OT: Is WF's not kid friendly? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 29 Old 03-21-2005, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Or is it just the one in my area (which is a big brand new one btw.)

I have four kids. And lots of times, I travel around town with four kids. Hitting the regular store, no problems. But the few times I go to WF's with them - despite the fact that all four behave,don't run amuck, aren't screaming, are basically staying out of the way - I get glares from people.

Why? I mean, if they were being horrible, heck, I deserve the glares. But they were behaving every time. But we get treated like we're in the way - even though I have always had adults get in my way, take up the whole aisle, etc.

Shouldn't these people be thrilled that I'm trying to teach my children how to be healthier so that when they grow up, they'll make good choices? Instead, I feel like we've invaded some sacred territory. So usually, I save my WF trips for when I don't have kids with me or just one I can contain in a cart.

Is it just me? Am I oversensitive? Did I get spoiled by the health food store my mom took us to when we were kids - where the owners would greet us and give us carob candy and other treats? lol! Though I have to say, when I went to Trader Joe's with my two younger ones, we were treated well there. So I don't think I'm being oversensitive.
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#2 of 29 Old 03-21-2005, 06:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by peekyboo
Is it just me? Am I oversensitive?
No, it's not just you and you're not being oversensitive. Despite the supercool vibe I get from a lot of WF staffers, the clientele has a stick up its collective butt. I usually go with my two kids, one walks around with me and the other I either carry or is in the cart and no matter what kind of behaviour we get that day - angelic, devilish or anything in between - we get looks and comments. There are an awful lot of people taking themselves very seriously while they shop at Whole Foods.
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#3 of 29 Old 03-21-2005, 06:48 PM
 
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That's awful!
I've gone to WF's with both of mine, and have never felt awkward. Maybe, it's just my area...
Better luck to you in the future
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#4 of 29 Old 03-21-2005, 07:48 PM
 
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Too bad - our WF is awesome about my wild ones.
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#5 of 29 Old 03-21-2005, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalupamom
Despite the supercool vibe I get from a lot of WF staffers, the clientele has a stick up its collective butt.
:LOL

What is even worse - the parking lot there is a death trap. They built the new WF's right next to another strip with a Barnes and Noble, a Panera's, and a few other shops. You seriously can NOT find a parking spot on weekends there. Took me ten minutes to find a spot, people were parking along the curb and leaving their flashers on (that sounds dirty...) And then if that wasn't enough, they decided to take one corner of the parking lot and build more stores there - ACK!

So it's fight for a spot, try not to get run over getting into the store, get glared at b/c I'm allowing my child to pick out the apples, try to maneuver around people who have to contemplate life in the middle of the aisle who then glare at you when you say "Excuse me.", avoid the deli/take out area which is just a mob, check out, risk my life again going across the parking lot, then get glared at b/c someone wants my spot but it takes me ten minutes to get all the kids in the van, get them all buckled, find a place to put the cart b/c they have no cart returns and in order to get barely enough parking spots, they made all the spots really narrow, then try to back out amid three cars vying for my spot and the people aimlessly meandering through the lot (apparently still contemplating the deeper matters of life...)

Yes, definitely better to go there at night w/o kids...
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#6 of 29 Old 03-21-2005, 07:56 PM
 
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Are there any other health food stores near you? It really doesn't sound worth your trouble!
Just a thought...
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#7 of 29 Old 03-21-2005, 08:05 PM
 
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It is not WF. It is their customers. Whole Foods attracts a variety of customers. You've got your down to earth natural foods shoppers and then there are the well off foodies who tend towards being snobbish. I know, I used to work for WF. Try dealing with the customer that keeps you 30 min or more after closing time, obviously taking advantage of the customer service policies. Whole Foods the company is kid friendly. The WF I worked at would often have little activities for kids on the weekend. Don't take it personally those people are that way to everyone.

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#8 of 29 Old 03-21-2005, 08:10 PM
 
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Some Whole Foods are full of poseurs. They get all dressed up and go sample the cheeses and look at the super cool wines. It's kind of laughable. And not only do they glare at families who don't care about dressing up to browse Whole Foods, but they also look in amazement at my shopping cart piled to the top full of food. I guess some people might wonder how a person can afford to fill a cart full at Whole Foods. But I'm not there to look pretentious and buy fancy food. The bulk food section can be quite a bargain, actually. If you shop right, Whole Foods doesn't have to be Whole Paycheck. Silly people. Oh yeah. I also go there once every few months to get things that the stores near me don't sell like certain brands of supplements and things like that.
The employees aren't rude to you, are they? They are always super nice and helpful to me. And the fruit samples keep my kids happy while we shop.
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#9 of 29 Old 03-21-2005, 08:13 PM
 
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some of the people shopping at WF are really obnoxious. I once had a woman comment on a box of Annie's mac and cheese that i was buying. How she was always afraid to eat it because it was in a box and did I think that was a good thing to be buying.

