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Whole Foods Says It's Not a Threat

We're not in the business of running someone out of town. If our great meat case makes people more aware of quality meats and makes more people look for that type of thing, that's great. We want people to eat well and enjoy eating. If that means that they're going to shop at Whole Foods, that's great. We're in the business of educating the consumer in that respect.

Those words from Ryan Puckett, spokesman for Whole Foods Market's Midwest region, in an August 2005 story about local and national food retailers in Oak Park, IL. Some local store owners interviewed for the region disagreed.

Last September Florida's Bradenton Herald asked Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association in Minnesota, about this issue.

"We wish they would colonize new areas," Cummins said. "I think they would benefit from being more sensitive to pre-existing businesses."