Ever since Berkeley Bowl West opened last June, it’s been my supermarket of choice. What’s not to like? The fruits and vegetables are beyond compare, the prices are reasonable (if I don’t get tempted by some of the French cheeses or some of the more expensive fish), the layout is intelligent, and the parking is generally easy.

Yesterday, however, I thought I’d save a bit of time and dropped into Whole Foods Market on Telegraph. It was certainly a quicker trip, but two things struck me after a very long absence.

First, there were tons of parking spaces. I can’t recall ever going to Whole Foods and finding it easy to park. Perhaps I just went at a charmed time on Monday afternoon, but I suspect Berkeley Bowl West has grabbed a good number of Whole Foods’ former customers.

Second, it was such a dull shopping experience. Whole Foods is a far smaller store than Berkeley Bowl West, so there was far less choice. Worse, the quality of the produce to my eyes just didn’t compare.

A trip to Berkeley Bowl West probably adds a minimum 20  minutes to my journey time (often more, because of the many temptations that keep me in the store). But I won’t be going back to Whole Foods if I can help it.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...