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14 Sep 2022

Whole Foods co-founder rumoured to launch chain of wellness centres and plant-based restaurants
BY Megan Whitby

Mackey (pictured) served as the CEO of Whole Foods since its formation in 1980 until September 2022

Mackey (pictured) served as the CEO of Whole Foods since its formation in 1980 until September 2022
photo: Whole Foods

John Mackey, co-founder and former CEO of US organic supermarket chain Whole Foods, is reportedly set to launch a new US wellness brand named Healthy America.

Plans involve unveiling a chain of wellness destinations featuring whole goods, plant-based restaurants, medical and wellness centres – all rooted in lifestyle medicine and offering a wide range of wellness programmes and health education.

According to a now expired job vacancy, the company is described as an “evidence-based lifestyle company, leading the convergence of culinary, healthcare and wellness.

“For the first time ever, we’re bringing together all three under one roof, to meaningfully transform the health and wellbeing of individuals.”

Mackey is a partner in Healthy America which raised more than US$31m (€31m, £26.8m) in funding from investors earlier this year, according to Bloomberg.

The company is also backed by other former Whole Foods execs including Betsy Foster – previously Whole Foods senior VP – who’s been appointed as Healthy America’s CEO.

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Healthy America will operate with memberships as well as on an a-la-carte basis for the public.

The advertisement details that the medical and wellness centres will take a “holistic approach to health and leverage the best of western and eastern medicine, alongside wellness, educational and fitness and spa services to offer a best-in-class solution”.

It also hints that cutting-edge tech will underpin Healthy America which will operate with a philosophy to “establish a new model of care which heals the whole person by focusing on the prevention and reversal of disease through evidence-based healthcare utilising nutrition and lifestyle.”

Mackey stepped back as CEO of the Whole Foods empire in 2021 – a company which was acquired by Amazon in 2017 for US$13.7bn (€13.7bn, £11.8bn).

As of this month, he’s now retired completely from the company which has about 500 stores across the US, UK and Canada.

The Whole Foods kingdom has previously branched into the world of spa and wellness having launched a pop-up spa in Dallas in 2007 at one of its stores, as well as a similar location at a Boston store in 2014, which is still open today but under new management.



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