What Is Erewhon Market And Why Is It So Expensive?

Gisele Bündchen at Erewhon Market
Gisele Bündchen at Erewhon Market - Rachpoot/bauer-griffin/Getty Images

Would you pay $20 for a gallon of raw milk? Or $14 for a jar of organic granola? If you're ready to splurge, look no further than Erewhon Market. Founded in 1966, this high-end grocery store offers organic health foods, paleo-friendly snacks, and ready-made meals for every taste. Plus, it's one of the places in Los Angeles where you'll likely spot celebrities. The luxury store currently has locations in Venice, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Pasadena, and other high-end areas, but you can order online, too.

But, as we all know, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. While Erewhon Market may seem like a heaven for foodies and health enthusiasts, its prices are beyond the reach of the average person. Its co-founder, Tony Antoci, is well aware of this aspect. "It doesn't bother me because it is true. We are catering to the affluent," he told The Hollywood Reporter, adding that raw ingredients and high-quality food in general come with a high price tag.

Read more: The Best Grocery Store In Every State

Erewhon Market Has Claimed Its Spot As A Luxury Health Store

Erewhon Market storefront
Erewhon Market storefront - Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Erewhon Market started as a small food stall selling organic and macrobiotic foods in Boston. Its founders, Aveline and Michio Kushi, were followers of George Ohsawa, who created the macrobiotic diet. This diet revolves around whole grains, organic vegan foods, and local and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Inspired by the macrobiotic movement, the Kushi's relocated to LA in 1968 and opened the first Erewhon brick-and-mortar. The couple allegedly claimed that macrobiotic foods could cure cancer, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and other diseases.

The store was acquired by Tony Antoci and his wife, Josephine, in 2011. Tony grew up in the food business and saw the potential in Erewhon Market. The company generated around $180,000 per week at the time but has since increased significantly, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "Today, our store average is $900,000 [per week]," he told the media outlet. Josephine added, "We didn't build our business by being the most expensive or catering to celebrities. It grew very organically, which is nice."

Fast-forward to 2024, and Erewhon Market has 10 locations — each with a different vibe. The Palisades store appeals to families, while the Venice store has more of a vacation feel. Visitors can also access a cafe, tonic bar, and other facilities, such as at-home delivery and catering services.

Shopping At Erewhon Market Is A Luxury Experience

Woman shopping at Erewhon Market
Woman shopping at Erewhon Market - Naturalist_tomomi/Instagram

Today, Erewhon Market is a certified organic retailer offering premium products, from eco-friendly cosmetics and cleaning solutions to organic produce. None of its foods contain processed sugar, corn syrup, or artificial flavors. For example, the Ucayali 70% Dark Chocolate Bar is made from cacao beans, organic cacao butter, and organic cane sugar. The downside is that you'll pay $16.99 for a little over 2 ounces. By comparison, Trader Joe's Organic Dark Chocolate Bar, which has 73% cacao, costs only $1.99 per 3½ ounces.

The fact that Erewhon offers organic and specialty products justifies the prices to some extent. However, plenty of other stores offer similar goods for less. Another explanation is that Erewhon appeals to the rich and famous. The New York Times called it "the unofficial hangout for the young, beautiful, and bored."

If you pass by, you might spot celebrities like Andrew Garfield, Brooklyn Beckham, Kourtney Kardashian, or Cara Delevingne shopping around. Like the New York Times, Vogue says Erewhon is "Hollywood's cult-favorite wellness location."

Last but not least, many consumers associate higher prices with better quality. Simply put, more expensive products are perceived as having higher value. In this context, shopping at Erewhon Market may feel like an exclusive experience, allowing the company to reach an upscale audience. However, you can still find reasonably priced products, depending on what you're after. You can also sign up for a membership at Erewhon to get cash back, monthly discounts, and other perks.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.