Whole Foods Market began in 1978 when current CEO John Mackey and his girlfriend opened a natural food store called SaferWay in Santa Monica, California.
In 1980, SaferWay merged with another natural grocery store, resulting in the first Whole Foods location in Austin, Texas.
The following year, a huge flood devastated Austin. Whole Foods lost all of their inventory and had no insurance. Neighbors chipped in to help fix the damage.
The company continued to grow in the 90s and the 100th location opened in Torrence, CA in 1999.
Today the company operates more than 500 locations in the US, Canada, and the UK.
In June 2017, Whole Foods was acquired by Amazon for $13.7 Billion. The company is still struggling to make this endeavor a success two years later.
The company came under fire in the summer of 2019 for supporting the Drag Queen Story Hour. Christians are calling for a boycott of the company.
Headquarters, at this time, remain in Austin, Texas.