So I shop at Ukrops Grocery. I am happy to shop at Ukrops. They are big in this area, but they are of this area. They are a family owned local business weather you like them or not. If I have to chose between giving my food dollars to Ukrops, Kroger, or Food Lion etc. Il always choose Ukrops. Then there is Elwood Thompsons. They are more expensive, what do you expect. They are smaller, in the city, and have always catered to a smaller, more niche market carrying all sorts of items that others never carry. I have had some great shoping experiences at Elwoods lately due to a combination of nice local foods selection and great service... Surprise!
Now we introduce Whole Foods. Whole Foods has been actively pursuing the local produce market, with representives showing up at farmers markets talking to vendors about selling whole sale as well as donating 5% of their opening day sales to The Center for Rural Culture. They also are or will be having a farmers market outside of their store in short pump.
I have still not made it out to Whole Foods... I admit I am afraid of short pump...especially grocery shopping that involves police directed traffic. However, they do carry one of my all time favorites... Stapleton's Honey... in bulk (at least for the time being). They also carry a nice selection of seafood from the Chesapeake Bay as well as locally grown produce.
Last year Ukrops suddenly stepped up the local food selection and publicity for their local products... Remember their "Meet your Farmer" days? Anyway to my point... perhaps it's the presence of Whole Foods, but Ukrops is once again trying to lure some locavores to their stores after a summer seriously deficient in local produce items. Based on their website I wouldn't say they are stepping it up exactly, but they are making a special point to advertise Locally grown Asian pears and apples and pumpkins... Worth reading the couple of paragraphs they have written about these items.. apparently all of there pumpkins and many of their gourdsa are grown right off of Laburnum ave.
Elwood Thompsons sells a wide variety of locally grown produce, cheeses, meats, honey, and Yoder Dairy milks and heavy whipping cream.