We've all heard of Whole Foods.  However, with no stores in Montana, all we know about it is what we've heard, or the jokes we've seen about them when they get a store in South Park.

NBC Montana reports that Montana's first Whole Foods Market is opening in Bozeman early 2023.  After some research, I feel like this is a great test market for the state.

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What I learned about Whole Foods

The Good

They're owned by Amazon.  Prime members get perks and discounts, which is nice.

They care about the food they sell.  They care about how animals are treated before they're slaughtered.  They're very choosy about vendors and products.  You won't find additives and artificial anything on their shelves.

Competition is always good.  Bozeman has a lot of variety in their grocery stores, but more can be better in that the others will have to rise to compete.

Whole Foods customers rave about the store, the pre-made food and the employees.

The Not-So-Good

They're owned by Amazon.

When Amazon bought them out, they raised pay, but they also cut hours and benefits of their employees.  And you know Amazon, they hate a union coming in.

Their prices are higher than other grocery stores.

Why Bozeman?

I think we all know "Why Bozeman".  Right now in Montana, thanks to the show Yellowstone, everyone wants to be in Bozeman. From the Bozeman Daily Chronicle,  during the pandemic a lot of people moved to Bozeman, nearly 4,000 in the first year.

If you're going to have a higher priced grocery store, considering what's happening with out of staters moving in and driving up prices, you'll find more people will not only want to shop there (old habits from where they used to live), but they can afford to shop there.

There still isn't a date, or even more than an "early 2023" set for an opening date.  After the first one succeeds, and I think it will, we'll see Whole Foods popping up all over the state.

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