Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market Comes to Tigard – And, It’s Unlike Any Store You’ve Seen

WFMWACountyLocal (Photo Credit: @UrbanBlissLife)

One of the things I love about my job is working with clients to see a project from early inception to full execution. This Wednesday, May 21, will be one of those times as Whole Foods Market opens its doors to its newest store in the Portland, Oregon market.

Whole Foods Market’s Pacific Northwest Regional President, Joe Rogoff, once described Whole Foods Market’s stores as “snowflakes”, because they are all beautifully unique. I feel this so accurately describes the stores as each location truly caters to their own neighborhood. The new Portland-area store (Tigard, Oregon to be exact) is no exception.

Here are some of the unique features I’m especially excited to check out at the opening next Wednesday:

- Did you know that there are over 500 local vendors included in the new store alone? Talk about a serious commitment to local. Some great ones to check out are Olympic Provisions, Unbound Pickling, Red Ridge Farms and Henry Higgins Boiled Bagels.

- We’re seeing a commitment to environmentally friendly construction more and more. This is definitely true in the new store. LED lights highlight locally sourced, reclaimed wood throughout the space. And, the tables in the store’s café are made from building materials recycled from the original site.

- While living in Portland I saw first-hand how different each community was within the greater area. So, I love how the new store in Tigard incorporated a piece of their own community right into the store – Whole Foods Market partnered with local school, Mary Woodward Elementary, to create an art installation made by second-grade students that is a focal point for shoppers.

For a sneak peek look inside the store, check out the latest piece in The Oregonian. You can also follow along on Facebook at Whole Foods Market Washington County or on Twitter @WFMwacounty for updates.

Even better, see it for yourself when the store opens on Wednesday. I know I’ll be there!

How Whole Foods Ruined Me

wfmblogpost1 It's not often that working on a client's business can completely shift your perspective on life. I mean completely shift how you make decisions on a day to day basis. I've worked on behalf of Chateau Ste. Michelle and Montinore Estate wineries, and yet I still just drink beer. I've created countless campaigns for Microsoft, but every screen I surround myself with originated in Cupertino.

So, my advice to any creative that finds themselves with an opportunity to work with Whole Foods Market is to re-watch that scene in the Matrix where Mr. Fishburne offers up the red pill or the blue pill. Albeit a nerdy metaphor, do spend time with that choice. Because it will affect more than just you.

If you choose to bypass the blissful ignorance of what you put into your mouth everyday, you'll find yourself saying words like sodium tripolyphosphate around a perfectly delightful shrimp cocktail. People's brows will furrow, they'll stop their dipping and laughing, and you'll remember those words aren't much for small talk at parties.

Your mother-in-law will have to make special trips to the grocery store when you visit because you muttered some off-handed comment about rBGH the last time you visited. As if you really needed to seek out another reason to frustrate her? Of course not, she never decided to come shadow you at work now did she?

Your wife will grow tired of hearing about TBHQ after she realizes it has nothing to do with frozen yogurt. And it'll get even better when you have to drive by those classic golden arches because of that word. Effectively kicking out the last leg on the stool of sanity you both just want to sit on during those long car trips with your hostage 3 year old. An American classic that you've always known to be unhealthy, but have never realized the exact makeup of why, will become a mere mirage in the distance to you - but not to those little eyes in the car seat.

Or, you could just choose to eat blissfully unaware. Learning about how the food you eat gets produced will be complicated, messy, and certainly not as tasty as those chicken nuggets. So, keep trusting labels that tout "whole grain" or "all natural" to be as meaningful as they're designed to appear. And I wouldn't take that job working for Whole Foods, and certainly don't Google any of the words I mentioned earlier.

Because you can't turn back once you've been ruined.


Want to learn more? Check out Eat As Promised, a natural foods campaign we helped Whole Foods build. And if you want to go even deeper to see what's in your food, visit http://www.fooducate.com/ and http://www.purefoodkids.org/

The Grocery Store Reinvented as a Happy Hour Scene

Check out this nice feature from the Seattle Times on our client Whole Foods Market and their happy hours at the Westlake location.

Our happy-hour pick this week takes us past the rows of grocery carts, by the lily bunches in the floral station, not far from the organic Pink Lady apples in the produce aisle ($1.99 per pound, by the way). Yeah, we threw a few back at Whole Foods Market in Westlake recently.

The piece does a good job of capturing how a grocery store is able to reinvent itself as a different type of dining scene for its customers - or even for those who might not usually visit the location, but now have a new incentive to do so.

A Gluten-free, Curated Shopping Experience

At Curator, we are fortunate to include Whole Foods Market on our list of client partners. This week, I had a client meeting at one of their stores. Lucky me, right? They were excited to show me a special section they built at the Redmond, Washington store for the increasing number of people who are following a gluten-free diet. It’s basically a “store within a store” and it helps take the guess work out shopping -- an everyday experience that can be frustrating and confusing. It’s beautiful. It includes a large freezer section and rows upon rows of gluten free products and ingredients.

This is yet another example of how Whole Foods Market successfully manages to make a true connection with consumers. They have created a unique experience for shoppers with special dietary needs that makes it easier to find good foods to enjoy. 

We loved this story, and the media seems to agree with us. Here’s a recent interview we set up for Whole Foods to talk more about gluten-free baking for the holidays.