I was in the Whole Foods in Vienna today, after a nearby medical appointment. Having been in the Arlington store two days ago, where I found Meyer lemons, I was quite surprised to note that the Vienna store didn't have any. They did have the Buddah's hand citron, which I saw in Arlington.
The difference was most striking in the wine department, however. Very different. I struck up a conversation with a man browsing the wines, who turned out to be a local wine importer named Jocelyn Cambier--he told me he used to be Yannick Cam's sommelier before he started his own business. Mr. Cambier introduced me to Steve, the wine manager for the Vienna Whole Foods store, who explained that each Whole Foods store allows the wine manager to order wines according to the perceived preferences of the local shoppers. It doesn't seem to relate solely to economic variance. Vienna customers have many more choices in the $8 to $25 range from Spain and the South of France than Arlington shoppers do.
A big heads up re the Arlington Whole Foods store that I didn't mention in the Meyer lemon post below--
Castle Rock Napa Valley cabernet is on sale for 9.99, which is a good price for a great wine. I heard on the e-grapevine that the grapes for this wine are from a fairly recently planted Chateau Montelena vinyard, which is not yet considered Ready For Primo Time. It's really good juice, though. The Castle Rock pinot noir is there too. It's delicious wine--those grapes are from a DeLoach Russian River Valley vinyard--but isn't exactly a fabulous bargain at $13.99-- the wine sells for $8 to $10 in California. Still, if you love p.n., it's better than a lot of pinots at more than twice the price.
They didn't have Castle Rock cab on sale at the Vienna store.