Opening day at Erewhon

Opening day at Erewhon in Sunset Junction.

Silver Lake - People make fun of health-food stores, especially the prices. But when Erewhon Market opened its new store in Sunset Junction, the crowds came.

“It was definitely steady throughout,” said store manager Isaac Lopez of customer traffic on opening day. He even recognized people he’d seen at other Erewhon stores - meaning some of them may have traveled across town, since this is the first Erewhon on the Eastside.

“I think they nailed it for the demographic,” said Paul Finegold, a customer who came in to get a couple of wood-fired pizza slices for lunch, and ended up getting a basket to pick up a couple of mason jars of soup. “I may have to dress up better next time.”

That wood-burning pizza oven is one of the things that makes this Erewhon different from most others, according to Jason Widener, Erewhon’s Vice President of Store and Team Development. That plus the larger kitchen, and the larger tonic/juice/superfood/coffee bar.

The store also has a space for a lounge near the entrance. Under coronavirus restrictions, however, it can’t be used as a social area at the moment. So it’s currently serving as a pop-up space for other businesses - such as for Satine, a women’s boutique out of Venice Beach, which will be using the space for a month.

Outside seating at Erewhon

Outside seating at Erewhon, on opening day.

As for snarky comments that have been popping up online about the prices, niche-market products tend to be expensive, Widener said

"That’s always been the case with the health food market,” he said. “You have stuff you can’t find anywhere else.” That includes a selection of organic wines, a nutrition supplement aisle curated by medical staff, and grab-and-go items for every diet from keto to vegan.

Erewhon's wine section

Setting up the organic wine section at Erewhon's, the day before opening.

But with more general products that other stores carry, Erewhon tries to keep its prices competitive, Widener said.

Comparison Shopping

As to that …

Here is a price comparison on some of the few items that can be found both at the new Erewhon and the nearby Vons at Sunset Boulevard and Virgil Avenue.

In most (but not all) cases, Vons had lower prices. In just about every case, Erewhon had a greater variety. Both stores also have membership or club card discounts. 

Erewhon Vons price comparison chart
Hot items at Erewhon

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