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A whole lot of options: Shoppers with food allergies rejoice in opening of new Whole Foods in South Jeffco

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By Ramsey Scott

It isn't easy shopping with a food allergy.

 

Despite all the choices in the cereal aisle, products geared toward those who must be watchful of some common ingredients are somewhat limited. And Diana Jeanene knows this all too well —she developed a gluten allergy six years ago.

“First of all, a lot of gluten-free products were not good,”Jeanene said.

Jeanene felt the gluten-free choices were lacking in important attributes, like taste —when she could even find them.

“When I first started (having to buy gluten-free), it was hard,”said Kathy Brown, who developed her allergy 10 years ago. “You'd ask for gluten-free, and people would look at you like you're an alien.”

Jeanene and Brown were both impressed with the options during an open house at the new Whole Foods on Dec. 17 at West Belleview and South Wadsworth. The new store, which opened officially Dec. 19, invited the public to take a tour and taste some of its offerings.

“I love Whole Foods,”said Jeanene, who lives only half a block from the new store. “I couldn't wait for this store.”

Brown and Jeanene said they appreciated the large selection of foods made in-house that are gluten-free. Yet it wasn't just the many options that pleased both Brown and Jeanene.

“It fits my values,”Jeanene said.

They agreed that Whole Foods’emphasis on local, organic and environmentally sensitive products was in line with their own views and taste buds.

“Tomatoes that taste like tomatoes,”Brown said. “I like (buying from) the local farms.”

The store features a large selection of locally sourced foods, including from Circle Farms in Denver and Littleton's The Jam, which makes homemade jams.

Yet both Brown and Jeanene said they don't do all their shopping at Whole Foods.

“It's cost versus benefits,”Jeanene said. “As long as the prices are reasonable.”

Brown, who was at the store with her husband and daughter, said she shops carefully for items based on prices.

“It's worth the price,”said Brown's daughter, Megan. “You have to put it into context.”

Contact Ramsey Scott at ramsey@evergreenco.comor 303-933-2233, ext. 22.