So I was trying to think of something excellent yet super healthy to eat for dinner tonight and my mind somehow ended up with a summer heirloom tomato salad. You know the kind, big colorful heirlooms, a little mozzarella cheese, some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. YUM!
Now I haven't been to Whole Foods Market (WFMI) in a long time. Kristopher and I got some sushi there a ways back, but it's not a place I go often. But I knew Safeway (NYSE:SWY) wouldn't have heirloom tomatoes, so Whole Foods in Berkeley it was.
The problem with going to Whole Foods to pick up some heirloom tomatoes is that it is sooooo easy to get distracted by all the other beautiful food there. Ohhhh, fresh organic raspberries! Oh, and just look those beautiful red peppers, etc. The kids and I even bought a coconut. We'd never had one before so we bought one and then figured out how to open it on the internet. Fun.
Anyways, everything was going ok. I had my camera with me as always and I stopped at the heirloom tomatoes and tried to shoot a couple of them with my macro lens. It was at this point that one of the helpful Whole Foods employees stopped me.
Him: "Um excuse me Sir, you can't take pictures in here."
Me: "Umm, I'm just taking a few photos of these heirlooms, they are beautiful."
Him: "It's not my policy Sir, it's corporate. No photography in the store."
Me: "But I'm going to buy the heirlooms."
Him: "I know Sir, it's corporate policy."
So at this point I put my camera away and headed on my way.
Now, I'm not protesting Whole Food's right to not allow me to shoot in their store. This is not like an incident from a public street where I tend to go agro a bit on people sometimes. This is private property. If it's their store they can set any rule they want with regards to photos.
I also have every right to write a blog post and say that their anti-photography policy sucks. I mean, I'm paying them over $80 for two bags of groceries (literally, see my receipt below). The least they could do is not hassle some guy with his four kids who's trying to get a macro shot of an overpriced heirloom tomato that he is about to buy from them. Oh, and I was going to buy some of their cherry tomatoes for my salad as well but they had bugs crawling all over them. Someone at the Berkeley store should look into that. It was kind of gross.
Now I've done plenty of shooting in other grocery stores. I've never had a problem at Safeway for instance. But who knows, maybe they have a similar policy.
Whole Food's policy is stupid though. The heirloom tomato salad was awesome, but I doubt I'll be back any time soon. I didn't mind so much being price gouged on the two bags of groceries, but in general I don't like to hang out in places that give me crap about my camera. They ought to rethink that policy and make their store a friendlier place to hang out and buy stuff at.