(Oct. 24) The recent acquisition of Wild Oats Markets Inc. by Whole Foods Markets Inc. merged two of the nation’s largest natural food retailers.

It also left Don Harris without a job.

Harris, former vice president of produce and floral for Wild Oats, said his last day with the Boulder, Colo.-based retailer was Oct. 12.

“I’m looking at a number of options from retail and supply to related industries,” Harris said. “I haven’t ruled anything out yet. I’m looking at some possible consulting opportunities, as well.”

Harris was with Wild Oats for five years. Before that, he spent 29 years with Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway Inc., retiring as director of produce marketing in September 2003.

Harris should have no shortage of contacts during his job search. He has twice served on the board of the Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association and also has served as PMA’s convention chairman, exposition chairman as well as a term on the board of the association’s education foundation.

“I haven’t made any decision on my next step, but I’m looking for the best opportunity for myself in terms of challenges and gratification but also what’s best for my family,” he said.

Merger forces out Wild Oats produce exec
HARRIS