Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Despite what you heard in the checkout aisle, Whole Foods says it’s still coming to Silver Lake

Whole Foods plans to replace Ralphs in Silver Lake

Whole Foods plans to replace Ralphs in Silver Lake

SILVER LAKE — It’s been more than  1-1/2 years since Whole Foods announced it was going to open up a Silver Lake store in what is now a Ralphs market on Glendale Boulevard. But so far there have been no signs that Ralphs is closing to make way for the upscale Whole Foods. In fact, some Ralphs employees have been telling customers in recent weeks that the store is not closing and that Whole Foods has abandoned plans to open up a Silver Lake outlet, according to several Eastsider readers. One Ralphs manager, who did not want to be identified, told The Eastsider that he and other employees had been told that their store was being remodeled and would stay in business. Whole Foods, however, says it remains committed to opening in Silver Lake.

Andi Dowda, a regional marketing coordinator for Whole Foods, said the national grocery store chain is focused on opening a new store in Playa Vista before turning its attention to Silver Lake. The Whole Foods website said the Silver Lake store is scheduled to open this year. Online city records show that permits have been applied for to remodel the entire facade of the shopping center, restripe the parking lot and expand what is now the Ralphs market into adjacent tenant spaces.

“We are still a go and excited to be coming to Silver Lake,” Dowda said.

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  1. Sucks that Ralphs would mislead their employees.

  2. Of course the manager of Ralph’s would say that. If a ship is going down and there aren’t any life boats, why would the captain want mass hysteria *in addition to* everyone’s impending death?

  3. That phony ‘healthy’ food store should stay out of Silverlake. Ralphs is just fine in that spot. Note to Whole Foods – you are not wanted or welcome here. More people have been sickened or killed by ‘organic health food’ than any other kind.

  4. Bern has obviously consumed massive amounts of nuts.

  5. I like that Ralphs. I’m all for healthy eating but at what cost? Whole Food’s is not affordable for a large segment of the population who lives near that area.

    • I like that Ralphs too, and will be sorry to see it close. I go there when I need something from a regular grocery store rather than going to Trader Joe’s. In my experience, that Ralphs has better produce and shorter lines than the Vons further south on Alvarado. And it’s convenient to be able to park in one spot and go to the Ralphs and the CVS.

      While I occasionally go to Whole Foods for an item I can’t get elsewhere, for me they are so overpriced that I wouldn’t go there on a regular basis. So for me this is a net loss. YMMV.

      • The produce is fresh and there is a wider selection at the Vons on Alvarado. I gave up on Ralphs years ago with their repulsive rotting fruit and vegetables. When I said something to the manager at Ralphs that I was surprised by the lowered quality I received a shrug. Vons on the other hand has friendlier customer service, more courteous staff, and they are responsive to customer needs compared to the dying Ralphs in Silver Lake, Parking is abundant too!

    • Silver Lake has become affluent and there is a demand for a Whole Foods closer than Glendale.

      Super King will remain the biggest bargain in the area for those who need discount groceries. Whole Foods has quality. Trader Joe’s has their niche. I’m not sure who the old outdated grocery store chains serve anymore. Whenever I have to run in to this store for a quick purchase, it seems like everyone else there is stocking up on junk food.

  6. I’m in favor of whole foods moving in. It is not like Ralphs does not have the option to stay. I’m sure it is all about $$. As for people having options, there is a large population in Silver Lake and Los Feliz who would support Whole Foods. There is still Vons not far away.

  7. I dont hate Whole foods but i can’t afford to shop there every weekend.

    Even though its unlikely, my preference would be for WF to take over the circuit city site on sunset for a superstore instead, and for Ralph’s to annex the adjacent spaces and do the same.

  8. That Ralphs has always been the worst option in the neighborhood. High prices and poorly lit, I’m sure Whole Foods will do well. Should take some of the strain off Trader Joe’s parking lot madness at least!

    Vons is always pretty friendly and well served. And for those that cant blow their whole paycheck at Whole Foods, theres always Super King just up the 2! Lots of options thankfully!

  9. I can’t afford,and can’t be bothered,by WF. I have barely stepped foot once or twice in Lassens..still miss Pioneer. But that Ralph’s lost me long ago when they started with the piped in ads..nope! So for me it’s been Costco, farmers market, TJ and SuperKing when I’m really feeling like fighting crowds. Oh and A-1 warehouse on Sunset. Love that feeling of being overseas wandering through the back dusty mysterious aisles. I do feel for the Ralph’s employees..good luck to them. I’m sure, sadly, money always wins. Sad.

  10. Before they installed the automatic checking, I hated shopping at Ralphs or Vons because of interactions such as this one:
    Checker: “Go ahead and swipe your Club card.”
    James: “It’s okay.”
    Checker: “How about your phone number?”
    James: “I don’t have a Club card.”
    Checker: “I can sign you up for one right now.”
    James: “I’m not interested.”
    Checker: “Why not? Are you against saving money?”
    James: “No, I’m against giving away my personal information and my privacy.”
    Checker (shaking her head, handing me the receipt): “Okay, but you could have saved 96 cents today.”

    I imagine that workers at Super King (which took over a previous Ralphs location) don’t get paid much, and that’s a shame, but I’ve had variations on the above interaction more than a dozen times over the years, and I don’t appreciate being made to feel like a criminal because I choose to guard my privacy a bit more than the average shopper. I’ll stick to Trader Joe’s, Super King, and Sprouts.

