About Whole Foods, commonly known as Whole Paycheck.
My partner worked for Whole Foods for several years, as a buyer and a Team Leader (management in WF speak). He got paid well, and the benefits were generous, including health insurance, which covered me as a domestic partner. The WF insurance plan is great. The coverage was comprehensive and the PWA (Personal Wellness Account) is an amazing tool for covering co-pays. Mackey the Knife has designed a plan that does reflect a good, solid approach to insuring employees. His business model is unique, and I think , pretty innovative. Team structure is a good business model, and WF consistently promotes from within. It's fairly easy to be making $50,000.00 a year if you choose to folow the model, join the team, climb the ladder. Or, maybe, join the cult.
Many people are outraged about John Mackeys WSJ editorial. And they should be! I can attest to two things about Whole Foods - an excellent insurance plan and a pretty good model for raises and promotion. However, Whole Foods - Jon Mackey - is a union buster and a predatory corporation.
Whole Foods opens as near as possible to the small, independent store in the area to smash the competition. Sometimes Whole Foods just smashes the store and then buys it at a cut rate. See: Wild Oats in New England. Just because the stores are beautiful doesn't mean they're not the quasi organic version of WalMart.
I went to two Whole Foods recently - it rankles, because I used to get a 20% discount, so now I eat all the cheese samples mutering about my lost discount. BUT, anyway, I have a really severe allergy to some metal (insert joke here) like aluminum and nickel, and the only deoderant my skin can tolerate is sold at WF. And I like cruising the stores, just looking at the crazy, privileged shoppers.
I also had another purpose; does Whole Foods take food stamps? Most stores have a sign, a big sign, announcing that they accept EBT. Debit/credit card machines are calibrated to accept EBT. No signs at Whole Foods! I asked the courtesy desk (yes, the courtesy desk) if WF accepts EBT. When they didn't know what I was talking about, I said: "Food Stamps". The answer/ "I don't know. I guess I could ask somebody." And it went on, until finally , yes, they accept food stamps. Good! Because I think it's illegal not to!
Whole Foods is selling an unattainable lifestyle for most people. I can't tell you, in the years of shopping/visiting when my partner worked there, how many times I said: "I have to leave because everyone in here is so annoying." The whole: "I'm shopping and now I'm distracted by my inner goddess coming to me and I can't respond to complaints about my child opening that box of cereal on the floor because I have to stay in the moment."
My inner pugilist is about to punch you, ok? The people who LOVE shopping at Whole Foods are often the trust fund hippies who are raising undisciplined brats while they continue to find themselves. Normal people who try to shop at WF are left feeling inadequate because they can't afford the glittery stuff. Stuff being dazzling food. It's OZ!
John Mackey is a predatory businessman, and for him to lecture people, in his editorial, about HOW TO EAT is so offensive. Shop at my store - we don't welcome poor people. Who exactly is he talking to?
Shop at Whole Foods, if you must (or want to), for the basics. The 365 brand is pretty reasonably priced. The meat and fish at WF IS amazing. And, most importantly, the employees are generally terrific and are making decent wages - enough to maybe buy a house or pay off debts. Live in the community, not just exist.
But also remember that there's a small man behind the curtain in OZ. Nothing is as it seems. There's a huge price being paid in so many places to support the Whole Foods empire.
Mackey the Shark: a megalomaniac who thinks that he has the right to determine not only national policies, but how you eat. I hope he gets his own reality tv show.