NEW YORK (August 3, 2004) Whole Foods Market®, the world's largest natural and organic supermarket and America's first national “certified organic” grocer, lands top “Gourmet Market” and “Health and Natural Foods” rating by the Zagat Survey 2005 NYC Gourmet Marketplace Guide for their two Manhattan-based locations. New Yorkers rave for both the Chelsea location and, new to the scene, the Columbus Circle store at Time Warner Center, praising the variety of unprecedented amenities and everything-under-the-sun offerings.

The Zagat Survey NYC Gourmet Marketplace Guide, considered the ultimate entertaining-planning tool, crowned the Whole Foods Market New York City stores “king of organic and natural products.” Among the many accolades cited: “beautiful,” “pristine” produce, “unmatched prepared foods,” “amazing organic and naturally raised meat and poultry” and “fantastic cheese” selection. In addition to grocery offerings, the Guide also acknowledges the stores' educated, active team members and dedicated customer attention, referencing such claims as “caring helpful service” and “ultra-efficient check out system.”

“This guide is based on the shared experiences of real New York shoppers and is designed to help consumers make smarter, more informed decisions,” said Nina Zagat, co-founder of Zagat Survey. “The results of this Survey make it abundantly clear that Whole Foods Market is a welcome and much-needed addition to the local marketplace.”

In an effort to show New Yorkers their appreciation for rating Whole Foods Market #1 Gourmet Market, Whole Foods Columbus Circle Store will be hosting a “Customer Appreciation Day” on Wednesday, August 11th , where they will be offering a free canvas tote bag to the first 100 shoppers who purchase the 2005 NYC Zagat Gourmet Marketplace.

“Since the ratings are based on New York City consumer reaction, we are so honored to be viewed as number one and considered an integral part of the community,” said John Marsh, Columbus Circle Store Team Leader. “Its wonderful to see New Yorkers sharing our philosophies by choosing the highest quality organic and natural products, as well as acknowledging our commitment to education, the environment and providing unparalleled customer service.”

The New Zagat Survey 2005 NYC Gourmet Marketplace will be on sale at Whole Foods Market and other locations citywide beginning on August 3, 2004.