INNOVATOR, CREATIVE THINKER, NATURAL PROBLEM SOLVER, LIFELONG LEARNER
For over 12 years, Luke Christie has helped shape the direction of Wholefoods House, bringing a unique appreciation for organic food.
“One of the major factors that kept me motivated and grounded through challenging times of full time work and university was the community spirit at Wholefoods House”
Luke began working in the Produce Department at Wholefoods House in 2008. Coming from his mother’s hobby farm in Bellingen, Luke is a fresh food enthusiast! He brought a clear understanding of how ethically produced food has the power to bring people together to create and shape communities and he fit in straight away.
Early starts at the organic markets spent sourcing produce were a feature of Luke’s early days in the business, and his ability to build and strengthen relationships with growers and suppliers was a clue to his potential.
Eliot and his later father Steve, who built Wholefoods House from the ground up, mentored Luke through the start of his career. To complement his career vision, he undertook a degree in International Business and Economics while working full time at Wholefoods House. Luke says the community atmosphere and support he received kept him motivated through some very busy times.
“Steve and Eliot were great mentors to me and I will always have fond memories of how that helped me find purpose and meaning in the organic industry.”
Eliot has influenced Luke’s thinking and leadership style over the years, and in particular when it comes to managing teams and individuals. He was able to draw from Eliot’s experience as well as observe the respectful and patient manner with which he leads by example.
Luke also benefitted greatly from Steve’s mentorship during his early years with the company. Steve taught him how to put his acquired knowledge from Business and Economics into practice to genuinely understand how these crucial concepts apply to running a small business.
Luke’s commitment to Wholefoods House and evident talent lead to increasing responsibilities over the years. He became manager of the Produce Department early on, then Chief Operating Officer in 2018 and is now the acting CEO.
Last year Luke took on one of his biggest challenges so far: the planning, building and implementing of our Online Store. Launched during NSW’s COVID lockdown, it was a challenging task but Luke’s growth mindset and his insatiable natural ability to problem solve brought the vision to life. Wholefoods House now services a growing number of suburbs in Sydney with a home delivery service.
Luke is passionate about expanding his horizons, as well as those of people around him. He is dedicated to the philosophy of radical open- mindedness: “I believe in radical open- mindedness. This philosophy, pioneered in the tech industry, ensures the best ideas for progress and optimal results are achieved. Being open minded to the fact that you may be wrong in any situation exposes opportunities to innovate.“
Luke enjoys experiencing different cultures and travel has had a big impact on his mindset over the years. “I like to travel regularly to gain knowledge and perspective. There are many excellent and interesting cultures throughout the globe and having a working knowledge of what is out there broadens the lenses you have available to view life.”
“The Online Business and its delivery service will open up many opportunities to share the Wholefoods House message and help support our community of growers, farmers, makers – contributing to the growth of the organic industry in Australia.“
When asked about the future, Luke answers with excitement “I truly believe Wholefoods House has the best premium food offering in Sydney. I look forward to developing the business further into the 2020s and continue to find and help Sydney’s health conscious families live better lives through nutrition.”
Luke is a great asset to Wholefoods House and after more than12 years working in the business, an integral part of our community.
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Editor: Alexandra McLeavy.
All images taken by Rita Ince for Wholefoods House