Brewster McCall was riding his bicycle around Manhattan’s Chelsea this past winter when he spotted it: an imposing Whole Foods Market window advertisement featuring McCall Wines, his family’s Cutchogue business.
“It was freezing cold,” McCall recalled Thursday. “I slammed on my brakes and took photos to send to my dad.”
The ad, which is part of the national “Values Matter” campaign Whole Foods launched in late 2014, was photographed last summer by Anders Overgaard. It features McCall’s father, winery co-owner Russell, and tasting room employee Bethany Tuthill of Jamesport with some of the vineyard’s grass-fed charolais cattle. Included are the words “We can’t speak for animals. But we can speak for the people who raise them.”
“I think what they were looking for in this campaign was showing a sense of authenticity with small farmers who are dedicated to what they’re doing and I think the North Fork is full of that kind of dynamic,” Brewster McCall said. “We have a lot of passionate people who are doing things with great respect to their customers and the environment.”
It appears Whole Foods liked what they saw on Long Island’s top fork: a mesclun lettuce field owned by Satur Farms in Cutchogue is featured in another of the campaign’s advertisements and is accompanied by the words “The highest standards weren’t available, so we created them.”
“Whole Foods is a large customer of ours; we’ve been in business with them for years,” said farm owner Paulette Satur. “They sent a scout out to look at the fields and farms and they chose McCall’s and they chose us.”
Representatives for Whole Foods couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. In a press release, the company said the campaign — its first — highlights its “groundbreaking quality standards, healthy offerings and key milestones as a pioneer in the natural and organic food industry.” The ads are being displayed at Whole Foods stores around the country and in print media.
Satur, who has sold ready-to-eat salads and leafy greens to Whole Foods for the past decade, said she recently spotted her 200-acre farm’s ad in New York Magazine.
“It’s very exciting, no doubt,” she said. “It’s great working with Whole Foods. The fact that they appreciate their smaller artisanal growers whether it’s here or in other regions is just amazing. It makes a difference in the business.”
Russell McCall, who began breeding around 50 charolais cattle in 2010 and feeds them an all-organic diet with no hormones, antibiotics or steroids, called Whole Foods “one of his heroes.”
“They’ve always accentuated natural living and eating locally,” he said.