Whole Foods Albany Turns One!
I remember when I first heard talk about a Whole Foods opening when I moved to Albany almost 3 years ago now. I thought “There is no way!” and brushed it off, trying not to get my hopes up. I am a foodie through and through and many of the small brands (like this one) that I love are carried at this amazing place because they care about where their food comes from. When they announced that Whole Foods Albany was indeed going to be a thing, I did a happy dance and quietly stalked the news for further information.
I patiently awaited their opening and when they announced it I realized I would not be here for it….for a VERY good reason. Whole Foods Albany and I share a very special weekend! Last year this time I was getting ready to marry my best friend, so my priorities were OBVIOUSLY to my now husband <3 Happy 1 Year Anniversary to my ever supportive and loving husband AND to Whole Foods Albany 🙂
Today marks the day that Whole Foods Albany opened their doors to the Capital District of New York and I think it has made our town a better place because not only do they offer fresh REAL FOOD but they also support many local companies who are looking to do the right thing and produce sustainable and healthy food products. I was so incredibly lucky to be invited to a Bloggers & Vendors event to celebrate their 1 year anniversary and could not be more excited to tell you all about the food I ate and the friends I met 🙂
If you are in the area this weekend I suggest you head on over to Whole Foods Albany. The first 200 shoppers TODAY, Thursday June 18th get a FREE Whole Foods Reusable bag (#savetheplanet) AND the word is that there will be gift cards hidden throughout the entire store, GET THERE! Not only will there be these cool freebies but there will be sales galore. Many people may think that Whole Foods is pricey but can you really put a price on your health?! They do a great job of offering sales and “Whole Deals” so make sure to check out their sales flyers before you head over. For the next two days (June 18-19) you will even see $1 deals, yes 1 whole DOLLHAIR! Items include:
Alright, so as you can tell I’m a little excited and love that the Capital District is supporting the change in our food landscape. Now onto the movers & shakers in the area!
I was SO excited to spend some time with some of the food bloggers in the area because i LOVE talking about food. I loved seeing Keri & Lisa from Whole Foods, they worked their booties off for this event and what fun ladies, say Hi to them if you run into them at the store. I did not get a chance to meet everyone but would love to connect with any of you in the area, so leave a comment below and let’s grab a local favorite or cup of coffee and talk food 🙂 Check out my fellow foodies below!
Sarah from @edibleIntellect. I was SO excited to see Sarah that I almost leapt into her arms! You might remember that we brought this genius on our podcast a few months ago to talk Farm to School. Our schedules are so hectic that we keep trying to make plans and well, you know how life goes, so THANK YOU to Whole Foods Albany for allowing us to have a fun evening gabbing all things food, Spice Girls and life. Check her out on twitter and learn all things food policy & nutrition from her.
Danielle from Lilttle Mama Big Life. I met this adorable mama when we worked together at Albany Medical Center in the same office. That’s right we are now both in the blogosphere sharing our food, fun and adventures. She has just started her blog but you will not be disappointed it and her adorable boys 🙂
Daniel from Fussy Little Blog (Check his recap out here). I actually met Daniel the day before this event. He had been brought to my attention by a fellow foodie in the area and I thought it would be neat if we met up and talked food (and butter.) A fellow Ivy Leaguer gets my tip of the hat, and I cannot wait to see how he helps lead the charge of food (like he already has) in the Albany region.
Albany Eats. The writer of this blog loves to put the food front and center. They are very much in the background but what a cool person! I don’t want to reveal too much as they seemed to want to promote the food and not themselves. Keep up the greatness Albany Eats!
Adam aka @theadamdame from lululemon Albany. Once again another fellow foodie that I JUST met this week while at the lululemon Grand Opening party in Albany. What a week for the area! Adam has a fabulous instagram account and should probably start a food blog…just saying 🙂
…and more! If I did not get a chance to meet you, I’d love to hear from you! Perhaps we could all have a meet up again sometime soon 🙂
THANK YOU to all the vendors for sharing your products with us and for allowing us to indulge!
WOW! That’s what I kept saying when I tasted their chicken sausages and their new frozen chicken meatballs. I think I even told the gals “You may make me cook less”, yes those words came out of my mouth. Now, you all know I love to cook but let me tell you not only are their products delicious, they are CLEAN and the founders are SO incredibly passionate about what they’ve created. Bonus? All of their products are gluten free and from healthy chickens, woohoo! They are a local company from Cohoes, NY and I hope to get out to visit them soon. Field Trips are for adults too. Double Bonus? I have a coupon for a free package, so look for a recipe soon 🙂
I was so happy to meet Pika and learn all about her delicious soups. I tried her new Leek soup that was so clean tasting (and gluten free, woohoo!). Pika hangs out at the local farmers market and is a huge hit with her waffles (sadly I cannot have them but i’ve heard good things!). You can also find her soups at Whole Foods in the frozen section with no weird ingredients, just fresh REAL food.
Next up was this AMAZING jam company called “Beth’s Farm Kitchen”. Unfortunately we did not get to meet Beth but her products are clean and delicious. She has many varieties including: Strawberry Rhubarb, Raspberry, Black Raspberry, Blueberry, Apricot, Sour Cherry….and more! I was lucky enough to come home with the Sour Cherry and I cannot wait to see what I can use it with!
4) Bake for You
Ah yes, so begins the gluten 🙁 This is a local bake shop that had AMAZING looking cookies, I mean drool worthy stuff. I unfortunately could not have any as they all were made with flour, but I admired the beauty of them and may have snuck some in my bag for my hubby to try (secret: he loved them). They are another local company that supplies their goodies to Whole Foods Albany, check them out! (I hear the “Girl’s Best Friend” cookie is a hit!)
I have seen this brand grow since moving to the Albany area and I never realized that they are based out of Schenectady, New York, hello local! They have 6 varieties of granola, 3 of which are gluten free and even one that is gluten & nut free (Badger’s Best). I did not get a chance to speak with anyone from this local business but instead had the pleasure of meeting Lisa, The Healthy Eating Specialist at Whole Foods Albany. She offered me some granola and before she could finish the list I told her she had me at “dark chocolate”.
We ended with such a refreshing company both because of their product and their story. Maria started this company to recreate her grandmother’s recipe for iced tea. She has 2 varieties (and hopefully a 3rd this summer) of iced tea with a mint, lemon flavor profile both sweetened and unsweetened. I preferred the unsweetened and even tried it with a splash of the sweetened, that was a winning & refreshing combination. She is located in Delmar, New York and has a vision to keep her grandmother’s legacy rolling. Next time you are at Whole Foods Albany, grab a drink in the cooler section.
Thank you to the vendors, bloggers and especially Whole Foods Albany for an amazing evening, I hope we can do it again soon 🙂