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Is Whole Foods a Threat to Local Produce Markets?

With Whole Foods coming to Northdale, we asked some local produce markets what their thoughts are on the organic-grocery chain.

If you're a Whole Foods Market fan, The store plans to open in Northdale in the fall.

Whole Foods will be located about 12 miles from the center of Westchase. It's received a warm response from this community.

But what effect will the "It-Girl" of supermarkets have on local produce stands? We decided to ask some nearby market and produce stand owners.

John Ciani, owner of Odessa Organic Farmer's Market, says he's not worried about the new grocery store option.

"For one thing Whole Foods doesn’t do local," Ciani said. “When you support local, you support the local farmer, you're supporting your health because you’re eating things from your local environment. You’re supporting your community when you buy local no matter what."

Carol Spurr, owner of Citrus Park Landscape Nursery, said she's never been in a Whole Foods but has heard her customers mentioning the new store coming to Northdale.

It doesn't worry her though, citing a loyal customer base.

"We've got great prices and (vegetables and fruits) are more fresher," she said. "People say we have the best tomatoes in town."

While Whole Foods hasn't opened its doors yet, we found a few details about what the store - which will be open from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. - will offer from a Whole Foods flier:

  • Healthy eating specialist
  • Fresh organic produce
  • Traditional-style barbecue station and naan panini station
  • Fresh seafood delivered six days a week
  • Over 750 wines and 400 plus beers; ability to create your own custom six-pack
  • More than 250 hand-cut cheeses
  • European-style bakery
  • A 'Whole Body' department that showcases supplements, vitamins and natural body care

Westchase, how do you think Whole Foods will impact our community?

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