Disclosure: I was invited by Whole Foods Market on a tour of the newly remodeled store in Brentwood, MO. I was provided a Pacha Soap bar and Mineral Fusion Nail Polish of my choice as body care samples to take home with me. All views expressed are my own.
Sunnies: TOMS | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Bag: Chloe (other colors here) | Top: H&M | Bracelet: Kendra Scott | Bottoms: LOFT | Booties: Rag and Bone
I know the bulk of what I post on this blog is light and airy. Nothing too in depth or serious. I keep it like that on purpose because when I started this blog, I had a pretty stressful and demanding job and blogging became my creative outlet, my breath of fresh air, my one opportunity to march to the beat of my own drum, my reminder that life doesn't have to be so super serious and stressful! As I'm approaching my three year blog-iversary, I'm seeing more and more that blogging does give me an inherent duty to be responsible in certain ways like supporting local businesses, showcasing the many things St. Louis has to offer, and mindfully choosing brands that I'm proud to promote, not only for their products but for their ethics and philanthropy.
I had the opportunity to take a private tour led by Kali from Whole Foods with Jenna and Jill Saturday evening. The Whole Foods Market in Brentwood, MO has been recently remodeled, so Kali wanted to highlight all of the improvements and provide us with food samples along the way. I've always known Whole Foods to be a leader in quality and wellness, and this tour really showcased that and more. I am excited to share some of my big takeaways with you!
Our first stop was the produce section. While we sampled some all-natural, no additives, in-house made juice, Kali explained their color-coded "Responsibly Grown" rating system. In short, they've rated local farmers on a Good, Better, Best system based on their sustainable farming practices. This allows consumers to quickly make informed decisions on which products best align with their expectations. It's also a great way to reward the farmers for their positive results and help motivate others to deliver that same level of responsibility.
Even though the freshness and the beauty of the produce really sell themselves, there's just something about being able to shop with confidence and feeling good about your choices. You're not just buying to sustain yourself or your family, you're positively affecting so many other systems!
I love how very intentional they are with their signage and messaging. What you may not see though is that while these cases were enlarged to provide more variety in product, their doors are energy efficient. Whole Foods is not only thoughtful about what they're selling you, but *how* they're selling it to you, too.
Ease of use. That's another big theme I picked up in their store. From the color coding of their rating system, to their easy to read signage, to their associates on staff in every department that can not only recommend food pairings, but are knowledgable enough to give you preparation instructions as well! It's no surprise then that something as convenient as creating your 6-pack of beer is an option!
Similar to their produce ratings, they also have a "5-step Animal Welfare Rating" on their meats. Even if a meat has been specified as "just" a Step 1 rating, this means that the farmers and ranchers have met approximately 100-species specific standards. That's a lot of standards, and that's just Step 1!
I couldn't blog about Whole Foods and not include snippets from Whole Body. To be honest, I would never ever ever think to buy any beauty products here. I was pleased to hear about their return policy, similar to what you would find at other cosmetics stores like Sephora. They have developed a labeling system identifying Premium Body Care Standards so you immediately know which products are safe and all-natural. And they carry brands whose sales benefit others in need. For example, the Pacha soap (which smells amazing and is semi acting as air freshener right now in my bathroom!) is a 1 for 1 product. Each soap sold puts a bar of soap in the hands of someone in need.
I didn't think I could be this inspired by a grocery store, but I quickly learned that Whole Foods Market is not *just* a grocery store. It's a change agent. It is a leader in its industry. It is an example of how responsible and intentional we all should be in our decision making. I'm not quite sure I will look at any other store the same again! The bar is set pretty high, and that's not at all an exaggeration.
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