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    I Stood Outside The Most Expensive Grocery Store In Los Angeles, Then Asked People What They Bought And How Much Money They Make

    "My chiropractor recommended I eat goat yogurt instead of typical dairy."

    Erewhon is Los Angeles's most expensive grocery store — the eggs typically start at $12.99, the celebrity-endorsed smoothies are between $17 and $20, and I thought about purchasing a salad from there, only to immediately put it back once I saw it was $25. Despite Erewhon's lofty prices, it has a following!

    An employee wearing a mask walks out of an Erewhon store

    I've always been curious about who exactly is shopping at these stores. Are they rich? Are they getting special products? Or do they simply enjoy shopping at the Equinox equivalent of a grocery store? To get some answers, I stood outside two Erewhon locations and asked shoppers the most expensive thing they'd bought, what they do for a living, and how much money they make per year. In return, I drew anonymous-ish portraits of those who stopped. Twenty-two people were down to talk.

    Illustration of customers of Erewhon with headline, "Erewhon, Everyone, All at Once"

    So here are portraits of the real-life people of Erewhon and their answers to their priciest purchases, jobs, and salaries:

    Illustration of customer in hoodie who works in wholesale marijuana, bought a salmon combo plate for $30, and makes $150k a year
    Customer in construction who bought kombucha for $7 and earns $80k a year
    Customer who bought a strawberry smoothie for $22, works in a law firm, and earns $60k a year
    Customer who's a musician and wouldn't give salary who bought a $15 falafel wrap with their child
    Customer who's a studio manager and earns $50k who bought $15 carrot ginger soup
    Hairstylist customer who bought goju berries for $15 and "is comfortable"
    Customer with $21 chicken tender combo plate who earns $180k as a space engineer
    Customer showing off $7 garlic spread who earns $50k as a freelance tutor
    Customer with $12 peanut butter smoothie who earns $80k in real estate/insurance
    Customer who earns $180k in retail and bought an $8 orange juice
    Customer who's a TV writer and won't give salary with $56 flower bouquet
    Customer who bought $11 eggs and earns $34k as a PhD student
    Customer who ate $28 salmon combo and earns $30k as a fashion designer
    Customer with a $22 coconut cloud smoothie and earns $53k at a courthouse
    Stylish customers with $36 sea moss gel: one works in film and won't give salary, the other works in fashion and earns $150k–$200k
    Customer with $15 Erewhon juice who works in meat manufacturing but "shouldn't say" their salary
    Customer who bought $7 goat yogurt, works as an interior designer, and won't say what they earn
    Customer who bought a $27 beef stew, is an actor-writer, and won't say what they earn
    Customers, one an actor and one a writer, who won't give salaries and bought $7 organic chocolate mousse
    Customer who bought $25 gut health powder and is a student making $30k
    Customer who bought $8 ice cream, earns $80k in freelance production, and is showing off a cereal box
    Customer couple showing off $30 chlorophyll, one works as a songwriter and their salary is "TBD," the other is a stylist and their salary is "not enough"

    Honestly, I was surprised that the majority of these Erewhon shoppers who disclosed their salaries make under $100,000 per year; I guess you don't need six figures to justify treating yourself to a $36 jar of sea moss gel. Also, it's easier to splurge on groceries when you stick to store-exclusive items or aren't shopping for a family — the crowd at these Erewhon locations mostly ranged from Gen Z to older millennials who don't have kids. Overall, everyone I talked to was hyperaware that they were shopping at the priciest grocery store in Los Angeles. Did they care? Sure! Will that stop them from returning? I'd bet my money on "no."

    Illustration of writer outside Erewhon asking people what they treated themselves to at the grocery store

    Which purchases stood out to you? What's the most expensive thing you've bought at a grocery store? Share your slice of life in the comments.

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