The snow has arrived, bringing an incredible energy and vitality to our valley in these current bitter temperatures. Driving by our valley neighborhoods a common site is round and jolly charcoal buttoned snowmen created lovingly by our excited snow children who have meticulously gathered every surrounding flake of snow.
For many of the parents of these children, we too are wrapping up in layers and bursting out into the frosty air and returning to a blissfully hot shower. Late afternoons are spent breaking out the hot toddies, the crock pots and Monopoly.
Our recipes are far more diverse thanks to Whole Foods Market Roaring Fork Store located nearby in the Willitts Town Center. Last Thursday evening I begrudgingly went out to Whole Foods to get dinner and was elated to surprisingly walk into a feast of Thanksgiving samplings served by Chefs like Evan, sharing his Brussel Sprouts recipe to the last detail. It was inspiring, helping me to break out of my recipe mold that I have been stuck in for quite some time now.
The festive spirit was catchy, especially with those working behind the meat and fish counters. I love those guys! Knowledgeable, always helpful and gracious, and on this particular night, contagious with their good humor as Rusty sang to the fish he was preparing. I lingered.
Actually, I find myself lingering quite a bit in that market, like I used to do at Fairway Market in New York City, eavesdropping in on the farm talk going on by those stacking the produce shelves. With so many professionals working in the market and endorsing the food that the market carries, one can’t help but leave the market with a new appreciation for the value of good, whole food.
I indulged with all of the delectable offerings, like the Almond Maroon Cookies with the perfect consistency of chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside, and the Crab stuffed Salmon that I wanted to run off with.
As I received a heaping portion of an entire Thanksgiving dinner on my sample plate, I felt guilty. The boys would have loved to have been there running around and tasting all of the food. I’ll just have to bring them in this coming Thursday evening for the “Veggie Offerings” and again on Saturday, November 17th for the “Trimming, Sides and Desserts” samplings.
Whole Food Local Vendors:
The Whole Foods store in Willitts is 32,000 square feet and stands alone in the commitment to help companies grow their businesses through the Local Producer Loan Program. Already they sell products from at least 40 local businesses, including Crystal River Meats, Osage Gardens, Avalanche Cheese Co., Two Leaves and a Bud, Midland Baking Co., Ela Family Farms and Eagle Springs Organics. Plans are in place to expand the local vendor list.
Staying true to the natural beauty and rustic feel of the mountainous region, Whole Foods Market Roaring Fork was built with numerous green practices, including recycled materials. Reclaimed barn wood and red oxide metal beams pay tribute to the mining history in the valley, and salvaged skis and a vintage chair lift pull together the Valley’s tourism heritage.
Often, so that I don’t overshop at the market, I first go to the other nearby markets to get my basics and inevitably end up at Whole Foods. It’s like walking into two different worlds. One world; chilly, too bright and often depressing, the other; warm, friendly and inviting. So thank you Whole Foods for improving our marketing experience!
“Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™
The mission for Whole Foods is to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company’s nearly 60,000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by Fortune magazine for 14 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2010, the company had sales of more than $9 billion and currently has more than 300 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.