Getting ready to have a house full of people on July 4th? Bringing your fave dish to the neighbor's house or dragging coolers of meat to the beach or the park? If so, it only follows that sometime before the holiday, you'll need to stock up on all your go-to foods and the ingredients to make your best recipes. If you're super-organized, then getting to the market will be easy-peasy. However, if you're like many of us and only get around to shopping day-of, then you'll want to know: Is Whole Foods open on July 4th or will you have to compromise and settle for shopping somewhere else?
All the Whole Food stores will be open on July 4th, but many will have reduced hours. The best way to figure that out is to pick up the phone and call your local store directly. The websites may list special hours, but it's really safest to confirm by phone. In the past, there have been individual stores that have decided to close early in order to give their employees a chance to celebrate the holiday. So if you're looking for last minute eats, you may want to go on the earlier side.
Whole Foods makes shopping there easy. You can wander the aisles, shopping list in hand, or order prepared foods and they will have them ready for you. Menus vary from store to store and, unfortunately, they may be affected by availability of the products. Whole Foods also puts up a pricing warning as you checking out that tells you it's possible that the price could change at pick up and the cost for items that are sold by weight will only be an estimate because they can't predict exactly how much something will weigh.
If your menu planning has hit a slump and you aren't sure what you want to serve, take a look at the Whole Foods recipes page. They have almost 4,000 different things you can make — all with ingredients found at the store (because let's be honest, they have just about everything there). Scroll to the bottom of the page to browse by category and, of course, click on the "Fun Grilling" and "Summer Salads" sections as you plan. They also have lots of festive drink recipes, some with alcohol and some without. Many stores even have huge craft beer sections, where you can get some hard-to-find brands that will satisfy even the pickiest beer connoisseur's palate, including several that are on-tap and can be taken home in refillable growlers.
Whole Foods is famously called "Whole Paycheck" for the cost of some of the food, but you can scope out sales and find things that won't break the bank. They were thought to be improving their grocery prices when they were acquired by Amazon last year, according to Marketplace. But they still know they've still got a ways to go and have a lower-cost offshoot brand alternative aimed at a younger, millennial market, called Whole Foods 365, where bold phrases like, "EAT MORE VEGGIES. SAVE MORE GREEN" are printed in all caps in the produce section. So far there are only nine of these stores, with four of them in California, but if it goes well, there will be a more even more of these stores in other neighborhoods soon.
The other innovation they are attempting is home grocery delivery, which is available through Amazon Prime and Instacart but it's pretty geographically limited. So on the assumption that you are not choosing to use or don't have home delivery available, it's good to know you can go to the store on July 4th, if needed. Because even the best planners sometimes need a last minute watermelon.