Why Worcester Needs a Whole Foods

Bring Whole Foods to Worcester

As Worcester strives to become a thriving city, it faces some challenges along the road. Some of these, like the revitalization of downtown, will prove challenging, while others could be solved much more easily. One of these seemingly meager problems facing Worcester is that the city does not have a Whole Foods Market or really anything comparable. The "modern city" prides itself on attracting an environmentally conscious, socially and politically active and sustainability focused populace. These people are the champions of gentrification that are bringing cities back to life. But, these people subsist on a diet of organic food; without it, they will stay away. 

As you can see from this screenshot, it currently takes 35 minutes without traffic (usually 45) to reach the nearest Whole Foods Market. It is nearly impractical to drive this far to the grocery store. 

Okay sure, I have made a case for theoretical reasons that communities would benefit from Whole Foods, but why Worcester specifically? Does the city really have enough people to support a large upscale grocery store? Yes.

First of all, many New England cities that are much smaller than Worcester have at least one Whole Foods Market, and so do many small towns. The following is a list of places in New England by population that have at least one Whole Foods Market. Keep in mind that Worcester, with 181,000 residents, does not make this list.

Boston: 625,000

Providence: 178,000

Cambridge: 105,000

Newton: 85,000

Brookline: 58,000

Andover: 33,000

Wayland: 13,000 Hmm....

This is not by any means a full list. But it already seems that Worcester is lacking given that it is the second largest city in New England. 

One may also try to make the "Worcester is poor" argument, but actually that's not true. Comparing cities by median income, Worcester is actually relatively high, at $61,000 compared to Boston at $32,000.

For these reasons, I strongly feel that Whole Foods Market should open a location in Worcester.