Diwali 2011 will be a special one for Whole Foods Market, which claims to be “the leading natural and organic food retailer”, as it is celebrating Hindu festival Diwali with a festive cooking class and sampler dinner. An announcement of Minneapolis (Minnesota, USA) store of this Austin (Texas, USA) headquartered grocer suggests to “Recreate the festive atmosphere of Diwali” with a hands on Diwali cooking class and sampler dinner on October 22 in 2011.
This class/dinner will include Thandai (which announcement calls “Nectar of the Gods”), Onion Bhajias, Elaichi Pulao, Aloo Fry (spicy), Shahi Badami Burfi (calls it “must have dessert”), etc.
Commending Whole Foods for celebrating Diwali, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, suggested Whole Foods and other major grocers to celebrate at least one major festival of each religion as a promotion campaign so that all their customers felt included.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that all religions were different ways to relate to the Divine, different responses to the Reality and were a positive sign of God’s generosity.
Rajan Zed pointed out that a more inclusive understanding of religion was needed. Awareness of various religions thus created by celebration of their festivals by Whole Foods would showcase its inclusivity and make its motto of “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet” more meaningful.
Founded in Austin in 1980 with 19 people, it now has about 60,000 employees and over 300 stores and nine distribution centers in USA, Canada and United Kingdom and its sales was over $9 billion during 2010 fiscal year. It was named “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” by Health magazine. Dr. John B. Elstrott is the Chairman of its Board of Directors, while John Mackey and Walter Robb are co-CEOs.