Rachael is part of our team dedicated to answering emails, letters and phone calls from our customers.
At Christmas, I went with my boyfriend to “meet the parents” and as we were driving along the highway he pointed to his hometown’s Whole Foods Market and said, jokingly, “There’s Whole Foods, I bet you’d love to go there since you get to see it every day!”
He was trying to be funny, but I confessed that I actually love to visit our stores in other towns because each and every one I’ve visited is different. With the varied selection of prepared foods, regional specialties in our grocery departments and locally grown produce, each of our stores truly caters to the local flavor of the community. But the community feeling is not limited to the products we sell.
I hear from customers every day about how our Team Members make them feel like part of the family. One customer I spoke with was so used to the Team Members in her store knowing her personally, she was heartbroken that one of our Team Members didn’t know her name! She explained that the store was her spiritual family.
While sweetly off-kilter, that call reminded me that our stores truly do make an impact in people’s lives.
For example, after Thanksgiving I heard from Kelly, a customer in Massachusetts.
Kelly’s brother-in-law was in the hospital with terminal cancer and Kelly wanted to do something nice for her sister and brother-in-law since this was likely to be the last Thanksgiving meal they would share together. Kelly did not place her order before the deadline, but she explained the situation and the team in her local store fulfilled her late order.
They even went the extra mile to roast and add extra turkey wings — her brother-in-law’s favorite. Her voice quavered as she told me how much she wanted to make this Thanksgiving special for her sister and brother-in-law and how she was so appreciative that our Team Members helped make that possible.
Stories like Kelly’s are not unique. We also heard from a customer here in Austin named Jim who was delighted and surprised when he ordered Thanksgiving dinner from our Austin store for himself and his wife. His wife was recovering from surgery on Thanksgiving Day, and our store’s Team Members offered to deliver the meal to them at the hospital.
He said the delivery offer was an unexpected and appreciated personal touch.
We even had some customers who love Whole Foods Market so much they included our Better Bags in their wedding décor!
Many months ago I took a call from a customer in Philadelphia who was desperately searching for our limited edition Sheryl Crow bags because her son and future daughter-in-law wanted to use them as centerpieces in their green wedding.
These bags were no longer available in our stores, but, luckily, I was able to track down a small stash of them in our global office. I was delighted a few weeks ago when she emailed me photos of the centerpieces.
They are lovely and it’s so cool to see how the talented work of our Team Members, who helped with the design concept for the bags, inspired floral arrangements for a wedding. We have wonderful Team Members who go out of their way to satisfy and delight our shoppers every day and the stories our customers share with us are truly a reminder that whether you work here or shop here, we are all part of one big happy family.
Do you have a great story to share with us? If so, please tell us in the comments section. We’d love to hear it!