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The Cultural Comparison of Whole Foods vs. Earth Fare

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Rebekah Wells

on 25 November 2013

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Transcript of The Cultural Comparison of Whole Foods vs. Earth Fare

Earth Fare: Organizational Structure
Whole Foods: Organizational Structure
The World’s Largest Retailer of Natural and Organic Foods versus Local Homegrown “Food Philosophy”

CST 308
Corrie Primm
Rebekah Wells

Cultural Comparison: itinerary
This is the cultural comparison of Whole Foods and Earth Fare. In this cultural comparison project, we will explore the following organizational components in respect to each store as listed:

Organizational Structure
Organizational Cultural Elements

The cultural comparison will then be concluded with an overall comparison of:

Organizational Structure
Final Reflection on each organizations overall execution of their individual organizational structure and cultural elements

The Cultural Comparison of
Whole Foods
Earth Fare

Corporate Headquarters: Fletcher, North Carolina
Owners: Roger Derrough, Oak Hill Capital Partners (80% interest), and Monitor Clipper Partner (minority interest).
Chief Executive Officer and President: Jack Murphy
32 Locations in 9 States
Over 900 Employees
3rd Largest Natural Foods Supermarket in U.S.
Competitors: Whole Foods, The Fresh Market, Trader Joe’s
Current Company Net Worth: Approximately 300 million
Annual Sales: Approximately $275-325 million

Earth Fare cultural elements
"Organizational culture stands for the actions, ways of thinking, practices, stories, and artifacts that characterize a particular organization." (p. 104)
Earth Fare: The Story
“Our Food Philosophy Makes Us Different”
Earth Fare, formerly known as “Dinner for the Earth” was founded in 1975 by Roger Derrough in Asheville, North Carolina. The store grew in popularity and began expanding throughout Asheville. In October of 1993, the store was renamed to “Earth Fare” and its preliminary purpose was to “push natural and organic foods to the forefront of the American culinary experience.”1 Since then, Earth Fare has expanded to 32 locations throughout the southeast and mid-west.

Earth Fare: Values
“As Close to the Ground it Gets, the Better.”
Earth Fare's Values
Food Philosophy: As close to the ground as it gets – higher standards for food on shelves.
100 Mile Commitment
Connect Communities and improve lives through food
Embrace Simplicity
Never Settle
Be Good and Do Good
We’re All in this Together
Let the Good Times Roll
Customer Service and Satisfaction

Earth Fare: Rituals
Earth Fare Offers Daily Discounts and Promotions for:

Earth Fare: Artifacts
Earth Fare: Metaphors
Headquarters – Austin, TX
CEO- John Mackey
Co-CEO- Walter Robb
International Locations – UK & Canada
12 Regional Offices
Number of Locations: 365

Whole Foods: Cultural Values
Whole Foods: The Story
Whole Foods Market was founded in Austin, Texas, when four local businesspeople decided the natural foods industry was ready for a supermarket format. Their founders were John Mackey and Renee Lawson Hardy, owners of Safer Way Natural Foods, and Craig Weller and Mark Skiles, owners of Clarksville Natural Grocery. The original Whole Foods Market opened in 1980 with a staff of only 19 people. It was an immediate success. At the time, there were less than half a dozen natural food supermarkets in the United States. They have grown by leaps and bounds since the first store opened.

Whole Foods: Values
Caring About the Communities and the Environment
Giving Back
Healthy Living
Natural and Organic
Satisfy, Delight, and Nourish Customers
Create Wealth Through Profits and Growth

Whole Foods: Rituals
At Whole Foods Market they believe that sustainable seafood comes from responsibly managed fish farms and marine fisheries that maintain healthy fish populations and ecosystems. Their goal is to work with the passion of their customers, the commitment of skilled seafood buyers, and the dedication of their seafood suppliers to help restore the marine and coastal ecosystems and build a more sustainable seafood market.

Whole Foods: Artifacts
In the Friendly Avenue Store you can see the following artifacts:

Textile Mill Carts
Threading Spools
Fabric Pieces
Wooden Carts

Whole Foods: Metaphors
In the Friendly Avenue Store you can see the following artifacts:

Textile Mill Carts
Threading Spools
Fabric Pieces
Wooden Carts

Cultural Comparison Project: The Conclusion: Reflections
Earth Fare and Whole Foods both offer similar natural products and produce but demonstrate their organizational culture in completely different ways. Over the years, Earth Fare has grown from a local natural products grocery store into a small corporation that is slowly expanding across the country. Earth Fare operates through a systems management approach "which emphasizes the difference between a disconnected set of parts and a collection of parts that work together as a whole." (p.79) Earth Fare encourages their employees to "grow from within" while providing inclusion with values like "we're all in this together." Implementation of these values demonstrates why Earth Fare has a high employee satisfaction rating and a relatively slow turn over rate with the exception of college students. Whole foods operates using the classical management approach The management style used by Whole Foods Inc. is more of a classical management approach because the company as a whole has a certain belief that employees only have economical and physical needs other than social and satisfactions needs. However, in the store you can see that they use interdependence because they work together as a team. More in particular each department works together for example; employees in the produce department work together where as employees in the bakery work together. Everyone has a place and sticks to it. As a overall company they strive for excellence and want their customers to have the best experience while shopping in their stores.

organizational structure: Comparison
Earth Fare

Whole Foods
Small Corporation
Total Locations: 32 nation wide
Systems Management Approach
Encourages Employee Self esteem and inclusion through mantras of their values like "be yourself" and "we're all in this together"
High Employee Satisfaction Rating
Low Turn Employee Turn Over Rate
Utilize Equifinality to achieve customer and employee satisfaction (p.87)
Large Corporation
Total Locations: 342 world wide
Utilizes Classical Management
Believes that employees have economical and physical needs rather than social and satisfaction needs.
Utilize interdependence
Corporate Profits
12 Regional Offices

Eisenberg, E.M., Goddall, H.L., Trethewey, A. (2000).
Organizational Communications. Boston, MA; Bedford/St. Martin's

(November 2013). Earth Fare

(November 2013). Whole Foods

Nelson, Kate. "Program Model: Earth Fare." . Prezi, 29 Oct 2013. Web. 15 Nov 2013. <http://prezi.com/mdcfmyi7qxhl/program-model-earth-fare/>.

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