The Times wrote this article on the perceived view of Whole Foods as expensive. My personal 2 cents on this is that if you buy their 365 brand you get good quality, organic if want, items for cheaper then their competitors. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is about 8 bucks for a quart the same amount is 14 across the street at Fine Fare.
Trader Joe's is ugly and everything they carry is covered in plastic and from California, they have no commitment to the communities they serve nor do they offer and local products. It's fine for certain things but the one on 14th street is such a zoo I usually give up and go elsewhere.
People are fickle they want good quality, variety and a nice place to shop but then complain it's expensive. In truth it's a very mixed bag. I find these days food every where is expensive. I spent $5 on a Cantaloupe at the farmers market. A friend of mine thought that was ludicris. My feeling is that it was 4 times the size of the off season ones and if the only time in the year I eat it is when it's in season then I don't mind splurging. And, well I don't think 5 bucks is so bad for something that lasted me 4 settings. It seems like it's a good summer for melons it was so sweet and juicy and firm and wonderful!
I'm still not very savvy with this blogger program and can't link in a fashionable way with the NY Times so I'm sorry about the cut and paste action needed here...