08/25/2011 03:55 pm ET Updated Oct 25, 2011

Whole Foods Tests Wellness Clubs: Cooking Classes, Lifestyle Evaluations And 'Coaching'

Whole Foods is getting a lot closer to being a one-stop shop for all lifestyle needs. Last week, the company launched its first Wellness Club in Dedham, MA. USA Today writes, "For a one-time fee of $199 and monthly membership dues of $45, shoppers can get lifestyle evaluations and access to classes in nutrition, cooking and health, along with 10% discounts on 1,000 better-for-you foods sold in Whole Foods."

Whole Foods plans to test the clubs in a few more markets over the next three months. If the tests are successful, it plans to start clubs at stores around the country.

With a one-time fee of $199 and monthly membership of $45, the Dedham store currently offers discounts on health food and unlimited classes in cooking, nutrition and healthier lifestyle choices. Members can also sign up for "coaching." The website explains:

When you schedule a session with one of our coaches or our chef, they'll help you identify your goals, and then give you the tools and support you need to achieve them. Whether you'd like a private shopping tour, tips on stocking a healthier pantry, help converting favorite recipes, and more -- our coaches are here for you.

The Wellness Clubs also include supper clubs -- which basically sounds like eating at Whole Foods, but with a reservation.

This sounds like it could be another example of "faux hippy Walmart" paradigm, but we wouldn't be shocked if there are enough die-hard Whole Foods fans who want to spend even more time in the store.

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