Best of Charleston 2007 » Shops & Wares

Best Gourmet and Best Health Food Store

Whole Foods

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Whole Foods

Mt. Pleasant. 923 Houston Northcutt Blvd. 971-7240

One need look no further than the Whole Foods security cameras to see why they've won this category for the second year in a row, and they'll most likely keep winning it for years on end. A quick bird's-eye view of the store would reveal samples galore, employees and supervisors interacting with each other in a friendly manner, maybe even a celebrity or two. Whole Foods employees are some of the most vocal fans of their corporate employer we've ever met -- and who wouldn't be, with benefits offered to any and all employees who work at least 400 hours and a laid-back vibe throughout the store. Their workplace happiness trickles down to the customer, who can try any item (really, they'll open anything you ask and let you try it -- for free!), many of which can't be found in other grocery stores, and ask questions 'til they're blue in the face before making the somewhat expensive commitment to, say, all-natural almond butter. Or an unknown wine or cheese. You ask, they help. It's so simple -- just like the best, healthiest food. --Sara Miller

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