If you have never been to a Whole Food Store, it may help you to know that it's a lot like (but not exactly) Wild Oats. It is less like Trader Joe's, but they are more alike than any of them are like Kroger/Publix/Marsh in general.
The whole experience is almost decadent. No kidding -- everything is "perfect." The produce is fresh and colorful and arranged with precision. The meats/poultry/seafood is too. I could hardly take my eyes off the Atlantic salmon and the tuna steaks (wild caught).
I skipped the aisles with tall shelves (all well-faced and filled with all sorts of specialty products, many organic).
The next section that caught my fancy was the olive bar ($9.99 lb.) and the cheese section. I did have a nibble sample of one cheese that was delicious.
Next are coffees and teas -- both bulk for purchase and a bar for immediate consumption. Nestled next to that: bakery and desserts, of course. I looked away quickly.
Finally, deli which included beautiful sandwich meats (I sampled some snobby salami, super thin sliced and thought for a moment I was on the Food Network with one of the Italian chefs...) and miles and miles of salads and hot dishes from all over the world. The curries... The hummus... WOW.
I brought home just a few things: some huge & beautiful raspberries, a pineapple, and two deli containers with just a bit of yum in them. One is called Babylonian something -- it is a couple different grains with dried fruit and nuts and a "dressing" made of juice and a little oil and spices. The other (picture above) is called Mississippi Caviar. It is black eyed peas, onion, tomato, sweet pepper, jalapeno, vinegar and some spices including cumin and herbs including cilantro. I'm taking that to work for my lunch today.
I found myself thinking that I could love shopping there every day for just what I needed for the day -- and also how I felt self-conscious in there. Like all the staff and all the other shoppers knew more about the foods and had more of a "right" to be there. Funny how "high end" stores can do that. I was glad I'd worn my 3- strands of pearls, no matter how "fake" they might be.