Investors who think the whole hippy-trippy, organic-food thing is conceptually at odds with the whole, like, capitalism thing. man, probably aren't keeping an eye on Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFMI).

The biggest retailer of organic and natural foods runs a very tight ship, and it has mesmerized Fools for a while. It was once a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick, and recently drew the attention of Salim Haji, who judged it a bargain despite the sky high-looking P/E ratio. (To be fair, competitor Wild Oats Markets (NASDAQ:OATS) doesn't exactly look cheap either.)

As yesterday's first-quarter numbers show, Whole Foods growth appears phenomenally well managed, and it has been getting better. The success almost becomes boring in the retelling.

Revenues are up 24% to $902 million. Comps growth, which has accelerated from 8.5% over the past decade to 16% over the past two quarters, reached an official terminal velocity of 17% this quarter. As enthusiastic as management is, it warned that such a rate cannot continue.

Couple the organic sales growth per store with new locations and improving net margins, and you end up staring at a bottom line that shows earnings up 32% to $0.54 per share. In light of the strong growth, the firm upped its full-year EPS guidance to around $2.07 per share.

With further expansion provided by the firm's ample cash flow -- meaning there's little debt and little to fear from an upcoming raise in lending rates -- Whole Foods is a champion. The game is theirs to lose. Wild Oats might score a few, but competition from the likes of Kroger (NYSE:KR), Safeway (NYSE:SWY), or Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT)? I don't think so.

I never thought I'd write anything like this, but yeah, if you're in it for the long haul, the grocery store chain trading at a P/E of 42 still looks like a pretty smart investment.

Whole Foods is no longer a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation, but there are lots of solid companies that are. Sign up for six months, risk-free, to learn more.

Fool contributor Seth Jayson carefully nurtures his all-natural onions, but owns no stake in any firm mentioned above. View his Fool profile here.