Foodie Friday: The New OC Whole Foods Preview and Gift Card Giveaway!

Whole Foods Market(A note to my readers – this is a review of an Orange County, CA based Whole Foods and the give-away included is only open to residents of Southern California, Hawaii, Arizona, and Nevada. My apologies in advance if you are not eligible for this give-away.)

I’ve been a fan of Whole Foods grocery stores for many years so, needless to say, I was thrilled when I was invited to preview the 300th Whole Foods store that just opened in Huntington Beach, CA. Two days before the grand opening on Wednesday, October 13th, I joined up with other bloggers and media outlets for a fun tour that showcased everything the new Whole Foods has to offer its new community.

In addition to many of the natural and organic items that you find in Whole Foods stores across the country, the new Huntington Beach location will offer unique regional products and cuisine from more than 50 local vendors, including Gringo Bandito Hot Sauce, Mary’s Free Range Organic Chickens, Honey Pacifica, Carlsbad Aquafarm, Yasutomi Farms, California Baby, and Xan Chocolates, to name a few. Many of the local vendors were at the preview and I happily sampled their goods. I was introduced to quite a few products I’ve never tried before and saw even more that I know and love. I’ve been a fan of Mary’s Chickens for years (my delicious Thanksgiving turkey last year was from Mary’s farm!), and it was a pleasure to actually meet her in person. It was also a treat to discover other local vendors. I especially loved the Xan chocolates, the sage and eucalyptus honey from Honey Pacifica, the shrimp from Carlsbad Aquafarm, and the hot sauce from Gringo Bandito (a Tapatio loyalist for years, I have to admit that this incredible hot sauce won me over).

Orange County is a very diverse area, and Whole Foods clearly made it a point to cater to many favorite local cuisines. Located on the border of Huntington Beach and Westminster, the new Whole Foods beautifully blends together the local flavors of the Surf City community and of Little Saigon in Westminster, home to the largest Vietnamese community in the U.S.  Next to the Pizza & Beer Bar you will find a host of delicious Vietnamese cuisine such as phở, noodle salads, sweet and spicy tamarind, and Vietnamese skirt steak. At the Beach Bar 405, you will find an assortment of local staples and various comfort food dishes such as empanadas, bruschetta, arepas, rice balls, chicken wings, nachos, and mac & cheese balls. Many Whole Foods stores have areas to sit down for a quick meal, but this particular Whole Foods features very comfortable indoor and outdoor seating that makes it a great place to relax and enjoy a meal with friends.

There are various reasons why I frequently shop at Whole Foods, but their specialty items are probably my number one reason. Whether I’m hosting a dinner party or going on a picnic, I usually head to Whole Foods to pick up wine, beer, cheeses, and bread. With a large assortment of cheeses from both local sources and creameries from around the world, this particular store does not disappoint.  The bakery offers fresh organic bread made daily as well as beautiful desserts such as Vietnamese coconut cakes, cream puffs, and many gluten-free and vegan options. Whole Foods is also a good place to discover new wines and beers.  The Mix and Match 6-Pack lets customers create their own set of hand-crafted beers from around the world, including varieties from Orange County-based brewery, The Bruery (which happens to be one of my favorite OC pubs as well!).  As for wine, this Whole Foods will offer many varietals from well-known wineries as well as wines made from grapes from Vietnam and traditional favorites from the Santa Barbara region.

Conveniently located off the 405 freeway in the Bella Terra shopping center, the new Whole Foods is not only a great place to shop for all grocery items but also a fun place to sit and enjoy a meal. Take a peek through my photos to get an even better idea about my visit. Or, better yet, check it out for yourself!

Whole Foods
7881 Edinger Ave., Suite 150
Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Give-away time!

I have two $10 Whole Foods gift cards to give-away, courtesy of Whole Foods, and a grand prize gift-card of $75!

To enter the give-away, share what you love about Whole Foods in a comment below. For additional entries, please do the following: follow Whole Foods on twitter,  follow AYMB on Twitter, subscribe to AYMB,  or tweet about this preview and give-away. Make sure to leave an additional comment for every entry option that you fulfill. Please note that this giveaway is only open for residents of Southern California, Hawaii, Arizona, and Nevada.

This give-away will end on Friday, October 22nd. I will select two winners of the $10 gift cards and one grand-prize winner of the $75 gift card via on October 23rd.

Good luck!


FTC Disclaimer: I was not paid by Whole Foods for this review and give-away. I was, however, given a swag bag of Whole Foods goodies during my tour. This review has not been influenced by any free products I received.