It can be argued that the Wheatsville Food Co-Op is the quintessential Austin health food store. Founded in 1976, Wheatsville had served the Austin area for decades and had accumulated thousands of “owners” by the time the second location opened on South Lamar in 2013. This is where the Ann Richards/Wheatsville narrative begins.
Ever since the doors opened, Wheatsville has become a convenient place for students and teachers alike to congregate and buy food. In the years B.W. (Before Wheatsville), People’s Pharmacy was the morning destination for some teachers.
“They had good coffee,” ARS math teacher Shireen Dadmehr said. “[Wheatsville has] more variety, and is closer. It’s nice, it’s homey… I like their celery, which is delicious.”
Wheatsville also serves as a place for meetings and study groups for students, or even as a place to just hang out. Students across all grade levels make the pilgrimage to Wheatsville before and after school for anything they might need.
“[I go] when I forget to get breakfast, or when I need a snack after school,” Cassy Steuerwald (7) commented. “[I’ll get], I don’t know, like… fruit snacks, or something like that.”
“I usually go with Lily [DiFrank],” Ava Lindquist-Sher (11) said. “[She’s] in swim [with me]. Addy [Towne] usually tags along. We usually get breakfast there. When I go, I usually get a delicious egg, potato, and cheese taco.”
Lindquist-Sher went on to say that going to Wheatsville helped her build healthier eating habits over the years.
“I shifted from my apple chips [last year] to maybe a more sustainable breakfast,” Lindquist-Sher said. “I think it provides healthy alternatives to students that might not have that closer to their houses, and it also encourages a different form of, like, eating and things like that, so I think it’s very beneficial.”
Not only is it nearby, but the access to a health food store means a lot to the mission statement, which boasts a “healthy and well-balanced lifestyle.”
“[Wheatsville] has something that’s healthy, like vegan options,” Lindquist-Sher continues. “But it also has more junky stuff, like bagels. It has basically anything you could want.”
No matter how many In-N-Outs are opened tantalizingly close to campus, Wheatsville will always be a setting where herds of Ann Richards students can be found. Some make a few runs a month, some even multiple times a week.
“I would say I go to Wheatsville at least twice a week during the swim season,” Lindquist-Sher reflected. “It depends on my schedule and how busy I am. If I have the time, then I’d rather go, but if I don’t then it’s just go to default, with just, like, [a] protein [bar].”
“[I go to Wheatsville] at least four times a week,” Ms. Dadmehr said. “And I’m an owner, so, you know, I gotta support myself.”
The loyal patronage ARS students and staff provide to Wheatsville is something easily described as love. Every day, a parade of blue black and white can be seen entering the establishment’s doors, whether it’s for coffee and donuts or smoothies and salads, there’s something for everyone right across the street. We love you, Wheatsville.