February 3, 2009

Whole Foods Responds

We sent a note to Andrew Calabrese, community liasion for the Noe Valley Whole Foods, asking him to keep an eye on comments related to the 24th St location. He just sent this update:

I’ve been reading the blog and will keep reading in order to investigate and find answers for any questions or concerns that arise. I’ve met with NVMPA, the Farmer’s Market, Upper Noe Neighbors and the Dolores Heights Improvement Club. So far most of the questions that have come up have been the same as listed from the Upper Noe Neighbors.

The primary concern, it seems, from most meetings was the access to food for the elderly during the construction. I can say that our Development Team has approved a limited service shuttle to take folks to other markets during this time. Currently we’re researching for a service to handle this and pricing for review and approval. NVMPA, along with Peter Gabel and Leslie Crawford from the Farmer’s Market, are also working on other options such as encouraging other local shops to carry additional items and setting up a smaller farmer’s market on another day during the week for a few hours in the afternoon/early evenings.

I did pass some of the other questions on as well and Glen Moon, our VP of Store Development has confirmed that the store aisles will be built wider to make stroller access easier. Also, regarding the parking lot will be for Whole Foods shopping only, but will not be so strict as to disallow customers from briefly visiting other local shops in addition. As far as an ongoing shuttle service once the store is open and/or a delivery service (to make it easy for customers to walk to the store without having to carry home multiple bags), we’re open to both of these ideas and will research.

As mentioned, the Planning Commission hearing is scheduled for February 19th. We are asking for members of the neighborhood to come and speak on our behalf to make the transition as smooth as possible.

As always, please post comments/concerns/suggestions in the comments.

[NVSF: Update: Whole Foods]
[NVSF: Confirmed: Noe Valley Whole Foods To Preserve Existing Building]
[NVSF: Noe Valley Democratic Club Town Forum]


Anonymous said...

They seem to be trying to accommodate the neighborhood much more than I expected. I hope that level of service translates into the day to day operations of the new store. It will be a welcome change from Bell's service and hopefully a good change for Noe Valley.

Anonymous said...

While I applaud their comments regarding allowing "limited use" of the parking lot while shopping at other stores, I don't think it will work. I think it will be abused and overused by others too lazy to find parking elsewhere. Sad to say, but many Noe Valleans feel entitled...and that means free parking when they want it. The parking lot should be strictly controlled and monitored for patrons of Whole Food only.