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COVER STORY
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Whole Foods Market

by sandy bennettPublished: June 01, 2012

Founded: 1980
Headquarters: Austin, Texas
Orange County Locations: Huntington Beach,
Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel and Tustin
wholefoodsmarket.com

Whole Foods Market, which opened its first store in Austin, Texas, in 1980, is the world’s leading retailer of natural and organic foods and America’s first national certified organic grocer. The company has more than 310 stores located throughout the United Kingdom and Canada, as well as 38 states in the U.S. Sales for the fiscal year at the end of 2011 were more than $10 billion.
   
“The single most important strategy for Whole Foods Market is staying true to our core values and creating an empowering, creative work environment,” says Whole Foods Market’s Michelle Payne, executive coordinator of operations, Orange County Metro. “As the company has grown, those principles have continued to guide our culture.”
   
Testament to the company’s values and strategy can be found on the organization’s home page. Prominently displayed on the tool bar is a “Values” icon, which contains information about the seven core criteria that define and guide the company. In addition, 90 percent of the organization’s employees who hold store leadership positions were promoted from other positions within the store. The retailer has been included in FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” every year since the list’s inception.
   
Whole Foods Market recently opened a store in Laguna Niguel, representing its fourth Orange County location. A minimum of 5 percent of the store’s profits will be donated to an array of community and nonprofit organizations each year.





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