Very popular gourmet grocery store and bistro. The food offerings are wide and are displayed above the counter/employee area from one end of the store to almost the other. The selection appears to be a mixture of French and Italian.
A combination grocery store, gourmet food shop with an emphasis on food. They have a sushi bar here, FULL deli with lots of premade dishes and plenty of meats, cheeses and breads. The produce is fresh, there's hardly anything that goes out of stock unless it's the day of a holiday, and the selections are great.
AJ's differentiates from Whole Foods by focusing less on the "all natural" and organic slant and more on gourmet (expensive), unique, and imported items. they carry a wide variety of brands, and don't focus as much on packaged and frozen foods. The bakery is really fantastic, the seafood and prime beef here can't be beat.
Edible flowers for crystallizing, espresso powder for meat rubs, fancy pants mushrooms, high quality chocolate, duck fat, mangosteens outside of an Asian grocer, the works - real gourmet fare. They have a lot of UK and South Africa things that I simply cannot find anywhere else. Great wine selection and always there to lend a hand. Fresh fruit and veg amazing. Tons of gourmet mustards, olive oils, beautiful produce and a fantastic deli with freshly prepared salads, Mexican food and more.
Whole Foods has selections for special dietary needs such as vegetarian, vegan, GF, paleo, nut-free, soy-free, no transfat, etc. The list just goes on. They are also big on local and organic and educating the public about genetically modified organisms and the negative effects it has on our health and environment.
They have all kinds of gourmet meat and chicken available, you can just buy and put on the grill. Their prices are fair. Sprouts stocks so many diverse food choices, including some cultural foods or gluten free foods that may be harder to find in other stores. They have all the healthier options that we need these days and very few of the overly processed foods we should avoid.
There are several local produce vendors and even some meat and egg suppliers. However, the real stars of the market are the craft vendors selling locally made products. There are several bakeries selling fresh treats and craftsmen with many different useful and artistic wares. It's a nice open market where local products are sold. You'll see interesting finds, fresh produce, flavored salt, truffles, artisan breads and chocolates.