DePaul students react: Whole Foods to take over Dominick’s

It’s official: Whole Foods is coming to DePaul – but not everyone is thrilled about it.

In an email to students and faculty Feb. 1, Fr. Holtschneider confirmed that the former Dominick’s on DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus is one of seven in the Chicago area being taken over by the natural and organic foods grocery chain.

The fate of the former Dominick’s located on the corner of Fullerton and Sheffield avenues has caused concern among DePaul students and Lincoln Park residents since closing Dec. 28. Now that Whole Foods is slated to move in, DePaul students are uncertain of how well it will suit their needs.

Among the top concerns of Whole Foods’ move-in is the grocery chain’s affordability, or lack thereof.

“I really wish a different grocery store would’ve decided to take over Dominick’s,” DePaul junior and Lincoln Park resident Alyssa Hall said. “Whole Foods is great and everything, except that it doesn’t really have the most realistic prices for college students. Most of us go to school full-time and have minimum ‒ or just above minimum-wage ‒ jobs.”

DePaul junior and Lincoln Park resident Daniel Kummerer shares the same sentiment.

“I was disappointed to hear that a Whole Foods is taking over the old Dominick’s,” Kummerer said. “It’s kind of a slap in the face to students who can’t afford higher-end groceries. I feel like it’s another way DePaul is showing its indifference towards students’ financial concerns.”

DePaul senior Alex Jewell agrees, but also notes Lincoln Park encompasses a community beyond DePaul students.

“I’ve never been a huge fan of Whole Foods simply because I think their approach to a healthier grocery store, by default, excludes very specific classes of people who simply can’t afford an organic, all-natural lifestyle,” Jewell said. “(But) Lincoln Park is home to an entire community of affluent adults who will probably find a Whole Foods useful.”

An email addressed to the DePaul community by Fr.Holtschneider Saturday, Feb. 1, states Whole Foods Market’s representatives “intend to customize the design and the inventory of the new store to reflect the needs of our students and the local community” and notes the company’s offering of “365 Everyday Value” products.

Despite potential customization, some remain skeptical.

Jewell feels that Whole Foods’ everyday value products does not compare to a store “more suited for a college campus” such as Mariano’s and Jewel-Osco.

“Personally, I will be shopping there regularly simply out of need and convenience ‒ not necessarily out of preference,” Jewell said. “Living so close, it’s the only grocery store within walking distance of my condo … I’m not the only one who will unfortunately be dependent upon the store for food.”

Details from Whole Foods have yet to be released, but Holtschneider stated in his email that he expects representatives to “make an announcement of their plans soon.”