When you think of grand openings my mind reels images of World War era battle ships’ bows being christened with champagne, baseball stadiums erupting with fireworks, and the ever classic oversized scissor ribbon cutting antics. When a new store comes to any town sometimes people notice, hate mail in the local papers shuffles in, maybe even the occasional extravaganza sale to get shoppers through the door may work.
But when a store has been planning to open in an area for more than half a decade, there is going to be some hype, especially when that store is Whole Foods.
Lou sent me on a photographic assignment to see what all the hoopla was about up the road, as he never ventures up valley, except for fitness uphilling missions in the family econo-Versa (which by the way would look fine in the Whole Foods parking lot, while the Duramax, not. And I’d really like to watch the happy couple arrive in their rock crawler Jeep.)
I pulled into the parking lot of what resembled a parade/farmers market navigating carefully through the sea of $1k strollers, women in yoga pants, and excited localvores, all of which will look at you as if you either a) were driving too fast b) your car is too inefficient or c) that there are only three carbon road bikes on your car instead of four.
Typical Whole Foods scene I’m sure we all can agree. Although this location is just fifteen miles from Aspen I can assure you there will be without a doubt a designated row for chauffeur driven Escalades in due time.
As I grabbed my camera from my truck I walked past a group of “campers” in a tent positioned perfectly on a bed of mulch. They looked as if they spent the night by the cowlicks on their heads.
Just before entering the store I heard sounds of rotor wash, loud and swooping. I have seen these guys from Altitude Filmworks in action before so I took notice. A carbon remote controlled octocopter complete with a DSLR, two operators, (one flight controller, and one camera operator) as well as Ryan Amirault, Whole Foods Digital Marketing Manager (perhaps he’ll throw WildSnow a tweet bone, or scone?), carefully looking on. They captured the scene from the air with amazing prescision–that is until it came to land the $10k five foot wide death rotor array. I offered to stop the procession of Subarus free of charge.
Lou really sent me to WF to see what our friend Richard from Vintage Ski World had contributed. For starters, two sandwich boards were artfully constructed of ski relics from yesteryear displaying local produce sales of the day.
I entered the dual automatic sliding doors to a familiar scene of fresh cut flowers, vegetables and fruits from every color of the spectrum, and complete pandemonium: shoppers hugging, smiling, jumping up and down, children screaming, and I think I even saw one lady shedding tears of joy.
Richards’s main contribution to the store was WF’s branded espresso station. Now you know how Whole Foods gets a blog post on WildSnow.com.
The seating area was also complete with subtle backcountry ski touches from yesteryear.
Well it’s safe to say I was glad to escape unharmed from the opening of every local food co-op’s nightmare. My wallet took a $10.52 hit in the form of espresso and scone, and I discovered upon leaving there were free samples in the parking lot. Doh!
Whereever you may shop for groceries, backcountry snacks, or just raid the olive bar while making endless “test” laps make sure you do so responsibly–to your wallet that is.