The new Whole Foods Market on Wilshire in Santa Monica -- built on the site of the former Madame Wu's Garden -- gleams with Santa Monica-worthy upscaleness. It's been packed since it opened. But some of the patrons are not so happy with the presence of a Glock-packing guard in the aisles of what is, at least nominally, a health food store.
The Santa Monica Mirror looked into it and found that most Whole Foods stores in the L.A. area do without armed guards, as do the Trader Joe's and Wild Oats in Santa Monica proper.
The Whole Foods website rhapsodizes about "a virtuous circle entwining the food chain ... a beautiful and delicate symbiosis and presents a company image that prides itself on listening compassionately, thinking carefully and acting with integrity."
Any conflicts, the site proclaims, must be mediated and win-win solutions found.
So why, here in Santa Monica, is the food marketing chain being defended by such indelicate firepower? And whom would the winner be in any solution mediated by a handgun?...
Marla was absolutely stunned. How can they do that? It defeats the entire purpose. This is meant to be a place of peace and well-being. Whats he protecting? Certainly not the customers. Do you know what could happen if he fired his gun inside the store? Having a gun in here is poison.
Business decision, says the head of marketing.