Downtown Los Angeles residents who have been asking for more grocery options rejoiced today at the opening of a Whole Foods, the third supermarket chain serving the area’s growing population.
The 8th Street and Grand Avenue location, situated on the first floor of the new Eighth and Grand apartments, joins a Ralphs, Smart & Final, Grand Central Market’s produce and butcher stalls, and a number of smaller stores such as Urban Radish and specialty shops.
Patti Berman, president of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council said Whole Foods adds selections sought out by downtown denizens, albeit at a higher price point, such as organic and vegetarian fare, as well as grab-and-go meals more popular with single-person households.
“Whole Foods really rounds things out,” she said.
The 68-year-old accounting software designer said she will likely shop at a variety of stores to keep grocery costs down, but she was “really thrilled they had a nice selection of kosher chicken.”
“I bought a bunch already,” she said.
Berman said 15 years ago she moved to a downtown loft because she missed the bustle of city life, which she experience while living in Chicago, but downtown Los Angeles at the time was not quite ready for her and other residents.
“I wanted to be able to walk to see a play, and I found it, but I didn’t find the amenities,” she said.
The store’s opening was viewed as momentous today by city officials who said they have been working to bring more amenities for a residential population that has grown from about 10,000 people a decade ago to 53,000 today.
Within five years, that downtown population is projected to grow by another 30,000 people, according to downtown business improvement district estimates.
“Whole Foods opening in downtown Los Angeles on such a grand scale, offering a number of services in one location, puts it in rarefied air and has this community very excited,” Councilman Jose Huizar said.
“Over the last several years, my office has been working with Whole Foods on making sure they could start serving DTLA as soon as possible — that day is finally here and I couldn’t be prouder,” he said.