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    Whole Foods Kicks Off 30th Birthday Celebration With Shopper Essay Contest

    In celebration of its 30th anniversary, natural and organic foods retailer Whole Foods Market is inviting shoppers to enter its “A Heart as Big as Texas” short essay contest for a chance to win a culinary celebration weekend in its hometown headquarters of Austin, Texas.

    In celebration of its 30th anniversary, natural and organic foods retailer Whole Foods Market is inviting shoppers to enter its “A Heart as Big as Texas” short essay contest for a chance to win a culinary celebration weekend in its hometown headquarters of Austin, Texas.

    The contest kicks off a series of “30 Years Fresh” birthday festivities at all 298 of the company’s stores in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.

    “From the moment our original 19 team members opened our first store in Austin 30 years ago, we have appreciated the support from our shoppers, who have truly been the secret to our success,” said Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods. “By highlighting their favorite stories, we’d like to pay tribute to our customers from all over and thank them for three decades together.”

    To enter, participants can visit www.wholefoodsmarket.com/birthday to share their special stories, inspirations and memories about the chain. Entries will be judged on their originality, creativity and passion, and must be received by June 30, 2010.

    Thirty winners will be chosen to each receive an all-expense paid trip for two to the birthplace of Whole Foods, where they will be treated to a VIP culinary weekend.

    Assisting in the promotion are Texas Tourism, the state’s marketing entity, which promotes the Lone Star State's seven regions; JetBlue Airways, which will offset the travel emissions from the 60 flights awarded in the contest through donations to its carbon-offset partner Carbonfund.org; and Radisson Austin, which will provide upscale accommodations on Lady Bird Lake, just blocks away from Austin’s entertainment district and Whole Foods’ landmark store and global headquarters.

    Whole Foods Market officially turns 30 on Monday, Sept. 20. From Sept. 17 through Sept. 20, Whole Foods stores all over the country will host birthday celebrations open to the public. Dates and times for the festivities will be posted on each store’s Web site by July 1.

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