Why Whole Foods Market is one of Fortune’s ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’

In the May 2011 issue of Fortune Magazine, Whole Foods Market was ranked 24 on the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ list. (which they made again this year!)

It’s not surprising to learn that for 15 years in a row Whole Foods has remained one of the top companies to work for. Considering that the Triad is now host to two locations (Winston Salem & Greensboro) I wanted to share a few reasons that Whole Foods Market, which is headquartered in Austin, Texas, is one of only 13 companies that have made the list every year since its inception in 1998.

With (at the time of the article) 51,800 employees, Whole Foods Market has proven that it has an committed investment mentality for every community it opens a store in. It’s no secret that they love to support locally grown products.

One thing that really stands out to me is the fact that they have one of the most equitable pay structures I have seen. Considering that the gap between CEO and worker pay has soared in recent decades it was refreshing to learn that Whole Foods Market is proud that they cap salaries of executives at 19 times the average full-time salary and hold no secrets from any employees when it comes to take home pay. For the record, Co-founder John Mackey‘s 2006 pay reduction to $1 a year hasn’t changed.

In case you were wondering, currently a U.S. CEO’s pay is 231 times higher than that of an average worker. That figure puts it into perspective that Whole Foods is true to their motto of Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet. If the capped salaries aren’t impressive enough, once every 3 years the entire workforce gets to vote on benefits packages.

Are you as blown away as I am so far? Wait, it gets better!

Employees, or ‘Team Members” as they are referred to, are rewarded for their healthy lifestyle with discounts of up to 30% off if they meet certain requirements. All employees receive a 20% discount, a six week unpaid vacation for every 6000 hours worked and those same Team Members also have access to 100% paid health care premiums. Yup. You heard me.

The fact that the company actually encourages it’s employees to submit ideas and then take and implement them to further company wide success is a testament as to why they have consistently made Fortune’s list.

For more information on Whole Foods Market be sure to take some time and get to know them online.

I know that I am more impressed than ever with what I have learned about Whole Foods as a culture and a company and am happy they are here in the Triad. I never knew any of this information regarding how they operate until reading that Fortune article and visiting them online.

I am more determined now that ever to support them in our community.

Does your family shop at Whole Foods? What is your most memorable experience?

Do you work at Whole Foods? What benefits did I miss that makes you a proud Team Member?



John Strauss at High Point Market, Spring 2012

Linking Triad attended the Spring 2012 High Point Furniture Market. We met John Strauss through Twitter in 2011. We’re very impressed with his sustainable approach to furniture design. We think you will be as well.

John Strauss, furniture designer

Love Your Mother Earth, Save Your Wallet

The Environmental Stewardship Commission of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Greensboro presents “Love Your Mother Earth, Save Your Wallet” now through October 30th.

All classes will be held in the Roe Library, 607 North Greene Street in Greensboro, NC from 10:15 am to 11:00 am featuring local business experts and resources from around the Triad.

  • Oct. 2–Andy Courts, energy efficiency expert and creator of  North Carolina Energy Partners.  This week, Andy is going to talk about hows and how-tos, and bring examples.  He will tell us how to find leaks, where and how to seal them, and what other things we can do to cut those energy bills and make our home more efficient.  It may be easier than you think and can add value to   your home as well.


  • Oct 9th–Eric Henry, President of TS Designs in Burlington will talk about the hidden costs of buying cheap.  As a producer of sustainable t-shirts, his company provides jobs for numerous local employees and purchases cotton from NC farmers, whenever possible.  What good is it to buy something that is made more cheaply overseas only to put ourselves and our neighbors out of business?  Can we re-localize our production and re-vitalize our community?  Come find out.


  • Oct 16th–Local Food and Composting–Kevin Dowling, of the Agricultural Extension Agency will answer your questions on what to compost and how to compost, saving on waste disposal AND producing rich soil for your garden at the same time!  He will also discuss the benefits of buying locally grown   food, from produce to beef.  It’s better, it’s better for you, and it provides local farmers with income.


  • Oct. 23–Sarah Denman will discuss how she and her husband Jeremy decided to really do something about lowering their carbon footprint.  Hear what  they did, how they live more simply and see if some of their changes might be ones you are ready for.


No RSVP required and all are welcome!

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