When you think of Whole Foods Market, I bet the amazing food we sell is top of mind. But regular readers of this blog know we are about so much more than food. Check out this video for one example.When we open up a new Whole Foods Market store, we work hard to establish meaningful connections with our neighbors so that every store becomes a unique reflection of the community it serves. We get deeply involved with locally-based non-profit organizations and we partner with local artisans to create one-of-a-kind artwork and store decor that expresses the history, geography, population and personality of the neighborhood, including using local and repurposed materials in our buildings, fixtures and displays. This is all highly evident in our Mountain Brook store in Birmingham, Alabama. Throughout the design phase, we learned about the history of Birmingham and how the Mountain Brook community came to be. Using neighborhood signs for inspiration and images from historical centers of the city, Birmingham history and present day were melded together. In the store, you’ll see the backdrop of the Sloss Furnace, which gives reverence to the city’s past while ironwork reflecting local neighborhood street signs brings in the surrounding community flavor. We also sought out folk artists to bring an Alabama flair into the store’s café seating area, and that’s how the quilts of Gee’s Bend—whose creators are the focus of this video—became a permanent part of the store’s décor and a way for us to celebrate local art rich in the history of Alabama culture. This video is just the first of several we're working on that will focus on some of our special community connections. Who knows? Maybe your favorite store will be the next one featured!