I was actually very polite, but afterwards I wanted to tell her to get out of my face unless she was planning to pay my grocery bill and come cook my meals.

Geez - I mean, you're in there shoppin for your family so obviously you're trying to do something right.

:

Hey Peekyboo - we must shop at the same store!!!!
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#10 of 29 Old 03-21-2005, 10:22 PM
 
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Geezzz snobby people really tick me off...Who are they that think they are better than the rest of us..

THat said my whole foods is very kid friendly..I have never had a problem with someone acting that way towards me...

Once my son was so excited to finally get a cornsyrup free pop(he is very allergic and 365 brand is made with cane sugar)that when he found them he came running up the aisle towards me with 3 6-paks in his arms..Well one went flying and rootbeer exploded all over him,me and the older woman who was shopping next to me...well needless to say my son was mortified and I thought he was going to cry..He really apologised to the lady..She was a gem..

She said oh honey it's all right...I was thinking just a bit ago I was craving root beer and now I've got some..Accidents happen sweetie...And then I sent him to the front to get any employee for a mop..I apologised again for him and she she winked and said I know and it's okay...Aren't kids just the sweetest? and then proceeded to tell me about the dinner party she was having that night and she was buying anchoivies just because her sis to her not to and would serve them just for her...She was a wonderful dear who latched onto my arm and wouldn't let go...I finally had to tell her I had to locate my son...Well at little bit later I saw her latched onto an elderly gentlemen just a talking away to him. :LOL


I love whole foods and hope I never have to exsperience what you have....Lots of hugs to you


Love Mylie xx
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#11 of 29 Old 03-21-2005, 10:36 PM
 
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The employees at the local WF either seem to love or hate kids. We've had lots of positive interaction, but I've also had people treat my son badly and this is a kid who constantly gets comments for being so well behaved. Example - there was a big sample table set up with crackers, cheese, etc. My ds walked over and took a cracker off the table ( I was standing right there). The woman (an employee) tending the table SNATCHED it out of his hand and snapped at him, "These are for adults, not you."
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#12 of 29 Old 03-21-2005, 10:36 PM
 
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We have 2 Whole Foods equi-distant (is that spelled right?) from our house, one has a better produce section, one a better bulk food section, anyway, both are pretty kid friendly IF YOU GO THERE AT THE RIGHT TIME!!! That means before 11:30 or after 1:30 during the day, after 6:30 or so at night and never, repeat w/me NEVER on the weekends. And it's not the employees, but the customers who are just real pissers, you know?

Good story - I've had many compliments on my Maya Wrap, lots of "lucky baby" while breastfeeding, and lots of "how cute!" when ds signs for fish and wants to go look at the fish after we check out.

Bad story - I've had customers tell me that ds is old enough for cow's milk and tell me where the dairy section is, "why are you talking to him, he can't talk back" while discussing various pastas w/ds and the best? A lady who told me that "people like me need to not leave the house during "working lunch hours" so that productive members of society can go about their business." Yep - she actually said that. I was so stunned I couldn't think of a response, but later as I walked my cart past her, I was speaking to ds about how you can't do anything better or more productive in life than raise a good, kind, decent human being, and I was doing my best to do just that. I really wanted to stick an organic banana you know where, but I restrained myself (not very GD, yk?)

So, we avoid WF during certain times, but if we happen to be there when it gets super busy (read snotty/snobby) then so be it. I might even take longer and meander a little more depending on how snotty everyone is being that day.
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#13 of 29 Old 03-21-2005, 10:37 PM
 
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We've never had that problem at either of the Whole Foods we go to (we used to go to the Seattle one until they built one closer to us). BUT, we always went to the Seattle one on weekday afternoons and we go to this one usually late morning.

That said, their carts SUCK. They are so small and if we get the bigger one (huge, fits two kids sitting) it doesn't fit down the isles right. So, I always have food balanced all over the cart, underneath, on top of my DD, DS is hanging out of the kid place (okay, that's his choice ).

 

 

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#14 of 29 Old 03-21-2005, 10:40 PM
 
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I actually find the snobby yuppies at WF extremely entertaining. Their cart contents are almost as ridiculous as some of the people at regular grocery stores. Gourmet everything and like three and a half normal items. :LOL
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#15 of 29 Old 03-22-2005, 12:58 AM
 
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I think we have a great Co-op in my area! I haven't noticed any of the negative behaviors from adults, listed by others. That said, I would be the person that took my child at the times that we are looked at in a negative light just to prove a point to the 'snobs' . That point being: you snobs were once children too!
People will never learn how to be tolerant of children unless they are "forced" to be around them. It's amazing how children can bring out the devil in normally rational, kind adults.
I am sorry you have negative experiences with these people. Could you think of a quick line to those that are glaring? One of the 'kill them with kindness' vibes? ..... of course they flow at all hours but not right now! :
Good luck with finding an acceptable solution!

