AUSTIN, Texas (Aug. 31, 2010) — Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFMI) has received a unique birthday gift to share with shoppers – two award-winning artisan cheesemakers from California, Cypress Grove and Cowgirl Creamery, have partnered with the company to create delicious cheeses honoring its 30th birthday.

“These are two long term partners who started as local vendors in our Northern California stores and have grown with us over the years. Whole Foods Market is celebrating these amazing artisan cheesemakers just as much as they are honoring our 30th birthday,” said Cathy Strange, global cheese buyer for Whole Foods Market. “We look forward to wowing our shoppers with these only-at-Whole-Foods-Market treasures.”

Cowgirl Creamery’s Buckaroo (named by a Team Member in the Arlington, Texas, store, Hogger Girard, via an internal contest) is a versatile washed-rind cow’s milk cheese aged at least 60 days and made from organic milk from nearby Straus Family Creamery. Buckaroo, which can only be found at Whole Foods Market, is creamy with fruity and savory components and is perfect in a grilled cheese sandwich or over shaved vegetables like this recipe: To watch Strange and co-CEO Walter Robb making the cheese at the creamery, visit

“Cheese lovers are in for a real treat with Buckaroo, which is a very different style than we normally produce. The idea behind it was to create a small production organic cheese in a great price range that you could either use in cooking or as a table cheese,” said Peggy Smith, co-founder of Cowgirl Creamery. “We are thrilled to help Whole Foods Market celebrate its 30th with a supple-textured, floral and flavorful gift.”

Cypress Grove’s Lil’ Ziggy is inspired by ancient Mesopotamian ziggurats, which were pyramidal structures with flat tops designed to provide a holy structure between heaven and earth. A mixed mold, soft-ripened goat’s milk pyramid cheese made exclusively for Whole Foods Market, Lil’ Ziggy is created from a new proprietary blend of cultures. The cheese is bright and complex with overtones of fresh cream and pairs well with a dark wheat beer or Sauvignon Blanc.

“Cypress Grove began as a farmstead cheesemaker just a few years after Whole Foods Market was founded.  While we have not grown as fast, we have grown side-by-side with similar core values and missions,” said Mary Keehn, Cypress Grove Chevre founder and master cheesemaker. “I am extremely proud to be able to create something special for our friends at Whole Foods Market. Lil’ Ziggy is classic and innovative at the same time.  The purpose of the ziggurat is to bring the temple closer to the heavens, and that’s what we hope a bite of this cheese will do.”

Shoppers will find a variety of other products throughout the aisles this year to commemorate the Company’s 30th birthday, including Whole Trade™ Celebration Bouquets, Allegro Coffee’s Birthday Blend medium-roast coffee with notes of dark chocolate, dried apricots and strawberries, Wellshire’s Whole-y Smokes BBQ Seasoned Bacon, and specially marked Kashi cereals and Pirate’s Booty whose purchases donate money to Whole Foods Market’s Whole Planet Foundation