The History Of The Whole Foods Market

Paula Megginson By Paula Megginson, 1st Jan 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Jobs>Company Profiles

The whole foods market as we know it today was not always a great giant.

WHOLE FOODS MARKET

THE HISTORY OF
The Whole Foods Market as we know it today was not always a great giant. It began in October 1974 when the doors opened in New Orleans, a whole foods store with the idea of being a grocery store that sold whole foods. Sales doubled in the first four years and the store did over $1 million dollars per year in business although it was only 1100 square feet. The staff were all stock holders and of course wanted to see the progression of the store so they worked hard to make it happen.

In The Begining

In 1978 Rene Lawson Hardy, who was only 21 years old at that time and Mackey John who was a 25 year and an old College dropout, opened Safeway Natural Foods in Austin Texas on borrowed funds of $45,000. The two men lived together and stored food in their apartment until they were forced to evacuate because of it. At that time they decided to take up residence inside the store. It was a tough time so they had to bathe in their Hobart Dishwasher with an attached hose. Two years later in 1980 the two young men partnered with Craig Weller and Mark Skiles (owners of Clarksville Natural Grocery) to create the largest Whole Foods Store of that time. The store was very large at the time it was 10, 000 square feet and was staffed by 19 people.

In 1981 a terrible storm came and a flood followed which was the worst one in 70 years and it wiped out many homes and businesses and their Whole Foods Store was no exception. They suffered a total loss of $400,000.00 and had no insurance. The entire inventory was wiped out and a great deal of the equipment was damaged beyond repair, but thanks to some very grateful customers, a hard working staff and generous creditors and vendors that were willing to wait for their return the store was reopened in less than 30 days following the flood.

Risky

In 1984 they began to expand. First to Houston Texas and then to Dallas Texas and from there to New Orleans, Palo Alto California and Natures Heartland of Boston MA., Bread of life Stores in Florida, and then inAtlanta…in 2001 they moved into Manhattan where they got much media attention and financial interest as well. By 2002 they had expanded to Canada and in 2004 they had stores in the United Kingdom. They had seven stores called Fresh & Wild Stores and they had stores in 39 states in the U.S. Mrs. Gooch’s Natural Food Market of Los Angeles, Bread and Circus of Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and Bread of life in Northern California…

In 1988 the developing of an e-commerce store began although deliberation of it began a year ago in 1987. It was risky and started as an information site and then developed from there. The site officially went live in March of 1999 and later that same year in October they merged to become Wholepeople.com. This site was launched in March of 2000 and later they merged again to become the Gaiam.com. This industry is still growing by leaps and bounds and more people are seeking healthier alternatives to their diets. The originators of the whole foods market saw a vision and now it has come to be no doubt more than they ever expected faster than they had hopes for. The whole food market has been a good investment for all involved.

Tags

History, John Mackey, Market, Whole Foods

Meet the author

author avatar Paula Megginson
Hello! My name is Paula (Brower) Megginson, I am a 55 year old mother of 3 (adults), and a writer and lover of poetry. I am a Christian and ordained minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have been

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Comments

author avatar Paula Megginson
2nd Jan 2014 (#)

Thank you Steve!

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
2nd Jan 2014 (#)

Nic e and interesting article, by the way here is where I get some of my wines very diverse stocks as well its cooked food and artisan pizzas

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author avatar Paula Megginson
2nd Jan 2014 (#)

Awesome! Thanks!

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author avatar srini55
22nd Jan 2014 (#)

Mam
Can you please come up with history of MARKET how goods were sold in olden to the today's supermarket....along with home delivery concept
Even though the concept is similar but the amount of money turned out is HUGE which deserved .....
What may be possibility of changes in the future market ..... Were turning out money will be drastically more than today's retail shops

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author avatar Paula Megginson
22nd Jan 2014 (#)

I will see what I can do.

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author avatar Heike
2nd Sep 2015 (#)

Great article, funny that it started in New Orleans, the city of lots of fried and fat food

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author avatar Heike
2nd Sep 2015 (#)

Great article, funny that it started in New Orleans, the city of lots of fried and fat food

Reply to this comment

author avatar Heike
2nd Sep 2015 (#)

Great article, funny that it started in New Orleans, the city of lots of fried and fat food

Reply to this comment

author avatar Heike
2nd Sep 2015 (#)

Great article, funny that it started in New Orleans, the city of lots of fried and fat food

Reply to this comment

author avatar Heike
2nd Sep 2015 (#)

Great article, funny that it started in New Orleans, the city of lots of fried and fat food

Reply to this comment

author avatar Heike
2nd Sep 2015 (#)

Great article, funny that it started in New Orleans, the city of lots of fried and fat food

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author avatar Jacquie Turnbo
4th Sep 2015 (#)

Awesome article!!! Such comment on the owners part!! Look at what they've achieved. I have a new appreciation for Whole Foods!!!

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