I've been to EarthFare any number of times over the past few years, both in Raleigh and the (now-defunct) Chapel Hill locations. The people are very friendly and helpful, and the produce is always fresh. Some of my other vegan friends have called it "Whole Foods without all the evil". Sure, it's a bit more expensive than Whole Foods, but you can feel better about going there simply because it's NC local. I notice the price difference mostly in the bulk goods section, but I'm sure there are items that are cheaper here than at Whole Foods, too.
They've also introduced a super great coupon program available for free via their website, so be sure to sign up for their coupon promotions before you go to the store. In the past 6 months, I've gotten a bag of organic apples, several boxes of free cereal, a free dinner, and numerous coupons for $5 off a $20 purchase, amongst other awesome things. With coupons like these, it really does balance out the price difference with Whole Foods.
Cons: kind of expensive, out of the way