AUSTIN, Texas (Aug. 13, 2012) –Today, Whole Foods Market® (NASDAQ: WFM) launches public voting for a first-ever competition showcasing the musical talents of its Team Members. The company’s internal contest, called Raw and Unprocessed, kicked off in April and is now going public for music fans to choose a winner from 10 finalists who made the cut from 729 entries.

Anyone can listen and vote daily for their favorite song at now through August 31, for a chance to win a trip for two* to Napa Valley to attend the exclusive “Live in the Vineyard” music festival in November. “Live in the Vineyard” is a private festival that gives attendees access to A-list recording artists, top tier wine makers and world-renowned chefs. There is a limit of one vote per person each day.

At the concert, the winning Whole Foods Market musician(s) will be the opening act for an artist from the VH1 You Oughta Know franchise, which highlights up-and-coming musicians across its national platform. This special opportunity offers exposure to an audience of exclusive music influencers and executives.

The Whole Foods Market Team Member finalists are:

  • Anita Coats from the Thousand Oaks store in California,
  • Joy Gallagher from the Global Headquarters in Texas,
  • Sarah Johnson from the Gold Coast store and Jonah Kort from the Lincoln Park store in Illinois,
  • Allen Lopez from the Coral Gables store in Florida,
  • Ali Luna from the Santa Cruz store in California,
  • Jay Parshall from the Bridgeport store in Oregon,
  • Zachary Porlier from the Naperville store in Illinois,
  • Matthew Rigdon and Kris Nelson from the Global Headquarters in Texas,
  • Derek Schultz from the Haight store and Colin Hayes from the Blithedale store in California, and
  • Naomi Zep from the Redwood City store and Nadia Zep from the Los Altos store in California.

“Whole Foods Market Team Members are as creative and gifted as they are diverse, and this competition is a fun new way to highlight their musical talents in a way that might help them fulfill their dreams,” said Sirr Less, global vice president of communications for Whole Foods Market. “We were blown away by the talent exhibited by our Team Members and we appreciate VH1 for providing an outlet to showcase their abilities and help them pursue their passions.”

“We’re proud to partner with the good people at Whole Foods Market on this engaging program that extends our popular ‘You Oughta Know’ discovery concept beyond the traditional music industry,” said Stephanie Werner, Vice President, Marketing Promotions and Partnerships at VH1.  “We can’t wait for music lovers across the country to hear the exceptional talent that we know is part of the Whole Foods Market family.” 

Whole Foods Market invited Team Members from across the country to submit original music for the contest. A regional and then national panel of Whole Foods Market Team Members reviewed the entries to narrow down to the 10 finalists to be voted on by the public.

In addition to the opportunity to play before a captive audience at the Live in the Vineyard concert, the winner will also get a professionally-produced music video and additional exposure through a concert with a VH1 You Oughta Know artist at the Whole Foods Market Napa store in November. The winning artist will also nab a coveted Creative Music Integration deal with VH1, with the opportunity to have their original music featured within a VH1 show or promotion.

To learn more about the program and listen to the finalists, tune into Support your favorite artist by joining us in the conversation online at #wfmmusic.

*Grand prize includes airfare for two to Napa from anywhere in the continental U.S., two nights hotel and passes to the “Live in the Vineyard” music festival in November. For official rules, click here.


About VH1:

VH1 connects viewers to the music, artists and pop culture that matter to them most with TV series, specials, live events, exclusive online content and public affairs initiatives. VH1 is available in 99 million households in the U.S. VH1 also has an array of digital channels and services including VH1Classic, VH1 Soul, VH1 Mobile, and extensive video on  VH1 is a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.  For more information, go to

About “Live In The Vineyard”:

“Live In The Vineyard” was created by Bobbii Jacobs and Claire Parr, who together share over 40 years of experience in the music industry. LITV is a private music festival that takes place amidst the lush scenery of boutique wineries in California’s Legendary Napa Valley, every April and November. The festival, available to sweepstakes winners and special invited guests, gives attendees exclusive access to recording artists, top tier wine makers, and world-renowned chefs during a “once-in-a-lifetime” three-day event. The November LITV music festival will take place November 1st to 4th and have already confirmed multi-Platinum selling artists Alanis Morissette and Gavin DeGraw as the first headliners to be announced from the star-studded line-up. To date LITV has included performances by some of the biggest names in music including Sarah McLachlan, Lenny Kravitz, Zac Brown Band, Natasha Bedingfield, David Gray, Train, Jason Mraz, Fun., Richard Marx,, and Matt Nathanson. For more information on “Live In The Vineyard” please visit