Archive for September, 2015

We’re Coming Home & Giving Back!

We're Coming Home & Giving Back!

Like any business that’s been around for almost 45 years, Whole Earth Provision Co. has experienced its share of ups and downs. One of those ‘downs’ came on Memorial Day weekend when floodwaters from nearby Shoal Creek broke into our Austin North Lamar store, smashing windows and filling it with three feet of water in a matter of minutes.

One of the ‘ups’ is coming soon! In mid-October, after months of cleanup and remodeling, our store on North Lamar will reopen for business. To mark the occasion, we’re hosting “Coming Home – Giving Back” our reopening celebration featuring a donation and fund drive, discounts, prizes, giveaways, educational talks, and a Gratitude Wall.

Here’s a list of the various events taking place during our reopening celebration.

Weekends of October 17 & 18 and October 24 & 25:

Whole Earth will donate 5% of the N. Lamar store’s weekend sales to The Barnabas Connection Flood Relief for Wimberley and 5% to the Shoal Creek Conservancy.

October 17 through October 25th:

•  A Register Fund Drive for individual, customer donations with gratitude gifts for donations of $50 or more. All Austin Whole Earth locations will accept donations.

•  Merchandise specials & gifts with purchase

•  Drawings for prizes totaling $6,500. More than 50 individual winners. Prizes include: Yeti Coolers and Ramblers; a GoPro Outfit; a Tommy Bahama Stand-Up Paddle Board; sleeping bags, a daypack and more from Marmot; day packs and duffels from The North Face; sunglasses from Costa; shoes from Birkenstock, Chaco and Keen; a sock drawer makeover with 6 pair of socks from SmartWool; clothing from ExOfficio and Prana; Therm-A-Rest ProLife pads; a Music of the Spheres wind chime; sports bottles from Thinksport; and giant stuffed animals (Giraffe & Unicorn) from Melissa and Doug. NOTE: Entries will be accepted at the N. Lamar location only, until October 25 (5pm).

•  A Gratitude Wall, sponsored by Kammok, inviting the public to share what they’re grateful for with our community.

•  October 17th (10am-2pm): Free coffee from the Olukai Coffee Truck

•  October 18th (2-4pm): Q&A with Texas State Park Rangers – where to go and what to do in our Texas State parks. Read more…

•  October 20th (7pm): Steven Gonzales shares the fascinating history of El Camino Real de los Tejas, the Spanish Colonial highway that passed through the Austin area and is now designated as a National Historic Trail. Read more…

Whole Earth will donate 5% of the North Lamar store’s sales to Barnabas Connection Flood Relief for Wimberley and 5% to the Shoal Creek Conservancy on the weekends of October 17th & 18th and October 24th & 25th. A Register Fund Drive for the groups will offer thank you gifts for donations over $50.

Barnabas Connection
Shoal Creek Conservancy

The Barnabas Connection is working in coordination with local and state officials to respond to the devastating rain and flooding that impacted the Wimberley Valley. The Barnabas Connection has assisted 287 local families, representing almost 600 people. In addition, their volunteers have worked hundreds if not thousands of hours assisting survivors at Bridges Gym and the Barnabas table at the FEMA DRC. The funds collected by the Barnabas Connection will be distributed through the case management process to help avoid duplication of efforts and fully identify unmet needs, and are designated for families in the Wimberley Valley.

The Shoal Creek Conservancy was founded in 2013 to improve the Shoal Creek greenway, a trail shared by runners, commuters, nature watchers, dog walkers, volleyball players and residents all along the creek who enjoy its green oasis in the midst of the city. In recent years conditions around Shoal Creek have declined from overuse and eroding banks. The greenway is owned and managed by the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department; however, there are currently no funds dedicated to the management of Shoal Creek. While the City does the best it can with limited resources, the Shoal Creek Conservancy and its volunteers provide additional, much-needed support.

