Being a connoisseur of popular culture that often turns a self-reflective mirror on the land of its origin — Hollywood and California as a whole, I’ve heard every joke about the Golden State.
I know all about the country’s perception that CA is a safe haven for crazy health-nut vegans, sunrise surfers-turned-CEOs, nerdy tech moguls living life in their slide-filled Silicon Valley offices and high-price juice shops, stoners riding skateboards down the beach promenade and, of course, fashion-conscious movie stars making the exact same schlock which perpetuates these views.
When they aren’t starring in Marvel films.
Well I’m here to report that all of these stereotypes are, in fact…
Even as a 21-year-old native to the west coast, I’ve never quite been in a place that screams ‘California liberal kookiness’ quite as much as Lazy Acres Natural Market.
This place is a Whole Foods-esque supermarket born and raised right here in the Golden State, and I swear it’s the one place you need to bring anybody from a fly-over state to assure them that everything the T.V. says about California is true.
So first off, most of the products are the kind of low-everything, non-GMO, gluten-free products you’d expect to see.
My favorites were these knock-off versions of popular candies
However, it’s much more fun to look at some of the individual portions of the store beyond generally ‘normal’ things like rows of fruit or 20 bottled water brands.
For instance this chain-specific juice bar/coffee shop:
Or this absolutely massive collection of nuts:
Every creed of nut is in this store. I didn’t know there were this many kinds of nuts!
I also didn’t know I could say nut this many times in one place without bursting into laughter.
Maybe the laughter was suppressed by trying to figure out this bizarre self-filling water station:
Because you know. When I’m looking for “deionized” or “high pH alkaline” water, I want to go to my local supermarket and fill up a jug using a machine that looks like a mutated soda or ice cream dispenser.
That’s definitely one of the weirder things here.
Slightly less weird, but also very Californian, is the fresh sushi bar:
A sushi bar in the middle of the supermarket.
Sure, why not.
That sushi bar is actually a part of the larger ‘kitchen’ section of the store, where they also sell sandwiches and salad bars full of hot food like mac n’ cheese. Right next to some cafeteria tables and a private room where cooking classes are held.
Oh but don’t worry, ladies and gentlemen, I saved the best for last.
After everything I’ve shown you, is there any part of a supermarket you think Lazy Acres is missing? Merchandise to show the world you belong to their unique brand, perhaps?
Well yes, that exists.
An Instagram account?
Wouldn’t be a hipster, vegan supermarket without letting fans interact with overproduced brand advertisements over social media.
Or maybe, just maybe…
You think they’re missing a massive beehive right in the middle of the store.
Well, if you thought so, you’d be wrong.
Because they already have it:
Look, I’ll be honest with all of you right now. When this place opened up in the shopping center over by my house, I didn’t have a particular desire to go in. We only happened to be there tonight to buy dinner.
Looked a little bougie. Real expensive, healthy supermarkets aren’t exactly uncommon in California, so I’d seen plenty and didn’t expect much.
But when I saw a god damn case full of bees in the middle of the store? I lost my mind.
Why would anyone want to go to this place for a second time after they find out there’s an actual, legitimate chance for bees to be released on an unsuspecting urban population in the middle of an enclosed space?
It’s just wild.
If nothing else, I can complement Lazy Acres for having nice counters around the edges. The meat, seafood and bakery sections all had good selections:
Plus I got a really nice meal out of the kitchen area!
Yet unfortunately, alongside the craziness of the bees, it also introduced me to this monstrosity…
So I’m pretty sure everything balances out and I will never go back to this crazy place.
California hath bested me.