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#16 of 29 Old 03-22-2005, 01:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, the one I shop at is in Ann Arbor, MI...where you get all sorts of interesting people everywhere anyway, lol! (And some of them are very wonderful people whom I love dearly!)

The people that work there have never been rude - they're either friendly enough (I don't expect to be gushed over, lol) or they seem almost bored to be there. It is the other shoppers that drive me up a freaking wall. The two main types who seem to look down upon me in all my glorious motherhood (aka dragging four kids around) are older men who look like that "intellectual" type and younger women (like around my age).

I did once have a nice conversation wtih this older couple at the Burt's Bees display, so not everyone is horrible there, lol!

There is another health food store in Ann Arbor, but their selection is not as good as WF's and their prices are higher. Luckily, the one Krogers in town has a decent health/organic food selection and even started carrying Seventh Generation products. I can even get my Toms of Maine deodorant there.

Oh, and I agree - the carts do totally stink. But you need the smaller carts at ours to get through all the aisles. I do wish the seat was deeper - I constantly feel like my dd is going to fall out sideways.
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#17 of 29 Old 03-22-2005, 01:09 AM
 
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The staff at our WF treat me like a queen mom because of my little prince. Ever since he was tiny. They just make a nice fuss over him, and often offer to help me take the groceries out to the car. We have a special friend in HABA too. The other customers are almost invariably kind. We get a lot of those grandparent aged people who love little children. When he was younger, under a year, they used to run over to see him! Very funny!

Once, when ds was much younger, I did freak out an MIT professor by nursing in the dining area where he was eating his sushi. :LOL That was funny. We both looked at reading material instead of each other.

I am actually a very poor shopper at WF because I buy whatever luxury goodies are on sale. If we didn't have such a positive shopping experience there, I'm sure we would spend less on food....

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#18 of 29 Old 03-22-2005, 02:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sistermama
The employees at the local WF either seem to love or hate kids. We've had lots of positive interaction, but I've also had people treat my son badly and this is a kid who constantly gets comments for being so well behaved. Example - there was a big sample table set up with crackers, cheese, etc. My ds walked over and took a cracker off the table ( I was standing right there). The woman (an employee) tending the table SNATCHED it out of his hand and snapped at him, "These are for adults, not you."
OMG! I would have complained.
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#19 of 29 Old 03-22-2005, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Anguschick1
Good story - I've had many compliments on my Maya Wrap, lots of "lucky baby" while breastfeeding, and lots of "how cute!" when ds signs for fish and wants to go look at the fish after we check out.

Bad story - I've had customers tell me that ds is old enough for cow's milk and tell me where the dairy section is, "why are you talking to him, he can't talk back" while discussing various pastas w/ds and the best? A lady who told me that "people like me need to not leave the house during "working lunch hours" so that productive members of society can go about their business." Yep - she actually said that. I was so stunned I couldn't think of a response, but later as I walked my cart past her, I was speaking to ds about how you can't do anything better or more productive in life than raise a good, kind, decent human being, and I was doing my best to do just that. I really wanted to stick an organic banana you know where, but I restrained myself (not very GD, yk?)
I've gotten positive remarks about my sling at - of all places - Starbucks. Yes, Starbucks, hotbed of yuppie snobberism, is ALWAYS a nice place to bring my brood. Okay, some do eye us warily, but then end up going on with life or smiling when they see my kids behave (what kid wouldn't with hot chocolate and a big cookie? lol!) But I've used my sling in there and had great comment - once I ran into another sling-wearing mama, lol!

As for that idiot female at WF's - what is with the rudeness and gall of some people? Productive? Hello. Raising good decent human beings is THE most productive thing a person can do. I probably would have said something like "And by productive, you mean RUDE?" LOL
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#20 of 29 Old 03-22-2005, 07:24 PM
 
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so what is WF?
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#21 of 29 Old 03-23-2005, 06:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kavamamakava
And not only do they glare at families who don't care about dressing up to browse Whole Foods, but they also look in amazement at my shopping cart piled to the top full of food.
I don't have a WF where I am, but we have a nice Wild Oats and people are friendly to my children, but I do feel self concious about buying the full cart. I so rarely see people buying more than a few supplements or hot food items, and often there are only 2 lines open and me with my full cart takes up valuable time. I try to let people with only 1 or 2 items go in front of me, but I could stand there all day doing that.
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#22 of 29 Old 03-23-2005, 01:13 PM
 
