CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee. (May 7, 2010) – Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:  WFMI) and Greenlife Grocery LLC today announce they have signed an asset purchase agreement under which Whole Foods Market will assume all assets of Greenlife Grocery.

Greenlife Grocery operates two grocery stores in the Southeast, at 301 Manufacturer’s Road in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and at 70 Merrimon Avenue in Asheville, North Carolina.  The original Greenlife Grocery was opened by founder Chuck Pruett on July 10, 1999, on Hixson Pike in Chattanooga, and relocated to the Two North Shore complex off Manufacturer’s Road in November 2007.  The Asheville location was opened by Chuck Pruett and Asheville business partner John Swann on July 17, 2004.

“Greenlife is an outstanding grocery retailer and a vibrant and valued part of the communities it serves.  We are proud to welcome Greenlife into the Whole Foods Market family.  The customers and Team Members who define the Greenlife culture have created a truly special natural, organic and local food community in Chattanooga and Asheville.  We believe Whole Foods Market’s presence in the Southeast and our culture as a company will be enriched by this deal with Greenlife,” said Scott Allshouse, president, Whole Foods Market South Region.

According to Greenlife CEO and founder Chuck Pruett, “A deal with Whole Foods Market makes sense for us at this time in our company’s life cycle.  Over the last eleven years, we have built a solid foundation for natural, organic and locally grown food in Tennessee and North Carolina.  We are particularly proud of Greenlife’s commitment and history of supporting the local food economy.  Joining with Whole Foods Market, which shares a similar vision for supporting local and regional food networks, will open up even more opportunities for our customers to shop for the best and widest variety of the foods they value, and expand opportunities for local producers to sell their products.  Our Team Members, too, will gain more opportunities to expand their food horizons and careers, thanks to Whole Foods Market’s network of global natural and organic food resources and store locations in North America and Great Britain.’  

‘I sincerely appreciate all the customer support we have enjoyed over the years in Chattanooga and Asheville, and I believe that our customers will continue to get the same great shopping experience after the deal closes.  Based on their history and core value of Team Member happiness and excellence, I believe Whole Foods Market will care for our Team Members just as much as I have since the first day we opened our doors.’ ”

The transaction is expected to close within a couple of weeks.