whole foods poppies

Canadian grocery stores mock Whole Foods over poppy policy

It's only been a handful of hours since news broke that popular Amazon-owned supermarket brand Whole Foods is banning employees from wearing Remembrance Day poppies to work this year, and competitor chains are already clapping back and showing that they stand by Canada's veterans.

Loblaw Companies Ltd. was the first to use the situation as a chance to showcase its support for poppy wearing, saying on social media on Friday morning that staff at all its subsidiaries — which include No Frills, Zehrs, Valu-Mart and the Superstore — are always "allowed and encouraged" to wear poppies.

"We have supported our veterans through poppy sales for years, and are making a donation to the Royal Canadian Legion. We encourage all Canadians to do the same," the company tweeted.

Sobey's soonafter followed suit, showcasing photos of how Remembrance Day is being commemorated at its locations this year, and likewise encouraging customers to support their local legion by donating and buying a poppy this month.

"Our store teammates are finding unique ways to keep the spirit of Remembrance Day alive in this unprecedented year," the company wrote on Twitter.

Doug Ford replied by thanking the grocer for the statement shortly after he assured the public that he will be introducing new laws to stop employers from forbidding poppies through staff uniform policies like Whole Foods'.

He also demanded that the American chain apologize and renege on their controversial move.

Whole Foods did say in a statement that it still plans to mark the 11 a.m. moment of silence on Nov. 11 at its 14 outposts north of the border, and is also donating $8,000 to the Royal Canadian Legion's poppy campaign.

"Whole Foods Market honours the men and women who have and continue to bravely serve their country. We support Remembrance Day in all of our Canadian stores," it wrote, adding justifcation for its poppy ban: "With the exception of those items required by law, our dress code policy prohibits any additions to our standard uniform."

Lead photo by

Mike Mozart

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Eat & Drink

Popular Toronto brunch spot runs into a city roadblock and asks people for help

Famous Toronto restaurant rewards employees by giving them part of the company

Iconic Toronto pizza restaurant that's been around for decades is moving

People loved this Toronto man's backyard BBQ so much he turned it into a business

Toronto is now the home of frozen pizza that's actually good

This hidden store in Toronto sells nostalgic Taiwanese street food

Iconic Toronto diner is closing until it's allowed to open its patio

Award-winning Toronto restaurant gets into the empanada business