A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 12, 2005
Whole Paycheck (Whole Foods nickname)
Whole Foods started its first store in Austin, Texas, in 1980. The food retailer is known for its organic foods -- and high prices.

The nickname "Whole Paycheck" was applied by at least 1994. Other Whole Foods nicknames include "Whole Wallet" (since 2001) and "Food Hole" (since 1995).


Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods MarketNASDAQ: WFMI) is an Austin, Texas-based foods grocer. As of September 2007, the company operates over 270 locations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Whole Foods Market is a food retailer of "natural" and organic products including produce, seafood, grocery, meat and poultry, bakery, prepared foods and catering, beer, wine, cheese, whole body, floral, pet products, and household products. The company also sells a selection of conventional national brands. The company is consistently ranked among the most socially responsible businesses and recently placed second on the US Environmental Protection Agency's list of Top 25 Green Power Partners.

14 November 1994, Brandweek, pg. 62:
With upscale pricing that has earned Whole Foods the nickname "Whole Paycheck," the company is looking at ways to extend its mission of putting a free-range chicken in every pot. One insider said the company is working on a new store format for low-income neighborhoods, and ways to distribute produce to existing groceries in those areas.

Google Groups: dfw.eats
Newsgroups: dfw.eats
From: (Steve Silberberg)
Date: 1995/11/09
Subject: Re: Veggie Burgers

Whole foods, a.k.a. Whole Paycheck has many, many virtues. However, low price is not among them. No matter what I go in there for, it always seems that I end up paying more than $10, while being able to carry everything I bought in my hands without a bag.

17 October 2002, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, pg. E1:
Loyal Whole Food customers in cities such as Seattle and Chicago have been known to call the store "Whole Paycheck."

"We hear that, but it's not true," says Dill. "You can shop here for groceries you can find in any category in any supermarket. The difference is about quality and standards. Our prices, however, are comparative or better than the local markets."

25 October 2002, The Oregonian, Arts and Living section, pg. 9:
Whole Foods: We've heard all the lame "whole paycheck" jokes. You get what you pay for, pal. (1210 N.W. Couch St.; 503-525-4343)

28 November 2002, Minnesota Public Radio Marketplace, 6:30 PM ET:
SANDRA TSING-LOH:
I admit, once I turned 35, I began to feel, if not depressed, a little weary with life. How did I start giving my psyche a much-needed boost? By boycotting the big, garish chain supermarket two blocks away and turning my car refreshingly south to our newest track-lit, wood-paneled organic gourmet grocery boutique, Whole Foods. 'Yeah, whole paycheck foods,' a friend grumbled recently, which I ignored. Sure, you pay more, but we can't eat regular food like other people do. We more mature, evolved humans require bulgur wheat, 12-grain muffins, 11 grains being one too few, jicama instead of potato chips because jicama is a much more progressive vegetable.

24 September 2003, Riverfront Times (St. Louis, MO), Best of/Food & Drink:
Some people refer to the place as "Whole Paycheck," because you can spend five bucks a pound on organic green beans. But the takeout counter (or "prepared foods department") at Whole Foods is large, varied and never disappointing.

13 January 2004, San Francisco Chronicle, pg. B1:
On a store tour last week with The Chronicle, Megahan didn't wait for the company's unwelcome moniker "whole paycheck" to come up. He brought it up himself.

3 July 2004, NPR Weekend Edition, 12:00 Noon PM ET:
Mr. CHARLES FISHMAN (Fast Company): It is more expensive and the national nickname of Whole Foods -- you go into any Whole Foods store in America, people refer to it as 'Whole Paycheck,' because if you - you can easily walk out with a single, brown grocery sack of groceries and a bill for $80. And most people actually are quite strategic about what they buy there. They sort of cherry-pick their cheese or their wine or their produce or their meat or some selection of those things because that stuff is organic and good quality, and they don't buy the ordinary stuff, conventional items.
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Bakeries/Food Stores • (0) Comments • Tuesday, April 12, 2005 • Permalink