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Hey, love your site, I work at a whole foods on the east coast, and it is a pretty interesting store. When we were hired we had to do an orientation where we learned about veganism and all that, but also that the store was a business. Most mass market grocery stores only make a profit margin of on 1 or 2% at whole foods it's more like 3 or 4% because the priorities are different. You've probably never noticed but there are never any advertisements for whole foods, no commercials or radio spots because that money is put into things like having medical benefits for employees and opening new stores. The stores also make a lot of money because most of the products are very expensive, but whole foods has the 365 brand which is pretty much whole foods generic, so when you buy cheap at whole foods, whole foods is still making money. But it's not paradise over there either, the benefits would seem like an amazing thing, but most grocery stores workers have benefits because they have very strong unions. John Macky (the founder of whole foods) is a libertarian union buster, so he brags about our benefits but they are on par with other stores. We unfortunatly have to deal with a lot of "team member" bullshit, go team blah, blah, blah. we get good things like gain sharing and there is a rule that no whole foods employee can make more than a certain amount (like ten times what the lowest paid person makes) so even john macky the president of this billion dollar corporation is only making something like 300,000 a year, a lot to be sure, but not compared to what others would make. and man do I hate trader joes, just because this guy always comes into the store points at a product and loudly declares how much cheaper and better it is over at trader Joes, I wish he would fucking marry trader joes and stay out of the store, he drives me nuts.
So anyway whole foods is better than crap like super fresh, but on the east coast they don't fuck around, they have this insane lateness policy (more than a half an hour late three times in six months, bye bye) which is ridiculous because it is perfectly possible that three times in six months your car is not going to start or the bus is not going to come, and you can't call them give them a heads up and still be late, because there are no excuses, this policy was actually started in respons to members of a union, so it is very easy to get fired and people don't last long (I'm on final warning right now).
Sorry this was so long (and poorly puctuated), I have a love hate relationship with where I work, I like their philosophy and their methods, I like their approach to the enviroment, but I dislike the policies in the region where I work because I consider them ridiculous and unfair. Sometimes it seems like they hire you just so they can fire you. But whatever, I love your site...let the rage live on.

drunken monkey

Re. centralization, one of the reasons I do shop at Whole Foods sometimes is because they source produce locally. I would hope that any move towards centralization of the organization as the company grows wouldn't move away from that policy.

I live close to a Whole Foods, but I don't shop there regularly simply because I often can't afford to. They do have some items that are comparatively priced, and I am willing to spend more to buy local and/or organic produce when I can. But things like meat and their prepared foods just don't fit in my budget.

On a more superficial level, I always feel like I'm reverse-slumming when I go to Whole Foods. It's where the Yorkville residents and Hollywood folk shop, and when I stand in front of the shelves comparing the price per gram and trying to decide if I can afford to buy the organic version, I'm not sure that I'm who they're after.

Whole Foods has good hours, and the clean, well-lit supermarket experience, but I still prefer going to the market to get local produce and bulk foods.

Ontario Emperor

No Whole Foods in my immediate area, although you'd think that with Claremont so close a Whole Foods would turn up. Then again, Claremont tends to be anti-business, and even a Whole Foods might give them pause.


I do a lot of shopping at Whole Foods because it is so much easier to find gluten-free food there. I also go through a lot of vegetables between me and the rabbit, and the veggies from the regular grocery go bad too fast.

It does cost a lot to shop there though. I'm doing more cooking just because that defrays some of the higher cost. Plus, it is easier for me to guarantee that there is no gluten in something if I made it all myself.

I see a lot of fellow hippie crunchy types in the store though. I feel a little guilty if I'm wearing my leather jack with leather shoes and carrying a leather bag. There are yuppies too, of course, but I've been pleased that I'm not the only price-checker.

I would shop at Trader Joe's too if they had any around here. Alas, that isn't an option.

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