35 years and proud!

As we celebrate our 35th anniversary, it is hard to believe that this much time has gone by and we are still doing what we love. We are proud that we continue to inform and educate after all these years. I will always be thankful to my dad for purchasing WholeFoods Magazine back in 1984, fulfilling his dream and making this our life. It brought natural in my world, and it has allowed me to have a career I love and make lifelong friends.

Since I last wrote this page 5 years ago, for our 30th anniversary, there have been many changes for me personally, for our publication and for the industry we love. Personally, I got married in 2015 to a wonderful man, Louis Weidt. My dad walked me down the aisle and many of you were among our friends and family. The only one missing was my mom, who I know was there in spirit. And just this past year on August 1st our twins Scarlett and LJ were born. So, I am learning to juggle and enjoying all.

In our company we said goodbye to a few people who had been with us for a while. After Kaylynn Chiarello-Ebner had a third child, she felt it was time to move on and we are thankful for all she did for us. Sean McCormick moved on last year as well. They both had a large footprint on this little company. But now we are so glad to welcome Maggie Jaqua back home. She was one of the first assistant editors I worked with in the 1990s. And Kathy Gordon has just joined to help all with integrated sales needs.

We have added some new positions to change with the times. Our Audience Engagement is headed by Kurtcia Collazo who does a great job with our social media and e-newsletters. Plus, we have expanded the roles of editorial positions and sales.

In keeping up with the times, two years ago we knew we needed to bring you a better website to grow with your needs. Today, half of our digital audience is mobile. With the introduction of the new site we also introduced you to our Retail Content Library, which houses a lot of sponsored content to enhance learning. We are proud to bring you so much educational content. These are all ways to make sure we offer as much content in print and digital to ensure you can find what you need. And we are constantly coming up with avenues to inform and educate in the best possible ways. With that in mind, we are introducing new targeted e-newsletters this year for you to gain more information on the topics you want.

Politically, losing our champions in Congress, Senator Tom Harken and this past year Senator Orin Hatch, makes a big impact as we try to find new allies and champions.

Industry-wise, the past few years we have been reporting and watching the Hemp market and how this has changed the industry, as well as what it is has done for retailers. We are very proud that we started covering what we saw as a game changer before anyone else.
Change continues to come from the mergers and acquisitions that bring our industry to the forefront, but also bring more products away from the retailer and to the mass market. A year ago, our world got rocked with the news Whole Foods Market sold to Amazon. This has changed the complete landscape. We will continue to cover how Amazon effects sales and how important MAP is.

It is interesting to see how mainstream has embraced some industry darlings that we have relied upon for years, like pre- and probiotics. The growth of every category in our industry has been fun to watch and again helps us educate the mass consumer. The amount of new companies we meet at Expo and Supply Side is rewarding to see. This lets all into our world, which helps us grow and hopefully we are making the world a healthier place. I am also proud to see how so many companies have gone non-GMO and have embraced transparency.

Just as we have seen the focus of many products change, the consumer has changed as well. We will continue to keep you on target.

But more than anything, we are glad that 35 years later we can continue doing what we love to do: informing and educating, as it is necessary for all of us to survive. So, thank you for letting us do just that for the past 35 years and we look forward to continuing for at least another 35. As a family business, we are proud to continue being family-owners, and with new heirs we hope WholeFoods can be a third-generation family business one day. Thank you for making us a part of your success.

In love and health,

Heather Wainer
Publisher

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