Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market closed its Capitol Hill grocery store at 900 East 11th Avenue on November 12, 2017, and 1,060 days later reopened the building — as Ideal Market. The new store, which welcomed its first customers on October 7, represents the second Ideal Market in Colorado; the first has operated in Boulder for more than sixty years and was purchased, along with the rest of the Wild Oats natural grocery chain that operated Ideal Market, by Whole Foods in 2007.
That's 1,060 days that Capitol Hill residents went without things like Liquid Death, a brand of Australian water that sells for $1.69 per 16.9-ounce can (plain water, mind you, with no flavoring), or The Cure, a two-ounce bottle of coconut, lemon, ginger, turmeric and cayenne juice that rings in at $3.99. During that three-year span, neighbors were also missing out on Mexican avocados at $2.49 each and warm, foil-wrapped breakfast burritos for $6.99. All that is to say that while the Ideal Market name may be new to Denver, Whole Foods Market's products and prices are not, even if they've been missing from Capitol Hill for a while.
Whole Foods can't really be blamed for the ever-changing natural foods business, since buyouts and name changes are as common as sprouted-wheat bread and organic nut milk in the grocery chain's aisles. After all, the company was purchased by Amazon in 2017, and before Wild Oats was gobbled up, it merged with Alfalfa's in 1996. The names — Whole Foods, Wild Oats, Alfalfa's, Ideal — may change, but the concepts remain nearly identical from store to store, other than the modern flourishes that make individual locations feel somehow special.
Cap Hill's Ideal Market boasts a beer bar up front, so you can take the edge off with local brews. There's also an outpost of La Colombe Coffee Roasters, a national chain with more than thirty U.S. locations. La Colombe bills itself as "fourth wave" coffee, and you'll be able to buy cold-brew coffee and oat-milk lattes on draft, in addition to whole beans and the company's signature Triple Draft Latte, which it claims is "the world’s first-ever textured cold latte."
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A walk around the compact store reveals a butcher and seafood counter, a pizza oven next to other fresh-made foods suitable for an easy take-home meal, a bakery counter with fresh-baked breads and pastries, a beer fridge with local and national brands, and a beauty bar that perfumes the entire west wing of the space. Outside you'll find patio seating, an electric-car charging station and more heirloom pumpkin varieties than you ever knew existed. Seriously, there are some really freaky pumpkins out there.
Ideal Market is now open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., with an additional hour from 7 to 8 a.m. every Friday for elderly and at-risk shoppers. Call 720-643-1750 or visit the Ideal Market website for more details. Ideal Market also uses the Join Our Line mobile app to help customers keep track of the safest times to shop.