Last night, along with hundreds of other curious and hungry guests, I donated $10 to the Connecticut Food Bank as my entry fee to the pre-opening party at the Whole Foods Market in Milford. Fabulous is the only word that comes to mind. The store is large, open, peaceful and very focused on local vendors.
Michael Sinatra led us around the store, pointing out the LED lighting and reclaimed Douglas Fir from a disassembled factory in Auburn, MA that I think gives the store its warm, natural glow. At the very least, they are some of the green building facts that will be considered as the store goes through the LEED Certification process. They’re going for the gold according to Green Mission Specialist Tristam Coffin.
The greening of the store doesn’t stop with the building. I love the 100% compostable takeaway containers called “green bowls” and, just like other Whole Foods Market stores, they accept #5 containers which are recycled into consumer products by a company called Preserve, which
actually sells their products at Whole Foods Markets.
Overflowing in plastic bags at home from your pre-reusable bag days? Turn them in here and take comfort knowing they’ll be recycled into guard rail posts. Tristam explained that surplus food is donated to the Connecticut Food Bank and their compostable waste stream winds up in New Milford, Connecticut at New Milford Farm for composting and is returned to the store where it’s sold as garden compost. Talk about closing the loop!
Those are all great reasons to love Whole Foods Market, but my #1 reason is that they are dedicated to providing the consumer with green food and really live up to their commitment of providing local and sustainable foods whenever possible. I was surprised and impressed with the diversity of local product. I expected to
see (and did) mainstays like Westport Aquaculture, but was really delighted to see and taste delicious products from Connecticut companies including Twelve, Gelato Giuliana, and Bear Pond Farm. If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic, food-friendly sophisticated drink to
bring to a party or serve at your own, Twelve’s got it. Their web site describes it as “A unique and complex organic blend of citrus flavors, tea, herbs and spices makes this non-alcoholic drink a specialty for any occasion.”
I actually tried to slip by Gelato Giuliana without a taste of their gelato, but they would
have none of it. The double chocolate was intensely flavorful with a smooth as silk texture. I recommend adding this one to your short list of local, artisan made desserts to serve any time of year. Their entire production facility is located in Wallingford and they buy top-quality all natural ingredients, sourcing locally grown whenever possible.
Bear Pond Farm has a line of certified organic, delicious, and densely flavored pesto sauces that are so versatile that they can be used as sauces, sandwich spreads and salad dressings. I’m looking forward to the low-fat line of all natural cheese spreads coming out soon.
So Milford green foodies rejoice, your days of schlepping to Westport are over. Head over to the store tomorrow morning to break bread at 8 am. They’re located in the huge shopping plaza at 1686 Boston Post Road. Don’t forget to bring your reusable bags and #5’s.