    • James! You’re playing my song. That’s exactly what did me in with Ralph’s.

    • just take the card and the little form, and tell them you’ll fill it out at home and mail it in…then just don’t. the card still works.

    • Or just manually enter (323)-867-5309…. Works every time!

      • That tactic (and the one above it, or filling out the form with fake information, as a checker once advised me to do) might get me the savings, but then I’ve “corrupted” myself in two ways – by playing along and getting a card, and by resorting to dishonesty just to get a discount. I’d prefer to boycott the stores and find other places to shop – though I realize I should write a letter to their CEO to let them know my distaste for the club-card program. Sometimes the easiest and most effective protest we have is voting with our feet.

    • Lol I love how people feel that any information given to stores or companies are shared….. I love seeing these type of people freak out from that question like it’s the end of the world, but they have a cell, bank account and credit cards and sign up to many other stuff and gladly give their info away. Today in age, your info is everywhere on the net. Take a chill pill people. Rich snobs. I personally like Ralphs and I am sad to see it leave. WF. I don’t care about but I am not going to trash it because their prices people are free to pay what they want, I have my preferences and know what I will do. But people should not be snobby about getting a WF, and state many wanted. This is America and remember it’s not what the majority wants but the elite or a fluent ones want. This is my country and I am fine with it, I am not naive.

  11. My main concern with bringing in Whole Foods there is the parking. As it is now, there is never enough parking in that lot even if Ralph’s isn’t crowded. I used to shop at that Ralph’s a lot and everyone who works there is really nice, but i mainly shop at TJ’s now. I don’t mind going to Glendale for Whole Foods if necessary. Going to Starbucks there though will be an even bigger nightmare with no parking. I’d personally rather see the CVS go than the Ralph’s. I’ve lived in Silverlake for 14 years and that place has sucked the entire time. It somehow managed to get worse when they renamed it CVS (from whatever it was before that).

  12. I’m no fan of WF, but that Ralphs is a dumpy, overgrown convenience store with terrible produce. I have lived up the hill for 25 years and I now go to Super King for produce and deli items, and Costco for bulk items. The Vons on Glendale is a step up, but neither Ralphs nor Vons holds a candle to the kinds of grocery stores you see on the Westside and in other cities (large and small) across the country, which have expansive basic selections, specialty items and then bulk sections of nuts, coffees and other foods. I was hoping they’d raze the entire center and start over with a mega-grocery store and a second floor of shops, but this looks like another missed opportunity.

  13. Interesting that a few people have stated they shop at Super King. Assuming they live near the Silver Lake Ralph’s, or why else would they reply about this story, but I the few times I’ve been to Super King, the shoppers there aren’t the type of people who live in Silver Lake. Most are recent immigrants, don’t wear $200 jeans, or wear $300 sunglasses.

    • I love the diversity of the Super King clientele. I’ve seen Chinese immigrants arrive there on the bus – I’m assuming they’re coming from Lincoln Heights – as well as Armenians, Latinos, Arabic-speakers, Russians (maybe Russian-Armenian), African-Americans, Africans (who are American), whites, and hybrids, like myself. I haven’t seen any Norwegians, Danes, or Swedes yet.

      • I’m a Swede, shop at Super King regularly.

        (and btw, can’t wait for that nasty Ralphs to be gone and replaced with a Whole Foods)

  14. Cant wait for the wholefoods market! Ralphs is sooooo degraded in sooo many ways! The products are sub-standard and the entire shopping center is such an eye-sore and in much need of a remodel.Wholefoods will do really well here!

  15. I just got the news from an “inside source” around commercial real estate that WalMart has recently out-bid Whole Foods on that property. No kidding.

  16. hopalong chastity

    I may be mistaken but I thought that Caruso had taken an ownership interest in the shopping plaza on Glendale Blvd. which contains Ralphs, CVS, and the long ago emptied Roundtable Pizza, Baskin-Robbins and Kentucky Fried.

    If it is Caruso, they have the deep pockets that allow them to hold out for a maximum density rebuild on the site. Subteranean parking, a whole foods, a CPK, a super Bikrams plus condos and a luxury hotel.

    Even if its not Caruso, I can’t believe the owners have kept the empty spaces unleased for so long just for a whole foods. They at least expect to go up two floors or three in a rebuild.

  17. This particular Ralph’s is dirty, miss managed , and sells expired/rotten food, Night and day from the one downtown on Hope Street. Good riddance. My only hope is that WF offers employment opertunities to the current Ralph’s staff. At least offers them interviews.

  18. One wonders if a whole multi-story “mixed use” development is planned, and no one is talking about it….
    it would ruin the views of the houses above the site. Since real estate in silver lake is a million dollars a square foot,
    Why would any owner or developer would just put in another ground-floor grocery store? Greed wouldn’t allow it.

  19. One thing that I have not seen our representatives and community members, on this page talk about, is how Whole Foods is a staple in the fact that Silver Lake has become extremely gentrified over the past decade. As some one who has lived in the area for over twenty years it brings me joy to see that our community has placed an emphasis on healthy food, but at what price. the increase in gentrification and new store chains, that are not affordable to much of the silver lake residents (im taking about the people who live in the area but not on the hill) has further pushed out working class families in our neighborhood. I believe in food justice but i also believe in a socially and environmentally sustainable community. I am sad to hear that whole foods is coming because it means a further perpetuation of disfranchising the working class families in our neighborhood.

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