pmMove over Whole Foods, there is a new player in town and it is great: Plum Market.

I am a big fan of Whole Foods, “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store”, and have shopped there many times. I am particularly fond of Whole Foods’ prepared food items and have purchased many a meal from them over the years – especially when traveling.

On my recent trip to Chicago, I bought many dinners at their West Huron St. store and brought it back to my hotel for one of my infamous hotel picnics. On my last trip to London, I was happy to find the Kensington Whole Foods offering plenty of great meal options as well.

Anyway, I am big fan. That said, I have never been a big regular grocery shopper at Whole Foods, as I find that they don’t carry many of the products I like and find it easier (and frankly cheaper) to shop at one of the large traditional supermarket chains. I used to say that Whole Foods would be the perfect store if they sold Diet Coke and Twizzlers. Those items being two pillars of my own food pyramid.

Well, a new player has entered the same market space as Whole Foods, Plum Market which has just opened a great new store in Chicago’s Old Town area. I discovered the new Plum Market on my recent trip to Chicago and loved it. Had you not known you were walking into Plum Market, you might think you were in a Whole Foods, as the fixtures and lighting and all the merchandizing is very similar – as are, dare I say, the prices.

However, there are subtle differences, like this Plum Market sold Diet Coke, but I did not see Twizzlers.

Plum Market’s mission: “We offer the Plum Experience to inspire our guests to Live Well, with Taste.” Sounds good to me.

Did I mention that Plum Market’s Old Town store has a large wine and spirits section with many great bourbons on hand? There is also a wine bar and a coffee bar – making Plum a cool place to hang out as well as shop.

Plum Market, based in Michigan where they have a few stores, has a long way to go to be a true threat to Whole Foods’ 340+ stores. However, this new flagship store in one of Chicago’s upscale neighborhoods has definitely served notice that there is competition out there and I for one am a big fan.

All of this said, there are no Whole Foods stores in my home state of New Hampshire, much less one up here in rural Carroll County. So my petition to bring a Plum Market here will probably go nowhere. So I will visit, often.

Learn more about Plum Market here.