10 Things Whole Foods Employees Always Buy—and You Should, Too

A former employee shares the specialty items she stashed for herself—even before stocking the shelves.

 The 10 Best Whole Foods Products, According To The Employees
Photography by PHUONG NGUYEN

When you work at Whole Foods, you quickly learn that there are certain items coveted by employees. These are the things that cause buzz around the store when they come in, and employees buy up much of the inventory. While workers can’t technically set specific items aside, I’d be lying if I said there isn’t chatter between team members in one department and another asking friends to “hide” things or let them know when something is back in stock. Here’s a list of some of those hot commodities so you can give them a try yourself—if they’re available.  

1. Supplements
Whole Foods stocks some of the highest quality supps available. When they go on sale, their prices are actually competitive with online retailers like Amazon. (Add an employee discount, and you get the least expensive, best quality supplements around.) 

2. Dr. Hauschka
This is one of the highest end, natural beauty care brands Whole Foods sells. Products usually go on sale once or twice a year at up to 40-percent off, and employees stock up. 

3. Champagne (ataulfo) Mangoes
These mangoes are incredibly creamy, sweet, and delicious. Most people go for the more traditional red/green skinned mangoes, but the yellow ataulfo is a favorite among Whole Foods employees—and their availability is limited. Stock up, slice, and freeze them to enjoy in smoothies all year long. 

4. Sunscreen
Whole Foods non-toxic sunscreens are some of the best of their kind. And the big pre-summer sunscreen sale is the best time to stock up. 

5. Umeboshi Plums
These are a genius hangover cure, and Whole Foods is one of the few places you can find them!  

6. Flowers (on sale)
When Whole Foods has sales on flowers, it’s usually a great deal, and employees keep their eyes out for the bargains. Try out the Valentine’s Day double dozen of roses for $29.99—24 roses go a long way. 

7. Housewares
Whole Foods stocks some awesome cast iron skillets, nonstick pans, and coffee brewing tools. When those housewares go on sale (usually one big sale a year) employees stock up. 

8. In-House Roasted Coffee Beans
Some Whole Foods locations still roast coffee beans in-house, and they make for some of the tastiest Joe. Employees buy their coffee at those stores, and always check the “roasted on” date and grab the freshest beans. 

9. Soap and Paper Company Roland Pine Candles
Around the holidays, many Whole Foods stores carry these awesome smelling candles. There’s no need for a real tree when you’ve got one of these, and Whole Foods employees know that. They sell out quickly because employees can’t get enough. 

10. Rainier Cherries (AKA the "White Cherry")
These are super tasty and another great one to stock up on, pit, and freeze. It’s also a great idea to buy a cherry pitter for quick pitting and storage.           

Published on June 14, 2017 - 5:00am EDT

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