Even though I only live a couple miles from Whole Foods of Town and Country, I wish the new complex, that has taken the place of the old Lucent (ATT) building a the corner of Woods Mill and Clayton Roads, was a tad closer. That way, when my dreads grow out, I can hike myself up to the new food court wearing my Jesus sandals without much effort. I will fill my handmade hemp rope bag with grains, super foods, tofu and, get this, Cherry mint infused water. Yes, the Cherry mint infused water is what my kid bought yesterday, and it sits open on the kitchen table, only a few sips out of it, this morning. "It tastes like crap", she says.
I say this in jest, the store is an absolute playground for nutri-culinepicureans a new term that I have coined for the health conscious indulgent. I am one of them. I love the merchandising, the style of the employees, just about everything it resonates to the culture, a lifestyle of sustainability and wellness. There is authenticity with the staff: tats, dreads, metal-in-the-face. Toss in the occasional "no worries" and a nodding "right on" and I am knee deep in "loving the one I am with" while perusing crack wheat biscuits.
Oh, and don't discount the people watching factor while there. As I implied in an earlier blog entry, the place to get cheap entertainment is where the people go. Whole Foods is no exception. Here you'll find a an interesting combination of free spirit fashion with upscale suburbia--yes, there are wannabees. So lets discuss.
For me, I am a little hyper sensitive about being authentic, so I work hard at simply being who I am and without much planning, this is the only rule in the rule book for me, a one page manual on authenticity. I must admit, I did recently start shaving on the weekends for selfish reasons. And I can explain, the damn hair is white and I don't think it does much for my "vibrancy appeal". In fact, the neck hair has become white too and I am sick about it. So if my least authentic natural exposure is the fact that I am not ready to Jerry Garcia myself, so be it, I am not quite ready for the farm. But I can say without fear of reproach that I have entered Whole Foods twice now, sweaty and grimy from two and a half hour mountain bike rides in vintage T-shirts and cargo shorts, smelling like the brine of some of those marinated olives at the anti pasta bar.
So it is that which actually purveys authenticity that sends us across the street from Schnucks to the new Whole Foods in Town and Country. There is more to see, more too look at. And that is just the customers and employees. Don't forget this either: more to pay.
There is power in this, such power in their (Whole Foods) ability to come within 100 yards of their competition and shove new culture, new innovation that molds the lives of their patrons, right in the face of traditional marketing. In fact, they are changing the culture to that of a more environmental political influence while doing so. This is interesting stuff and it takes a bit of a deep thinker to truly dig deep into the how the innovation and culture effect the mechanics of everyday life.
I have a cool website to ante up. It is called the tinderbox. As much as I hate to share some of my resources, it would hardly be authentic if I were not to give this one up.
Enjoy Whole foods all you crunchy poseurs. What will be next?