Best Gourmet Food Store 

Whole Foods

This fancy but friendly chain restaurant still retains a local feel with its helpful, invested staff and its ability to multitask.

"We have regular, everyday groceries as well as those specialty items you can add to your cart," says Hillary Bradbury, the marketing team leader for the Victory Drive location. "We have great local producers and special items that might make dinner a little bit more advanced.

"You can still get your applesauce and cereal, but you can also get certain spices you might need to make tabbouleh."

In addition to stocking exotic spices, the store also holds plenty of events, including healthy eating demonstrations. Some of the demos feature specific ingredients and show ways to cook the food to its full, healthiest potential.

As a company, Whole Foods prides itself on stocking products that are organic, fair-trade, responsibly-grown, and GMO-free. All their products are guaranteed to be good for you, and any member of the staff can help you find food that's best for your diet.

The store also has a buffet of healthy ready-made food, for the lazy cook with good intentions.

The win is even more special to Hillary and her team because Whole Foods doesn't do any advertising outside of the occasional holiday spot. Whole Foods has a lot of dedicated fans who know the value of the food they sell.

"A lot of what we do is word of mouth and customer experience. I feel like we've really met the needs of our community for them to recognize us as the best," says Hillary. – Rachael Flora

Runner-up: Fresh Market

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