Why All the Local Eats at Whole Foods on Haight?

San Francisco's newest Whole Foods store might be the least scruffy thing at the western terminus of Haight Street, but that's not the most remarkable thing about it. What sets the store apart from every other in Northern California ― and across the Whole Foods empire, for that matter ― is its offering of foods from small, San Francisco-based companies, some of them mobile vendors recruited as part of the NorCal region's Street Eats initiative.

The guy responsible for rounding them up: Harvindar Singh, local product forager for Whole Foods' 35-store Northern California region. For the Haight Street store alone, Singh launched nine San Francisco-based businesses, including Azalina's, Hapa SF, Wholesome Bakery, Love and Hummus, Numa Snacks, and Paulie's Pickling. And though it might not seem that way, there wasn't any plan to make the store at Haight and Stanyan a local food showplace. It's that S.F. vendors have achieved something like critical mass.

“There are a lot of food entrepreneurs coming out of San Francisco, from La Cocina to some of the street-food people,” Singh tells SFoodie. In fact, the Street Eats program is unique to this region. No other cluster of Whole Foods stores is doing anything like it.

Tags: , , , ,

Related Stories