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Whole Foods Market

Kathy Gleeson takes a tour of the recently opened Whole Foods Market in Cheltenham

Visually the Whole Foods Market building is stunning inside and out and very different to the shops we all frequent. Whole Foods oozes designer appeal featuring recycled shiny concrete floors, snazzy lighting, warm wood and local Cotswold stone. Whole Foods Market transports food lovers, like me, to gastro heaven. Fresh produce, souk like aisles of herbs, spices and dry goods, fresh cheese, pasta and charcuterie (ooh la la c'est bon, non?) fish and butchery counters all offering their wares to tempt and delight. Whole Foods prides itself on their ethos of offering local, natural and socially responsible goods with 330 of these from 32 local producers, 50 of which are from Cheltenham alone; significantly more than any other local competitor.

Staff at Whole Foods are keen to offer expert help and guidance. They take the fear out of unfamiliar foods - just ask. Whole Foods stocks all the usual home essentials alongside other indulgent treats. The DIY wine filling station is certain to draw some attention-hic! Doubt I'll be able to drag the other half away. There are cake, cookie, fresh bread and pizza counters, next to fresh deli hot and cold items, burritos, sushi, a Winstone's ice creams parlour and “The Gold Cup” coffee counter. Don't be surprised if you become dizzy with excitement with so much variety and choice on offer.

Best of all you can sit and eat right in store whilst the children happily romp around in the play area outside. It's sure to be used a hangover hangout as overheard in store, by the great and glam of Cheltenham! To detox after the aforementioned retox, beauty and nutrition advice is expertly dispensed with an array of supplements, skincare and make-up. Golly, never seen that before. Beer, burritos and beauty become bedfellows!

I absolutely loved shopping there; it feels so vibrant and fresh. I now find myself overlooking my usual places to shop. They seem so last century, so to speak. A repeat trip is definitely on the cards...... again and again.... See you there-with a coffee in hand, no doubt.

Whole Foods Market is actively involved in local charities such as The Wiggly Worm, founded by Rob Rees The Cotswold Chef, The Butterfly Garden Charity and County Community Projects (CCP).

Whole Foods Market, Gallagher Retail Park, GL51 9RR.