5th Annual 5% Day at Whole Foods Market on March 18th

Join our staff and volunteers as the Children’s Museum & Theatre takes over Whole Foods Market on Wednesday, March 18 for 5% Day!

Okay, we’re not actually taking over, but we will be on site all day to meet and greet customers, give out information about the Museum & Theatre and work on some fun, free craft projects. We’ll also be giving away four sets of free admission passes!

“We are so grateful to Whole Foods Market for their continued support of the Museum & Theatre,” said Executive Director, Suzanne Olson. “They have been a wonderful partner and helped us to maintain our commitment to serving our community by helping children and families make smart, healthy food choices.”

Whole Foods Market has been a major sponsor of the Museum & Theatre since 2010 and the exhibit they underwrite, the Our Town Market, is one of our most popular attractions. Every day, children “drive” to the bank to pick up some cash, pick out fresh seafood and milk among other pretend groceries at the Market, and take turns playing cashier and customer. In addition to being a place for endless daily fun, the tiny Whole Foods Market inside the museum encourages children to count, sort by size, quantity and color, and make healthy food choices as they play.

Thanks, Whole Foods Market, for helping to inspire five years of fun and learning at the Museum & Theatre, and for hosting 5% Day! We’ll be at Whole Foods Market in our red aprons throughout the day on March 18th (if you see us, come say hi!), but 5% Day lasts through the store’s open hours: 8am to 10pm. Every purchase that day, from a full pantry to a quick snack, helps us to provide top quality educational experiences every day at CMTM.

Whole Foods Market is located at 2 Somerset Street in Portland, just off of Franklin Arterial.

The Smallest Whole Foods Market & Our 5% Day

Whole Foods

Photo by Kaitlynn Perrault

Welcome to the smallest Whole Foods Market in the entire company!  Our exhibit in the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine may be small on space (a mere 211 sq ft!) but it is big on experience.  The colors and chalkboards were specifically chosen to mimic our Portland store, but in a miniature size.

I began my career as the Marketing Team Leader at the Portland store in 2007 when the store opened.  When I was dreaming up my marketing action plan, I secretly desired to have the grocery space at the CMTM but it was currently being utilized by another sponsor.  Imagine my surprise when two years later, I received a call from the Museum that the space is available and would Whole Foods Market like to sponsor it?  YES, PLEASE!!!

Several Portland team members were involved in the refurbishing of the space to have it resemble the Portland store; painting, ordering supplies, illustrating the chalkboards and imagining how the space would be best utilized. We also requested help from our regional décor team to find cute items (like the banana and the strawberry) to decorate the walls with and create a bench for parents to sit on while their kids “shopped”. One of our suppliers, Melissa & Doug had the most perfect kid-friendly faux fruit and veggies for our produce department. And the bakery? What can I say? I always want to chomp on one of those faux croissants.

Jocelyn Clark 12-2-11 05

Photo by Olivia Birdsall

One of our core values is to satisfy and delight our customers.  At The Children’s Museum& Theatre of Maine, we have an opportunity to satisfy even the smallest and youngest with imagination and the chance to “shop” and “work” in a real grocery store. You can’t imagine how satisfying and delightful this is for us!

Don’t forget to shop at our real store, located at 2 Somerset Street on Tuesday, June 3rd when we will give 5% of the day’s net sales to the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine!

Please visit our website to learn more about what’s happening at our Portland store: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/portland-me

Barbara Gulino is the Marketing Team Leader for Whole Foods Market – Portland.  They are proud to provide charitable giving and community support to organizations that improve the lives of Maine citizens. 

 5% Day at Whole Foods Market on June 3rd

If you’ve visited the first floor of the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine, you’ve probably seen visitors – children and adults alike – hard at play at our Whole Foods Market cash register, or picking out some healthy groceries from the Market shelves. On Tuesday, June 3rd, join us at the real Whole Foods Market on Somerset Street for our fourth annual 5% Day.

It’s one of our favorite days, hosted by the sponsor of the Museum’s popular Our Town grocery store: a chance to support the Museum & Theatre as you shop for groceries. 5% of all purchases at Whole Foods Market Portland will directly benefit our mission as we raise awareness and funds for early childhood education. And with summer just around the corner, it’s a great time to think about stocking up on seasonal fruits and fresh local veggies, about trying a new spread or picking out some summer favorites and selecting seeds and plants for your garden.

With each purchase you make at Whole Foods Market from 8am to 10pm on June 3rd, you’ll be supporting local arts and education, helping us develop and continue our broad range of educational programming. When you visit Whole Foods Market, you’ll be able to learn all about their healthy food options and meet staff members of the Museum & Theatre as  you shop – we’d love to talk with you about your favorite programs at the museum.

One thing we love about the Market here in the museum is the great sense of community it creates. On 5% Day, we hope to meet many of you from our vast Portland community. It’s going to be a fun day, we hope you’ll join us!

The Market has a new look!

If you’ve been in our Market lately, you’ve probably noticed some changes – new colors, new signs, new food! Beginning this month, Whole Foods Market is sponsoring The Market, and they have lots of great plans for making this Museum favorite feel brand new! While all the changes won’t be done until the beginning of October, over the next few months you’ll begin to see the space transform (but don’t worry, it will still be open for play!).

The focus of this renovation is on healthy New England foods – many of the products you’ll find in The Market are brands made right here in Maine! While you can still shop for products and bring them to the register, the exhibit will also have recipes and puzzles (what do you need to make spaghetti?) that will turn choosing items into a fun game. Figuring out which foods go into healthy meals adds an additional interactive element to The Market and will give families an opportunity to take home what they learned from this game and discuss it during mealtimes!

In addition to healthy eating habits, The Market will also be a space to discover multicultural foods. Local fruits and vegetables will be the focus in the renovated produce section, with signage as to where you can find this particular tomato or that ear of corn. Breads from across the globe will be featured in the bakery and ingredients needed to make many multicultural dishes will be on the new shelves and inside the new refrigerator.

The blackboards and food graphics will be familiar to regular Whole Foods Market shoppers. The blackboards are another great way to convey the emphasis on local and healthy foods as the messages will change throughout the year. Aprons and baskets will still be available for all the little shoppers! We’ve already added a feature the parents will be excited about: a bench in The Market which serves as a little rest area. As we all know, The Market (like any grocery store) can get pretty crowded!

I am really excited about these new changes and updates to The Market. It will be fun to see them happen throughout the summer. I am sad that my AmeriCorps term will end before The Market will be fully complete, but I’ll be sure to keep an eye on the blog for updates and the final product!