So I just got off the phone with my local Whole Foods. When I asked about bringing my own container for meats/cheeses she said she didn't think it was possible because of USDA regulations. I told her I knew that some have done it before. She asked if they were at Whole Foods stores and I said yes (as I'm pretty sure Bea gets her meats from Whole Foods). She asked about the locations, and said that if other Whole Food locations would allow it then they could look into it being a possibility.
SOOO I need your help! If you buy meat at whole foods and are able to have it put directly into your own jar, could you please reply with your store's location so that I can use that when I call them back? I figure the longer the list the more likely I am to get a yes to using my own container! :)
I had been shopping at Whole Foods, Laurelhurst location in Portland OR using my own containers for the past month and was denied today by multiple employees for using my own jars at the meat counter and for any of the dry bulk items. Not sure what to do now other than write Whole Foods.
Wow, so sorry you're facing this. Was store manager one of the employees? How odd that dry bulk is included, too.I think it would be helpful to report back here and at your local Letters to the Editor. Some newspapers have had consumer advocates reporting on resolving consumer/vendor issues, does yours?
We always brought our glass containers to the Whole Food stores in Atlanta GA. (mostly the store on Roswell Rd, Sandy Springs) We used them for bulk, Peanut Butter, Salad Bar, Olive Bar, Hot Bar, Open food items behind the counters. We're vegan so we don't buy meat, fish or cheese.
Once an employee didn't want to put the bread in our cloth bag at the bakery counter. So we just asked him to hand us the bread OVER the counter so we can put it into our bag ourselves. That worked fine then because he didn't need to take our bag BEHIND the counter.
When we were travelling in San Francisco the Whole Foods store denied both bags and containers due to health regulations. Maybe some city regulations are more strict than others?
Maybe this helped.
It always depends on who is behind the counter. The Whole Foods in Palo Alto, CA, allowed it, and one of the Whole Foods in Atlanta, GA, allowed it today. The man at the fish market was no problem, but the man in the butcher section had to be convinced.
I am in Bellingham, WA. My store did let me use my own jars for meat but today I was very rudely met with a refusal (as if what I was asking was absurd). Talked to management and they had apparently made a decision not to allow it. How can it be OK in one location and not in another? Has anyone talked to corporate?
I purchase at the Whole Foods on Arroyo in Pasadena, CA. It mostly depends on the person behind the counter. Nearly everytime I have to tell the person behind the counter I have done this before and I will simply not purchase from your location and travel to another store and, possibly, to another grocery provider. Giving your money to another business is always motivation. I also ask to speak with the employee's supervisor or store manager (I memorize the store managers' names to say I spoke with so-and-so and she said I could do this). This Whole Foods' store manager also said they would only make an exception for me, but I told them if they want business from those in my community, they will need to service us all like this. Essentially, I keep pushing back because honestly they need us more than we need them (as there are so, so many places to purchase food).
I also purchase at Bristol Farms in South Pasadena, CA (who is the most accommodating and is clear they want my business) and Sprouts in Alhambra, CA.
I have used my own jars in the WF Fairfield, CT store for dry bulk items, almond butter, salad bar and the olive bar many times. The only thing I need to be conscious of is bringing in 1 gallon mason jars. The tare is about 1.7 and the cashier needs an override from the manager. I also use reusable produce bags and dry bulk bags there and have never had an issue. Good luck!
I get my fish, poultry & deli items placed in my jars with no problem at Whole Foods locations in Arapahoe County, Colorado, which is near Denver. I even once had them pack a quart jar with gelato, believe it or not! The customer service reps always make a positive comment when I stop by the desk to tare my jars. Strangely, I have heard that the Boulder Whole Foods is pissy about using your own containers, which is definitely at odds with its earthy crunchy reputation.
Do you really think they care if they lose your business? Truthfully, that manager probably wants to get you out of his hair. It's not like WF is a mom-and-pop where every customer is the precious. It's a huge corporate entity. They have shareholders to report to. Service doesn't even come into the equation, they are about profit, start to finish. If they are refusing you the self-container service, it's because they don't want the whiff of a lawsuit or the negative press if cross-contamination occurred.