No compensation was received for this post. I attended a media event which facilitated the writing of this post.
It’s Sunday Funday in Orange County, a day of rest and church and catching up on my never-ending to-do-list. And brunch…oh how I love all-things breakfast! One of my favorite Orange County brunch spots is the Rock-It Bar at Whole Foods Market in Laguna Niguel, and up until this past week, I would have told you that the drive from North Orange County is a must. But with the debut of Whole Foods Market’s first North Orange County location in Brea, you don’t have to! The brand new 38,000 foot square store has an on-site flex-causal restaurant offering brunch specialties like a Classic Croque Madame and their signature Brunch Bowls plus 24 taps of local crafted beer and grown-up desserts like “boozy” gelato and Rocqu Vanilla Crème Brulee.
I absolutely love that Whole Foods Market is expanding their Orange County stores, and with each one offering locals a unique, community experience, no two stores are the same. Locals will appreciate the design and architecture of the new store, which features colors inspired by artist Wayne Thiebaud’s paintings which convey a mid-century small town feel, a homage to that period of time from 1950-1960 when Brea doubled in size.
For many shoppers, this new market will be a destination for grocery items that are free free from chemicals and artificial ingredients. I personally love shopping the 365 Everyday Value line which offer value shoppers the most competitive pricing on products that meet Whole Foods Market’s quality standards.
Shopping locally and seasonally has never been so convenient at the new Whole Foods Market in Brea. The produce department features organic fruits, vegetables and flowers from local growers across the county. The store will also feature cut fruit and vegetables, gluten-free veggie pasta noodles, and fresh salsa/guacamole made in-store each day.
As a Pescatarian, it can be difficult to find sustainable seafood, and my local Whole Foods Market has become my go-to for wild-caught varieties. All stores have strict standards for safety and sustainability and strive to source local varieties when possible. One of the stand-outs at their Brea location is their made-to-order poke, offered daily so guests can create DIY poke bowls.
Both the meat and seafood departments offer fresh, grill-ready, vacuum-packed and value-pack varieties. My favorite new feature in the meat department is the option of purchasing their “Get Crocked – Ready to Go Family Meals.” Choose your meat (or go vegetarian!) and sauce (Southwest, Korean, Curry, Red Wine, Taco or Bourguignon) then pick up a pre-packed veggie tray and you have a complete meal for a family of 4-6. Even if you don’t have a crock-pot, you can cook this meal in the oven or on the grill. And because all of the beef, chicken, and pork are step-rated using the Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating System, you know you’re getting the highest quality meats raised without antibiotics or added hormones.
Throughout the store, you’ll find local influences, such as local Bodhi Leaf cold brew on tap at the coffee bar, locally sourced Rocq macarons and aHana gluten-free-mousse cups at the bakery, cold-pressed juices featuring Northern California-based company Harmless Harvest’ coconut water and Mary’s Chicken in the prepared foods department.
If you don’t have time for a full meal at NOOC, you can still pick up prepared foods like hot ramen, mazemen (dry ramen topped with spicy albacore, salmon or fresh vegetables), handmade pizza, made-to-order sushi, and custom-made sandwiches in the Prepared Foods Department.
For delightful indulgences, Brea’s in-store bakery features Non-GMO Project-verified cookies, elegant in-house and locally sourced baked goods, and artisan scratch bread made fresh daily. Grab a pick-me-up made-to-order smoothie or a custom espresso drink made with organic, fair-trade coffee beans at the Coffee, Juice and Smoothie Bar.
And if you’re hosting guests or attending a casual get-together, the store’s specialty department is your go-to for a hand-picked wine collection featuring more than 1,000 wines (including eco-friendly and biodynamic varieties). Pair one of these wines with the store’s comprehensive offering of raw, grass-fed, farmstead artisanal cheeses.
In line with Whole Foods Market’s wholesome approach to healthy living, the Brea store offers a spacious Whole Body department featuring an active living section with protein powders, supplements and clothing. You can also purchase everything from makeup and skin care products to shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste, all from companies who adhere to the brand’s standards for sourcing, environmental impact, safety and results.
During our store tour, we made a simple DIY Merry Mint Spray using Aura Cacia Essential Oils. The recipe is so easy and the scent so delightful, I had to share it with you all!
- 2 fl. oz. water
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 drops sweet orange essential oil
- 4 drops peppermint essenital oil
- 2 oz. amber glass mist bottle
- Combine essential oils and vanilla extract in mist bottle.
- Fill with water.
- To use, shake contents and mist the air throughout your home.
The store’s elegance and innovation will draw locals and visitors from the community in to shop, dine, converse and even learn.
The upstairs mezzanine has two rooms, a community kitchen and a lounge space which can be rented for events.
Here is where the store will host sushi making classes, tea and craft nights and cookie decorating for kids. For a list of current events and information on registration, visit the dedicated website for Whole Foods Market Brea.
As the first Whole Foods Market in North Orange County, the Brea location will offer locals an expansive store that will serve as a unique shopping destination with features that cater to the entire family. To celebrate the opening of this brand new store, shoppers can enjoy specials on over 150 items for the duration of the month. I encourage you to check out the store’s website, the in-store flyer or the free app for more information on these deals.