Whole Foods Market, Ocean Ave. opened yesterday and with that, my work with Whole Foods Market as the Northern California Marketing Specialist is complete. Opening the newest store, the region’s 37th, was my last project. From the street view, it may look like another grocery store but my experience with the store opening and that of our Folsom store was very intense. For Ocean, I planned more than seven pre-opening events, strategically allocated donations to neighborhood organizations, built an extensive network for the store marketer, Alexia, to use and introduced the store team members to the community through volunteer activities to help foster future relations. Whole Foods doesn’t just open its doors and turn on the registers when a store opens. We made sure every community member in the Ocean district knew we were coming to town and true to tradition, they waited in line to get inside when we broke bread. It still blows my mind.
I feel good about my time with Whole Foods Market. The timing is right for me to move on and try something new. Over the course of my two and a half years with the company I learned a few tricks of the retail marketing trade from some amazing and talented colleagues. I did everything from adjusting posters to planning events for 50,000 people . I delighted customers. I hired, trained and advised store marketing team leaders. I walked the sales floor hundreds of times making adjustments and providing advice on messaging and signage. I wrote copy for signs about pear almond tarts and grass-fed beef. I was a mediator for store managers and the marketing teams. I watched people come and go and my team expand and contract. Such is the nature of retail.
In the midst of packing, moving and hitting the road for a week in Southern California before we fly across the world to Sydney, I can’t say I have fully processed what it means to leave my job and my professional community. I am glad to have some beach time to decompress and let my brain sift through all of this transition. As this chapter closes, I do feel grateful to have worked with such a lovely group of people. Thank you for your farewell wishes. I do hope we’ll stay in touch.
Thank you for the delicious and fun dinner at Blue Plate and the sweet treats and lunch at Potrero Hill this week to celebrate my adventure!