By spokesman | May 16, 2011
An Open Letter To Whole Foods
I was initially excited when Whole Foods opened a market near my house. The new Whole Foods is located at the end of a bike path called the North Bethesda Trolley trail. For me, it is quicker to bike to the market rather than drive. The bike path exits from the back of my neighborhood and lead directly to the block where the Whole Foods is located. If I were to drive, I would have to leave from the opposite end of my neighborhood and take a less direct route. I would have to drive several miles and pass through several traffic lights. The bike path provide a direct route that is only about half a mile for me. The path also connects to many other neighborhoods.
I was surprised to arrive at Whole Foods for the first time and discover that there was no bike rack. To make matters worse, during the first weekend that the store was open, Whole Foods teamed with Bikes for the World to set up a collection point for bikes to be donated to community development programs in poor nations overseas. The Bike For the World website describing why Whole Foods participated in the program stated:
”Why Whole Foods Market? Well, why Bikes for the World?!! Whole Foods Market supports the environment through its products, through efforts such as the Whole Planet Foundation, and through support to community groups promoting environmental values and action. Bikes for the World is one such organization and is gratified to earn the confidence of a major grocery retailer to host this multi-site event. In turn, Bikes for the World respects Whole Foods Market’s approach and scale. In celebration of Earth Month, the two organizations have come together to raise the profile of Bikes for the World’s program among Whole Foods Market’s clientele and the public at large, joining forces to give our community a close, convenient location to recycle a bicycle.”
So in summary, Whole Foods opens a store at the end of a bike path and rather than encouraging cyclists by providing amenities such as a bike rack, they instead work to collect bicycles from the neighborhood and send them overseas. Not only does Whole Food not want you to bike to the store, they want to make sure you don’t bike at all. I guess that you can buy more if you haul away your groceries in your SUV.
I pointed this out to a cashier at the store and he stated that this was not the message that they were trying to send.
However, for drivers, Whole Foods offers free indoor garage parking with an escalator and elevators to the store. On the first weekend as I arrived, Whole Foods had made arrangements for the county police to direct the car traffic in and out of the garage.
All kidding aside, Whole Foods can easily correct the situation and better meet their objective of supporting the environment. They can install a bike rack in front of their store.