It doesn’t get much earthier—and in Austin, that’s saying a lot—than Wheatsville Coop. The clerks and clientele at the U.T.-area natural foods store make the dreadlocked staff at Whole Foods look like uptown posers. Ratty but loveable Wheatsville is in the final throes of massive up-do that will expand the store some 3,300 square feet while hopefully leaving the incense and peppermint tang intact. Meanwhile, a mere 8 blocks north on Guadalupe as the recumbent bike flies, the Colorado-based Natural Grocers has opened its first Austin shop (their third in Texas after Amarillo and Dallas) in the old Rooster Andrews sporting goods store. With seemingly half the floor space devoted to vitamins and supplements, Natural Grocers is hard to love. A quick run-through established that they sell no beer, wine, or locally made bread. After the first round, the score is Wheatsville 10, Natural Grocers 0.
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