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I don't shop at Whole Foods, but I occasionally shop at another, smaller, chain natural food store. I have had a similar experience. When I first starting shopping there (usually late morning) the store would be fairly empty. Lately, however, I guess the word is out to the whole world about the benefits of eating healthy, because the store is usually crowded with obviously RICH folk dressed in FURS (!!!) sometimes. These are the people that will actually just push by my kids without even saying "excuse me". It seems as if their belief is that "I have to get my healthy organic food and supplements and the rest of the world be dammed". It really is disturbing because I did love the crunchy feel of the good ol' days when the people shopping in health food stores were still wearing tie dye and Birkenstocks...Ah, well. I just smile my biggest smile at these poor sad folk (yes, I really DO fell sorry for them when I see them) and try to send some positive energy their way....
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#23 of 29 Old 03-23-2005, 01:35 PM
 
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We don’t have a WF, only Wild Oats. I LOVE the employees at WO, they are always super friendly and very kind to my DS. The customers are another story… You know, the trendy to be “natural” drive my 40,000 dollar gas guzzling SUV down to the health food store and act like a total snot.

My son gets upset at WO during busy times, not because he is overwhelmed by the crowd, but because of the NASTY energy in the air. There is always the rich trendies in there who act like it is such a bother that my son is helping make his salad, or that I’m letting him help me pick out groceries. I find that a lot of the customers that shop at health food stores are the my “s*it doesn’t stink” type who feel they are the only customers there. Grrr…

Sorry for the rant… but this thread just got me going!

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#24 of 29 Old 03-23-2005, 11:51 PM
 
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Ive been to four different Whole Foods-One in Philly, One in Seattle, One in Phoenix and One in Orlando. They were all a little different. It seems that there are 4 types of people who shop at WF. 1) Yuppies who are really just looking for gourmet food. 2) Punk Rock type kids who are veg*n 3) Regular ole health conscious folks 4) People who don't really know what it's all about but are trying it.

The friendliest WF Ive ever been to is in Philly. There were always lots of urbanite families. Orlando's store has got to be the least friendliest. Phoenix and Seattle are somewhere in between.

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#25 of 29 Old 03-24-2005, 02:29 PM
 
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I am so with you...we have a WO and a local co-op. I used to shop at WO (before I knew about the co-op) and the employees were super nice, but the customers. There were nasty vibes there!! They would just glare....it was much more of a yuppie, food snob type attitude. An "I-have-lots-of-money-so-I-can-buy-the-best" thing. Our co-op is great though. They are nice and friendly. It's much more hippie, "this-is-best-for-me-and-the-earth" thing. They love my little one there!
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#26 of 29 Old 03-24-2005, 04:02 PM
 
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I like our Whole Foods, but I avoid going there when it's busy, because the parking lot is a nightmare, people are totally rude in the parking lot and in the store when it's busy. I also find I cannot bring ds with me but that's mainly because I am 6 mos pregnant and he is too big for me to lift in and out of the cart but too young for me to let him just walk with me (he runs away or constantly walks in front of my cart so I can't go). But when I used to be able to lift him into the cart, we were always treated well there and never got glares. They have great customer service.

We used to have a Wild Oats, and not suprisingly it closed. It was always very dirty in there, the food was often expired, and the produce was old. The customer service there was horrible! You could be the only person at the deli counter and order a sandwich and it would take like half an hour for them to make it and they still would not get it right, and they practiced very poor hygeine while making it (I won't add details). Yuck I'm so glad that Wild Oats went out of business.
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#27 of 29 Old 03-24-2005, 10:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peekyboo
They built the new WF's right next to another strip with a Barnes and Noble, a Panera's, and a few other shops.
Where are you from? I live in Hadley and our Whole Foods is right next to a barnes and noble, panera, walmart, etc. hmmm interesting if its nots the same. Panera just opened (well I guess a few months ago, I've been out of the loop since having my baby) have you been? Is it any good? I keep meaning to check it out. But like you mentioned for you, parking is hell in our plaza too!
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#28 of 29 Old 03-25-2005, 07:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anguschick1
A lady who told me that "people like me need to not leave the house during "working lunch hours" so that productive members of society can go about their business." Yep - she actually said that. I was so stunned I couldn't think of a response, but later as I walked my cart past her, I was speaking to ds about how you can't do anything better or more productive in life than raise a good, kind, decent human being, and I was doing my best to do just that. I really wanted to stick an organic banana you know where, but I restrained myself (not very GD, yk?)
Wow, you have a much better temper than I... I would have said "Look! Big bird!" to my child and stealthly given her the finger. But, then again... I'm a jerk. :

It's easy here. I just make a rude comment back in English.
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#29 of 29 Old 03-25-2005, 09:52 AM
 
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Looks like I shop at the same Whole Foods as you (A2). I love going there with my son, and have never had anything but positive experiences there. I do agree that the parking lot is a nightmare, and I NEVER go there on the weekend, or even the evening for that matter!

There sure are a lot of judgmental comments on this thread. Talk about negative energy...
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