Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

One of Our Hidden Gems: Mill Plain in Vancouver

With over 340 stores (and counting!), we’ve got a lot of hidden gems out there. Get the story behind the store in this eight-store series. Maybe your store will be featured next!

Read on to find out how you could win a $50 gift card to Whole Foods Market®. UPDATE: Thanks to everyone that entered. Congrats to our randomly chosen winner, Nichole!

Today we’re talking with Andrea Stafford, Marketing and Community Relations Team Leader at the Mill Plain store in Vancouver, Washington.

What’s the best-kept secret at your store?

Our specialty department does Friday Night Flights. Each week, they take a different category of cheese and pair it with wine, beer, olives, crackers, and select charcuterie. It’s a fabulous way to get ideas for your next party!

If I walk into your store for the first time, what should I absolutely not miss?

Our produce department! We’re loaded with organic options and feature lots of From Around Here seasonal produce. The selection can’t be ‘beet’!

Got any behind-the-curtain surprises you can share?

Our produce department saves inedible produce for local livestock farmers. We have one hog farmer, one goat farmer, and seven chicken farmers who take advantage of this service.

Tell us about one rock star Team Member.

Our new healthy eating specialist, Sara, is a registered dietician, a graduate from Bastyr, and super knowledgeable about food and nutrition. For her first ever Health Starts Here® 28-Day Challenge, she had 40 people successfully complete the program. She has inspired many and brought much enthusiasm to healthy eating.

What’s the most popular local product your store carries?

Cobo Loco Tortilla Chips! Our team members and customers can’t get enough of them.

What’s the annual don’t-miss event at your store?

Every year we do a Taste of Thanksgiving event that benefits SHARE of Vancouver. The customers get to sample our favorite Thanksgiving items, listen to some local music, and help out our local community.

Tell us about a regular customer who you can’t imagine the store without.

We have customers who frequent our store almost every day. One in particular: Jason works at Pacific Middle School and is very involved with teaching students how to eat properly; he even implemented it into his Science class – which now actively helps run the school garden that our Team Members have volunteered their time to help with.

Whatcha got going on with local schools or non-profits?

For Earth Month, we challenged the Evergreen School District’s students to create a piece of art out of recycled materials. The themes were sustainable seafood, organics, reduce/reuse/recycle and sustainable agriculture. Nine schools took the challenge, with 706 students participating in creating the artwork. Our store is hosting an Art Opening Gala on April 11th from 5-7pm to highlight some of these pieces.

Now that you know what makes our Mill Plain store shine in Vancouver – tell us: what makes your local store a hidden gem?

Share your comment below by Sunday, March 31 and you’ll be entered to win a $50 Whole Foods Market gift card. Enter once on each “hidden gems” blog post, running from March 20 – March 29, for more chances to win.

The fine print: No purchase necessary. Promotion ends 3/31/13, 11:59 PM CDT. Must be a legal resident of the US or Canada (except in Quebec, where it is void) age 18 or older to participate. Taxes on prize, if applicable, are the responsibility of the winner. Employees of Whole Foods Market, Inc., are not eligible. Void where prohibited.