This weekend, on the way home from a cross-country skiing adventure, I stopped by the Wild Oats Market in Oakbrook, IL so my friend could purchase an oh-so-difficult-to-find vegetarian product called The Celebration Roast.
I must admit, in dragging me to this market I thought my friend was forcing me into another ordinary trip to the froofy grocery mart, but when I walked through the doors of the Wild Oats I discovered that I was wrong. Inside this store was my equivalent of heaven: an extensive bulk foods section. Yes, a slice of paradise with a huge variety of items from the usual nuts and candies to the not-so-usual soup mixes and pastas. It was truly beautiful.
Unfortunately, Wild Oats is now owned by Whole foods and I recently read that Whole Foods is planning to standardize all of their bulk foods sections in order to increase the profitability of the department. Does this mean they will do away with Wild Oats' awe-inspiring bulk food section? I hope not!
To prevent this, I have, of course, written a letter.
A Letter Supporting Bulk Foods
Dear John Mackey, Whole Foods Decision Makers, and the Oakbrook Wild Oats Market:
As an environmentalist and someone who is trying to seriously reduce the amount of plastic I use, I've found that buying from bulk bins is one of the best things I can do to avoid excess packaging and live a greener lifestyle.
That is why I was so excited when I recently discovered the bulk section at the Wild Oats Market in Oakbrook, IL. It is one of the only places in the vast Chicagoland area where I can purchase such a huge selection of items from bulk bins. Offering everything from grains and candy to soup mixes and pasta, it is truly impressive, and I know that whenever I'm in the area I will make a special stop at the Wild Oats Market in order to purchase items from the store's bulk bins.
That is, I'll shop at this store as long as the bulk selection remains so good.
Whole Foods, I know that you have acquired Wild Oats Market, and I have read that you plan to standardize the bulk sections of all Whole Foods stores, but I must ask this: Please do not shrink the bulk section at the Wild Oats Market in Oakbrook.
It is almost impossible to find food in bulk bins in Chicago, which makes these bins a very important resource for environmentalists in the Chicagoland area. Also, at a time when people are becoming more and more eco-conscious, it would surely be beneficial to your image as an environmentally friendly grocer to maintain or expand the bulk section at this store, as well as at your many stores.
With all this in mind, I just wanted to share that I will be looking forward to future stops at your Oakbrook store, and hope that each time I walk through the doors, I will be greeted by a large selection of tasty foods in bulk bins.
Note: Please contact me and let me know what your plan is for the Oakbrook store. That way, I can let all of my blog readers know your response. To read my blog, which contains lots of kind references to Whole Foods as well as a copy of this letter, visit http://lifelessplastic.blogspot.com.