higher of locally-sourced.
If they need to choose, Whole Foods will usually choose organic over locally-sourced because they think their customers prefer the organic. Rouse's is the opposite - they take advantage of local suppliers whenever possible to minimize transportation costs and spoilage, but they don't really care about organic.
Interestingly, NOLA was the first city outside of Texas to have a Whole Foods, way back in 1983 on Esplanade Ave. Eventually they moved Uptown to the current location to expand their offerings and reach a wider customer base. Now there are even whisperings of a second Whole Foods opening in the city...
Originally Posted by Private Dick
Yeah, you're right. I wonder if the wonderful Wegmans will ever make an entry into NYC, since they are a NY-based company and are in NY, PA, NJ.
I've done some research on Wegmans... they're incredibly conservative with store locations, opening stores in upscale suburbs and drawing customers from whole sectors of a metro area. They're totally fine with growing slowly (they're privately-owned) so they don't take risks, especially not on transitional urban areas. Once an urban area progresses to the kind of stable wealth that Wegmans looks for, the real estate values would prohibit Wegmans from assembling enough land for a full-scale store without some kind of subsidy.