If you’re feeling grateful for someone or something special, you’ll have a chance to express it on our Gratitude Wall, sponsored by Kammok.
Whole Earth is feeling grateful for our beautiful new store; for our customers who supported us at our UT Campus and Westgate stores in Austin while we waited for North Lamar to be reopened; for our staff who have done jobs that they never expected to be doing and working in stores far from home; and, last but most certainly not least, for our friends and neighbors who offered their generous support in the aftermath of the flood.

Other events during the “Coming Home – Giving Back” celebration include: an October 18th visit from the Texas State Park Rangers who will be there to answer your questions about where to go and what to do in our State Parks; on October 20th, Steven Gonzalez’ will share the fascinating history of El Camino Real de los Tejas, the Spanish Colonial highway that passed through the area and is now designated as a National Historic Trail; and on October 24th, a TreeFolks’ Sapling Giveaway. We hope you will join us during the celebration.

Memorial Day Lamar Flood

Memorial Day Flood ~ photo by Alicia Sullivan

Cuba: The Road Less Traveled at Southlake and Post Oak

Cuba: The Road Less Traveled at Southlake and Post Oak

Southlake – Tuesday, September 22nd at 6:30 pm

Houston Post Oak – Wednesday, September 30 at 7 pm

Earlier this year, travel restrictions to Cuba were eased. While it’s still not possible to visit the island solely for the beaches, the food, the music and the cars, with planning, you’ll be able to experience them first-hand. Hostelling International’s Al Martinez will tell you how to plan your adventure to this special place in his talk Cuba: The Road Less Traveled at our Southlake and Houston Post Oak stores. He’ll be at our Southlake store on Tuesday, September 22nd at 6:30 pm and at the Houston Post Oak store on Wednesday, September 30th at 7 pm.

Al Martinez was born in Havana, Cuba. In 1962, his parents sent him to live in the US and arrived themselves, three years later. Al has lived in a handful of US cities as well as Puerto Rico before becoming a Texas resident of 36 years. He received a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from the University of Miami and a Bachelor in Arts in Photojournalism from the University of Texas in Arlington. Now retired, Al has traveled for business or pleasure to 55 nations, territories, and dependencies as well as 38 US states and 5 Canadian provinces. He first returned to Cuba to visit family in 2002 after a 40 year absence and has since visited again in 2008 and 2012. He is excited to share insights and travel tips through his presentation Cuba: The Road Less Traveled.

Havanna Vieja by Aaron Rockett courtesy of Wikipedia

Havanna Vieja by Aaron Rockett courtesy of Wikipedia

Destination: England with Hostelling International at Austin Westgate

Destination: England with Hostelling International at WestgateDo you dream of traveling to England? There’s so much to see and do: for example, what about visiting the Elgin Marbles at the British Museum, the Rothko Room at the Tate Modern, William Blake’s Illuminated books at the Victoria and Albert, Shakespeare performed at the Globe Theatre on the South Bank, hiking the Ridge Way or the new John Muir Way in Scotland, visiting Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top Farm in the Lake District, or Hatfield where Elizabeth I learned that she would be Queen of England, hearing Evensong at King’s College Chapel in Cambridge or watching the Sun rise at the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge. The list of possibilities goes on and on and on.If you are ready to cross the pond and visit England, Scotland or Wales, you won’t want to miss this Hostelling International class on Destination: England, September 10th at our Austin Westgate store at 7 pm. Joy Owen will discuss travel options to London and how to extend your trip into villages, towns and the countryside beyond the city and into Scotland and Wales, as well.

Joy Owen is a seasoned Anglo-adventurer and author. She has lived in and traveled to England and the British Isles since 1981. She has written articles for the Wainwright Society newsletter as well as online British e-zines. “My passion is England and my mission is to spread the love and share ideas with you for the vacation of a lifetime!”

Please join us at Westgate on Thursday, September 10th at 7 pm and take the first steps on a great adventure.

Photo courtesy of Nick Hess

Photo courtesy of Nick Hess