The 10 Best Stores for Buying Produce
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Do you dream of succulent bok choy, organic yellow carrots and fresh-off-the-vine cantaloupe?
Satisfy your craving for healthy food by shopping at one of the 10 best stores for produce in the country. These grocery chains stand out for the quality, variety or price of their fruits and vegetables.
This beloved East Coast supermarket got its start as a fruit and vegetable cart. Today, the popular store is headquartered in Rochester, New York.
Known for its expansive size, Wegmans has built a following around its abundance of fresh produce. It offers both conventional and organic options among its vast selection of products. Nothing stays on the shelves for long, which is how the store keeps its food so fresh. Wegmans sells produce from local growing partners as well as its own farms.
2. The Fresh Market
The USA Today Readers’ Choice Awards voted this store the best supermarket in America in 2021 and 2022. With locations in 22 states, The Fresh Market prides itself on its farmers market atmosphere, locally grown produce and bins of freshly roasted coffee. It also sells fresh-cut flowers, baked goods and meats. Wander through the fish market and cheese aisles for even more flavorful selections.
3. Whole Foods
Hold onto your wallet — Whole Foods has a reputation for being one of the priciest supermarkets in the U.S. However, it has also earned well-deserved notoriety for being one of the best stores for produce. If you want mountains of mangoes, salad bars packed with exotic vegetables and bulk bins chock-full of pistachios, you’ve found your place.
Even entering a Whole Foods can be exciting. The store often features an underground parking lot with elevators that take you to the entrance, where escalators then draw you up past racks of fresh flowers. It may be expensive, but shopping at this famous supermarket is an experience you need to have at least once.
This Texan grocery chain is renowned for its extremely fresh produce. A trip across the state often warrants at least one stop at H-E-B — if for nothing else than its clean bathrooms and high-quality snacks like beef jerky and pecan pralines.
H-E-B may not have the most exotic produce selections, but because it mainly stocks locally grown fruits and vegetables, the store comes out on top in the quality department. It also sells plants, household goods and fresh deli selections.
5. Natural Grocers
Want to be sure you’re eating clean? The U.S. organic food market was worth $57.5 billion in 2021, so if you’re selective about your produce, you’re not alone.
This Colorado-based health food store specializes in organic food, including bins overflowing with healthy produce and bulk nuts and seeds. All of Natural Grocers’ items are free of artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, antibiotics and hormones. Check out its grass-fed beef and free-range turkey, then pick up some vitamins and supplements to round out your trip.
A staple in the Midwestern and Southern states, Hy-Vee is a full-service supermarket. Make your own healthy lunch at its self-serve salad bar or grab takeout for the road. If you have a date night planned, browse its extensive wine selection and pick up a bouquet of flowers along the way. Products with the Hy-Vee Homegrown logo come from local Midwestern farms. The store also has a coffee kiosk so you can get your caffeine fix.
Need to plan ahead? Hy-Vee lets you order groceries online and pick them up in the store to save time. Its extensive offerings and convenience make it one of the best stores for produce shopping.
If you live in Ohio or Chicago, you have to check out Heinen’s. It sells 400 different fruits and vegetables, including 150 USDA Certified Organic varieties. Take a bite of a fresh Honeycrisp apple or add living basil to your pasta. Snack on figs, baby portabella mushrooms or candy shallots — the variety is practically endless.
Heinen’s may not offer the cheapest selections, but it pays its employees a higher wage than most grocery stores and closes for many major holidays. Shopping there helps support the fair treatment of workers.
8. Sprouts Farmers Market
When a grocery chain’s very name has to do with produce, you know it’s proud of its fruit and vegetable selection. Founded only in the year 2002, Sprouts shines as one of America’s best stores for fresh food selections, offering everything from tiny kiwis to daikon radishes. The smell of the deli is enough to make you stay longer than you planned. This supermarket chain also offers meat, seafood, vitamins, body care products and more.
If there’s one thing Costco is famous for, it’s bulk selection. Most of the store’s fruits and vegetables come in enormous quantities. Whether you’re planning a party, have a big family or want to stock your deep freeze, this supermarket delivers — all at a very low price.
Costco isn’t renowned for its long-lasting produce, but it has a decent selection of affordable, fresh foods. You need a membership to shop there. If you live near a Costco and go through a lot of food at home, the $60 annual fee is probably worth it.
10. New Seasons Market
Operating along the West Coast, New Seasons Market is a great place to do your produce shopping. The store sells both conventional and organic foods from local Pacific Northwest farms.
Shop antibiotic- and hormone-free meat, fresh snap peas and other healthy, delicious foods. Check out their wine selection and pick up fresh cheese from the deli. While you’re at it, browse their all-natural cleaning supplies and beauty products. New Seasons Market offers decent pricing and consistently high-quality items.
The Best Stores for Produce Shopping
Fresh fruits and vegetables can be hard to come by, especially if you’re looking for something more exotic than grapes. Luckily, several stores offer high-quality, reasonably priced produce to satisfy your craving for rambutan or purple yams. You’ll be making the best salad of your life in no time.
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About the author
Rachel serves as the Assistant Editor of Environment.co. A true foodie and activist at heart, she loves covering topics ranging from veganism to off grid living.