Cheap, Healthy, and Whole
Located on the intersection of Pico and Cloverfield is a Whole Foods 365, the newest grocery store in the Santa Monica neighborhood. It is within walking distance of Santa Monica College, and has a bus stop conveniently in front of the building. The store officially opened August 9, 2017 in time for the fall semester.
Whole Foods 365 is a specialized branch of Whole Foods which is meant to have a cheaper selection of more essential goods and have a bigger selection of items that are already prepared.
Located in a corner of the grocery store is a Groundwork Coffee which also has locations on Main St. and Sunset Blvd. The coffee shop has a selection of drinks and sandwiches. The space also contains a restaurant called Asian Box Street Food.
Sitting in an outside patio area with pizza, Meagan Pruden, a Santa Monica College Nursing major lives on Pico close to the Whole Foods and its arrival has been beneficial to her. “You can get a lot of similar food here a lot cheaper. The salad bar at SMC is cheaper, but if you want to get pizza or something hot then it’s cheaper to come to Whole Foods. I do all my shopping here. It’s a lot cheaper than Trader Joe's or Ralph's where I used to shop. It’s like a miniature Costco.”
Another student of SMC, Mohannad Kishta purchases a salad to eat outside. “Really good food in there. Really cheap and it’s very close and it’s healthy. They have so many options. Well maybe it’s not all healthy but they have a lot of healthy options. Prices are a bit lower and they have more diverse sections where you can grab food.”
The store itself has a wide variety of options for students who are looking for a place to quickly grab something to eat. Two slices of pizza are $5, a salad and hot food bar charges you based on weight. A selection of sushi averages around $9 and soda or sparkling water can be bought for $1. Aside from the pizza, the hot food selection includes soups and several Indian dishes including samosas and tikka masala.
For those that do not have a lot of time, a person can grab something to eat and check out in the express lane with a very short wait. It takes about five minutes to walk from campus to the grocery store.
For the typical SMC student, having the Whole Foods near campus appears to be another option for them to get something to eat. Ziv Nissimov is new to college but has been using the grocery store. “I needed some coffee to wake up so I went there and got some coffee. Got some sushi, and it wasn’t bad. Prices are a little high but I think it’s what you get when you pay more for higher quality food.”
Amazon bought Whole Foods earlier in the year and cut prices overall. On August 28, 2017, Amazon finalized the purchase of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. Amazon also announced that over the upcoming months they will be reducing the prices of typical grocery items.
Nissimov is interested in the dynamic that the companies have and says, “Since Amazon just bought Whole Foods I like the brand a lot more than I used to. I like going to Whole Foods and seeing how the merge will make their technology better and the experience faster.”
Hesham Jarmakani is a student at SMC who recently shopped at the Whole Foods for the first time. “I liked the fact that it was really organized. You get to pick what you eat. You can pick healthy options or more savory options. It seems like a nice place to chill out. You can take your laptop and study for a midterm. If Whole Foods is pretty close-by and it’s a healthier alternative then I would think that other companies would have something to worry about.”
Other restaurants around campus such as Grey Block Pizza where you can get two slices of pizza for a dollar more or Subway still see students getting food from there every day. Whole Foods 365 is yet another option for those looking for a place to eat or grab some quick groceries.