Supermarket Wars Hit Haight Street

By Matt Baume
|  Monday, Feb 28, 2011  |  Updated 3:49 PM PDT
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Supermarket Wars Hit Haight Street

Matt Baume

Whole Foods prices are checked in the new Upper Haight store, just days before the grand opening.

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Someone's none too pleased to see the new Whole Foods on Haight Street.

The store's been packed since its opening earlier this month. In fact, lines are starting to stretch out into the street as drivers wait to entire the parking lot, in some cases crossing a double-yellow-line to do so.

But someone's been posting signs around the neighborhood reading "I Haight Street Market at 1530 Haight Street. Support local family owned markets, not Texas corporations!" The signs are signed, "Neighbors for Haight Street Market."

The "Texas corporations" bit is an obvious dig at Whole Foods, which started in Austin in 1980 and is headquartered there to this day. At times, the company's politics have seemed at odds with San Francisco's, such as in 2009 when company CEO John Mackey opposed Obama's health care reform. He is also denies the impact of climate change, and opposes organized labor. Like many college freshmen, he is known to admire Ayn Rand.

But the food tastes good, the store is attractive, and politics (and prices) clearly aren't deal-breakers for the throngs at the store. It's also worth noting that Whole Foods gets a lot of its food locally, which supports local vendors.

Meanwhile, Haight Street Market is in the midst of its own expansion. A neighboring space is currently covered with plywood, but an employee says that construction should be done within the next few weeks according to the Cole Valley Alley

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