Sometimes you get what you pay for


Grocery stores are a dime a dozen. When running through a buzzing supermarket on a Saturday afternoon, you may not stop to reflect on your experience as a customer or the business you are supporting with your purchases. You’re just there to pick up your necessities and move on. However, every so often a business with a fresh approach and attention to the customer experience comes along and shakes up your ordinary grocery trip. Whole Foods Market is that spotlight business that has taken the grocery industry by storm. From a modest beginning in 1980 with two twenty-year-olds who wanted to start a natural food store in Texas to being purchased by Amazon for $13.7 Billion.

This enterprise has made its mark over the last 15 years. Sometimes nicknamed “Whole Pay-check”, Whole Foods Market has specialized in quality produce, meat and seafood, desserts, and seasonal items that are worth the extra dollar. As a brand strategist with an eye for detail, Whole Foods Market stands out, particularly for its customer service, welcoming atmosphere, a consciousness for health and wellness, and a dedicated, well-trained team. 

Whole Foods mission is to protect the environment and enhance people’s wellbeing. From the moment I step into the store, I can tell that the layout reflects this promise. There is enough breathing room, so it doesn’t feel overwhelming, stressful, or crowded like many other supermarkets. There’s a good amount off natural light and everything is well merchandised. It makes me want to take everything home with me! Having a background in design, it is clear to me that the lived-in layout and earth colours reflects the Whole Foods promise of health, wellness, and environment protection. 

Another reason why Whole Foods Market stands out as a business is the quality of the food. Whole Foods is dedicated to providing top notch ingredients where the proof is in the taste and freshness. The produce is always displayed beautifully, showcasing the season’s best deals. My editor, Vanessa, previously worked at the Oakville location of Whole Foods, and she raves about the healthy and unique vegetarian options. When discussing Whole Foods as our spotlight brand, Vanessa explained that she was particularly fond of the produce and meat alternatives that makes it easy to experiment in the kitchen, Overall, customers can count on this supermarket to provide locally sourced organic and conventional produce, as well as exclusive grocery items you won’t find anywhere else.

 While some may consider a shopping trip at Whole Foods Market to be breaking the bank, the business initiatives actually extends every dollar to helping the local and global communities. They even stopped using plastic bags a number of years ago in an effort to walk their talk! The company has also created three charities; Whole Kids Foundation, Whole Cities Foundation, and Whole Planet Foundation. Every year, customers have the opportunity to donate and support underprivileged communities as well as help preserve the environment. These charities provide micro loans with low interest to provide the right education and tools for those who need it most, whether its for kids’ access to nutritional food or for female entrepreneurs in their business development and success. Whole Foods Market’s contributions on the micro and macro scale makes this a business with ethical integrity. 

Finally, Whole Foods Market has outstanding customer service that has earned a loyal cliental. The staff are knowledgeable in every department, and at the checkout the cashiers are always friendly and ask if you found everything you need. The staff seems to be passionate about the brand, which really differentiates them from other supermarkets. At many stores, its clear that the staff is doing the work solely because it’s a job that pays the bills. Vanessa has had over a year’s worth of experience working behind the Coffee Bar and Bakery counters at the Oakville location, and confirms that the store prioritize customer service as the foundation of the business. She explains “when a customer asks about a product, its important that we as team members are professional and confident, even if it is outside of our own department. If I don’t know where to find a specific item, I must escort the customer to someone who does know where to find it”. Through the in-depth training of team members, Whole Foods Market every detail of the customer experience into account to make the shopper feel welcome and comfortable. The lively team energy attracts new customers and creates lasting connections with existing ones. 

Whole Foods Market is a stand-out business that’s worth noting because it’s a strong brand with a strong message. A well-trained team, welcoming atmosphere, dedication to giving back to local and global communities, and consciousness for health and wellness are proof that the company care about much more than just making sales. Whole Foods is doing an amazing job at creating a holistic brand experience for its customers, from parking right through to check-out. It may be nicknamed “Whole Pay-check”, but you really get what you pay for at Whole Foods Market! 

Rhonda Page