60,000 Sq Ft.
Whole Foods Market was founded in Austin, Texas, when four local businesspeople decided the natural foods industry was ready for a supermarket format. Our founders were John Mackey and Renee Lawson Hardy, owners of Safer Way Natural Foods, and Craig Weller and Mark Skiles, owners of Clarksville Natural Grocery. The original Whole Foods Market opened in 1980 with a staff of only 19 people. It was an immediate success. At the time, there were less than half a dozen natural food supermarkets in the United States. We have grown by leaps and bounds since our first store opened.
Beginning in 1984, Whole Foods Market began its expansion out of Austin, first to Houston and Dallas and then into New Orleans with the purchase of Whole Food Company in 1988. In 1989, we expanded to the West Coast with a store in Palo Alto, California. While continuing to open new stores from the ground up, we fueled rapid growth by acquiring other natural foods chains throughout the ’90s: Wellspring Grocery of North Carolina, Bread & Circus of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Mrs. Gooch’s Natural Foods Markets of Los Angeles, Bread of Life of Northern California, Fresh Fields Markets on the East Coast and in the Midwest, Florida Bread of Life stores, Detroit area Merchant of Vino stores, and Nature’s Heartland of Boston.