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Web Letter

You were way off base with your snarky Whole Foods attack article. First, the anti-trust case was way off base. For example, in Whole Foods' Texas backyard, H-E-B, a long-time, mid-level, mid-size regional grocer based in San Antonio, responded to Whole Foods about six years ago with its wildly popular Central Market groceries, which, as far as this former Houston resident is concerned, beat Whole Foods at its own game. Here in Florida, market leader Publix is preparing to open its own Greenwise brands, trying to pre-empt Whole Foods.

I've shopped at the Wild Oats in Tampa and at another WF wannabe Fresh Market. Each is inferior, not only in their selections but in their environmental sensibilities. In fact, both stores seem to have been designed and planned for a Whole Foods buyout, which believe me I would welcome.

The question of local organic-style groceries competing with Whole Foods is another matter. But I don't see why they shouldn't be able to. There are thousands of local coffeehouses that compete with Starbucks.

And I like Whole Foods for the same reason I like Starbucks: While not totally pure, their quality and dedication to environmental ideals are both solid, and both are far above the run-of-the-mill food and beverage purveyors in this country.

David Raphael Smith

Orlando, FL

Sep 2 2007 - 9:40pm