Whole Foods One Wall Street has opened in Fidi

The Whole Foods folks invited me for a tour on opening day of the new store at Broadway and Wall yesterday, which was very nice in itself, but there was a bonus: they arranged for their NYC “forager” — the man who selects all their local products — to join us. It was like walking around film school with Martin Scorsese. Not only did John Lawson know everyone there — he’s worked at Whole Foods for 17 years and opened Tribeca, Union Square and Jericho, along with a lot of other OGs in the store — but the dozens of local vendors were practically genuflecting as we passed by. He is, after all, the gatekeeper for what is the most prime product placement in town.

“We really worked hard to get a lot of great new brands that we wanted to launch with,” John said. He worked at the 4th Street Food Co-Op before defecting for WF. They sent him to the Midwest for a time and two years ago made him forager for the Northeast. He does a bit of Instagram searching, but mostly he is just out and about, pounding the pavement for new products. “I’m a brick-and-mortar guy, and I love to meet founders. I am always curious to hear their story.”

Local for WF is tri-state, so we checked out coffee roasters from Williamsburg (Partners); tomato sauce from Jersey (Matriark, which uses three million pounds of surplus tomatoes from a grower in Virginia to cook fresh with NYCHA residents and now make their packaged sauce); Vista Hermosa tortillas (the Tacombi folks) who make all their products in Brooklyn. The store has some stuff I had never seen: frozen Black Seed bagels, Uncle Waithley’s ginger beer from Harlem, packaged Eleni’s cookies, Elmhurst Dairy almond milk.

Like ours, the store has a scratch bakery but they had loaves I don’t think we have: a forbidden rice batard, a polenta loaf, and fresh rosemary focaccia. (That’s Jay Jay in the photo below — say hi when you go.)

More in my other post since I have so many photos…

Whole Foods One Wall Street
66 Broadway
7a to 10p, seven days



  1. 66 Broadway is incorrect.

  2. Thank you for this feature; looks great!

    I hope someday Whole Foods will open a location in Tribeca, maybe right on Canal….would serve both Tribeca and Soho then. Maybe in the Broadway & Canal bank building….

    • Good idea, but that building is taken for at least a decade!

    • Hmmm, last I checked there was a Tribeca location… I’m also not sure a WF would find much success or business on the corner of (barely) Tribeca best known for fake handbag merchants, and notably seedy street characters.

      • Is the “Tribeca” Whole Foods technically in Tribeca or in FiDi? Depends where the lines are drawn for the neighborhoods, but I’ve taken it that Tribeca ends at Chambers. (Of course, the original Tribeca was even smaller!)

        Anyway, without entering those fraught debates about neighborhood boundaries I meant north part of Tribeca. Around Canal St would be ideal as it could serve Soho as well.

        We have Gourmet Garage, though, so there’s that. And the Trader Joe’s in Soho.

      • P.S. I guess my (vain?) hope was that a Whole Foods in that location would drive away the counterfeiters etc. I seem to recall the area was kept clearer, cleaner, and in generally better shape when the drug store was there (Duane Reade?).

  3. All we need downtown is a Trader Joes!

  4. Hi there great article! Just a correction if you would. Matriark is a NYC-based company. We founded the company after building a healthy eating program for youth and families living in NYCHA — and brokering relationships with farmers to get their surplus produce to classes. Sourcing of 3M lbs for sauces correct! And more to come. Thanks so much.