Whole Foods Invites Street-Food Vendors Into Stores

San Francisco's Magic Curry Kart

Has the gourmet street food trend reached its peak? Harvindar Singh, Whole Foods’ Bay Area food forager, has reportedly approached a number of Bay Area street food vendors about selling their wares in the upscale grocery chain.

It won’t necessarily be easy for vendors to sign on, however. SF Weekly explains:

Following Whole Foods’ sourcing guidelines would mean using cage-free
eggs and hormone-free milk. New packaging would have to carry UPC
codes, and, ideally be made of recyclable or compostable materials. Vendors who agreed to partner with Whole Foods would most likely take
baby steps to company shelves, selling at one or two city stores to
start, and delivering directly, rather than dealing with distributors.

All of this leads to the question of whether street food is still street food if it’s wrapped up in a fancy package and sold at a grocery store. Even if it is, will customers be willing to pay Whole Foods prices for, say, curry from San Francisco’s Magic Curry Kart? We’ll find out soon–Singh imagines that local street food could be sold as part of a new Street Eats line of both perishable and shelf-ready items.