I don't go there much since they were taken over by the Texas corporation, but I went yesterday because I was feeling too lazy to cube up the bread I'll be using for stuffing this week and their bagged cubes have always worked well enough. I'm pretty sure it will be the last time I go there.
The prices have absolutely sky-rocketed since the takeover. I always used to buy my beef there but the prices have gone so obscenely high I honestly can't afford to anymore. My favorite special treat, dried mango slices went from about $4 or $5 a pound to over $9.50/lb. While the cheese selection is still good, the prices are crazy. Fresh bread, the main reason for their existence in my opinion, has been relegated to a bare afterthought and they now bag everything in plastic! That should clearly be a capital crime. And the dried bread cubes, the stale stuff they would be throwing away, was $4.68 a bag. Next year I cut up my own.
Their main offense yesterday (although I am still in disgusted awe over their prices) was the attitude of the staff. When they were Wellspring, the cheese department had a policy of offering 20% off bulk chocolate purchases. They defined "bulk" as 1 Kilo or more. I would happily buy 3-4 lbs. of El Rey at at time. Now, not only has the price of El Rey and Callebaut shot up by $2-$3 a pound, but they now define "bulk" as 10 lb. or more. And they will grudgingly give you a 10% discount on an $80 purchase and act as if they are doing you a huge favor. That was annoying enough by itself but the attitude of the staff when I explained the former policy (which I took advantage of for years with no questions by the former employees) was downright insulting.
I dislike Earth Fare intensely but if I'm going to have to pay the same prices there as at Whole Foods for the very few items I can't find anywhere else, at least I can spend my money where the staff is polite and helpful.
Is anyone else finding this to be true and are the Durham and Chapel Hill people seeing this change in their former Wellsprings?
Btw, is there anywhere else locally to buy bulk quantities of quality chocolate such as El Rey? By local, I mean the whole Triangle area. Also, I'm currently buying beef at Fresh Market and have been happy with their quality. Any other suggestions in Raleigh? I don't mind paying for quality as long as I'm getting what I pay for. Whole Foods does not deliver quality for price.