Whole Story

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Conversations Changing the World

Steve Wanta is the Executive Program Director for the Whole Planet Foundation. He oversees the existing portfolio of microfinance programs and analyzes new projects for funding. Conversations can change the world.  It was one such conversation between Muhammad Yunus and John Mackey in 2004 that created the concept of Whole Planet Foundation, which supports microcredit in communities where Whole Foods Market sources products. Starting with just one team member, Philip Sansone, working in Costa Rica and Guatemala, the support from customers and team members has been so generous that we will have expanded to nearly 60 countries by the end of 2011. Thank you! To learn more about what we are doing, watch this latest edition of Dispatches from the Field, this time from Indonesia. Gratitude is the word that best defines how I feel about my “job” — I hesitate to use the “J” word to describe what I get to do for Whole Planet Foundation.  For the past five years it has been my honor to oversee the microfinance programs that the Foundation supports globally. To date, we have been able to authorize more than $15 million in funds to microfinance partners in 32 countries because of the generosity of Team Members, Customers, Suppliers and Whole Foods Market.  We view the trust of our stakeholders as a tremendous responsibility and work to ensure that these funds are being directed to strong, mission-driven organizations that are dedicated to alleviating poverty through the provision of financial services.  In order to manage projects across the globe, Whole Planet Foundation has built a team of international development professionals who live in and travel throughout the developing world.  Whole Foods Market continues to cover the operating expenses of the Foundation so that 100% of donations go directly to our partners in the field. While traveling through Asia working with our newest Regional Director and providing direct support to our partner in Indonesia, we will be putting together another series of Dispatches from the Field so our supporters can get a glimpse into the work our team does in the field.  On this trip, we will be visiting partners in Indonesia, East Timor, Thailand, and Vietnam.  Thank you for joining us! You can learn more on Whole Planet Foundation’s website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

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Audrey Foster says …

Are you considering franchises? I have shopped at your store in Clapham Junction and want to be a part of Whole Foods. For many years I have dreamed of supplying healthy foods, as my next project. I am a Psychology Lecturer/Teacher. I have been a legal secretary / Conveyancer, worked at ths stock market, owned a joint business as an insurance and investment broker with my ex-husband, who still runs the business. I am a trained Beautician and Sports Therapist and ran the Bampton Natural Health Centre in Devon, returned to London and ran a part time outlet at Fitness First in Epsom. I live in Epsom, which is a town with many older people. As people are living longer healthy foods are necessary to maintain optimum health. No one is prompting healthy foods! I have looked at a new building right in the centre of Epsom, with 2,500 sq feet of fantastic space, which could be combined with other health options, including a range of excellent therapists. I have also envisaged an eating area. I would love to work with your organisation and learn the business. I leave teaching in June and could travel up to Clapham Junction, if you have a vacancy. I look forward to hearing from you. Audrey Foster

Bepkom says …

@Audrey: Thanks for your great comments! Unfortunately we do not franchise. Also, if you have a suggestion for an area that you feel is great for one of our stores, please leave it here: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/company/service.php?subject=12#viaemai