History and Timeline

1980

1980


Safer Way Natural Foods and Clarksville Natural Grocery join to open Whole Foods Market on Sept. 20, with a staff of only 19.

1981

1981


Flash-flooding severely damages the original store, which reopens in only 28 days thanks to the pitch-in efforts of Team Members, family members and community members.

1984

1984


Whole Foods Market begins its expansion out of Austin by opening in Houston.

1985

1985


Whole Foods Market unveils the “Declaration of Interdependence,” which affirms its commitment to customers, Team Members, investors, suppliers, the environment, and local communities.

1988

1988


Whole Foods Market acquires Whole Food Company in New Orleans. It is Whole Foods Market’s sixth store and the first outside of Texas.

1992

1992


Whole Foods Market goes public on Jan. 23, at split‐adjusted IPO price of $2.125 per share.

1993

1993


Whole Foods Market implements quarterly 5% Days to give 5 percent of after‐tax profits to communities where stores operate.

1997

1997


Whole Foods Market launches its 365 Everyday Value product line.

1998

1998


FORTUNE magazine includes Whole Foods Market on its inaugural “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, a recognition the company has received every time the list has been published.

1999

1999


Whole Foods Market begins partnership with the Marine Stewardship Council to provide customers with more sustainable seafood choices for wild-caught fish.

2001

2001


The company opens its first New York City store.

Whole Foods Market launches its 365 Organic Everyday Value brand, the first national commodity-priced, all-organic product line in the United States.

2002

2002


The company introduces enhanced meat standards and requires annual species-specific affidavits for all meat producers.

With a solar panel installation on top of its Berkeley, Calif., store, Whole Foods Market becomes the first retailer to introduce solar power as a primary lighting source.

2003

2003


In June, Whole Foods Market becomes America’s First National Certified Organic Grocer.

Ernst & Young names co-founder John Mackey its 2003 Entrepreneur of the Year.

2004

2004


Vanity Fair magazine names co-founder John Mackey “Best Provider” in its “Best of the Best in 2004” list. 

In October, Whole Foods Market opens its own dedicated gluten‐free bake house in Raleigh, N.C.

2005

2005


In April, the company debuts on the Fortune 500 list at No. 479.

In September, Whole Foods Market’s Sarasota, Fla., store becomes the first‐ever silver LEED‐certified supermarket.

2006

2006


Whole Foods Market makes a landmark purchase of renewable energy credits, offsetting 100 percent of its U.S. electricity usage – the largest wind energy credit purchase at the time by a public company.

2007

2007


The company opens its UK flagship store in London.

2008

2008


The company announces its enhanced farmed seafood standards, which remain the most stringent in the industry.

2009

2009


Whole Foods Market adds a seventh Core Value: “Promoting the health of our stakeholders through healthy eating education,” and launches its Health Starts Here program.

2010

2010


Whole Foods Market partners with Blue Ocean Institute and Monterey Bay Aquarium to color-code wild-caught fish sold in its fresh cases to reflect the sustainability of fisheries.

2011

2011


In February, Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating system for beef, pork and chicken rolls out at Whole Foods Market stores across the United States. In August, the system launches at the company’s Canadian stores.

2012

2012


Whole Foods Market is named National Retail Federation’s Retail Innovator of the Year.

2013

2013


Whole Foods Market opens a store in Midtown Detroit; Mayor Dave Bing hails the store as a “game changer” for the city.

1980

1980

1981

1981

1984

1984

1985

1985

1988

1988

1992

1992

1993

1993

1997

1997

1998

1998

1999

1999

2001

2001

2002

2002

2003

2003

2004

2004

2005

2005

2006

2006

2007

2007

2008

2008

2009

2009

2010

2010

2011

2011

2012

2012

2013

2013

1980

Safer Way Natural Foods and Clarksville Natural Grocery join to open Whole Foods Market on Sept. 20, with a staff of only 19.

1981

Flash-flooding severely damages the original store, which reopens in only 28 days thanks to the pitch-in efforts of Team Members, family members and community members.

1984

Whole Foods Market begins its expansion out of Austin by opening in Houston. Much of its growth is through mergers and acquisitions.

1985

Whole Foods Market unveils the "Declaration of Interdependence," which affirms its commitment to customers, Team Members, investors, suppliers, the environment, and local communities.

1988

Whole Foods Market acquires Whole Food Company in New Orleans. It is Whole Foods Market’s sixth store and the first outside of Texas.

1992

Whole Foods Market goes public on Jan. 23, at split‐adjusted IPO price of $2.125 per share.

Whole Foods Market acquires Bread and Circus. Much of the company’s early growth comes through mergers and acquisitions.

1993

Whole Foods Market implements quarterly 5% Days to give 5 percent of after‐tax profits to communities where stores operate.

On Nov. 29, Whole Foods Market stock splits 2-for-1, the company’s first stock split.

1997

Whole Foods Market launches its 365 Everyday Value product line.

1998

FORTUNE magazine includes Whole Foods Market on its inaugural “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, a recognition the company has received every time the list has been published.

1999

Whole Foods Market begins partnership with the Marine Stewardship Council to provide customers with more sustainable seafood choices for wild-caught fish.

2001

The company opens its first New York City store.

Whole Foods Market launches its 365 Organic Everyday Value brand, the first national commodity-priced, all-organic product line in the United States.

2002

The company introduces enhanced meat standards and requires annual species-specific affidavits for all meat producers.

With a solar panel installation on top of its Berkeley, Calif., store, Whole Foods Market becomes the first retailer to introduce solar power as a primary lighting source.

In May, the company opens a store in Toronto the company’s first location outside of the United States.

In December, Whole Foods Market’s stock is added to the NASDAQ-100 Index.

2003

In June, Whole Foods Market becomes America’s First National Certified Organic Grocer.

Ernst & Young names co-founder John Mackey its 2003 Entrepreneur of the Year.

2004

Vanity Fair magazine names co-founder John Mackey “Best Provider” in its “Best of the Best in 2004” list. 

In October, Whole Foods Market opens its own dedicated gluten‐free bake house in Raleigh, N.C.

From 2004 through2007, Whole Foods Market earns Environmental Protection Agency Green Power awards for its renewable energy purchasing.

2005

In April, the company debuts on the Fortune 500 list at No. 479.

In September, Whole Foods Market’s Sarasota, Fla., store becomes the first‐ever silver LEED‐certified supermarket.

Also in September Whole Foods Market is honored with a “Customers First” award from Fast Company magazine.

In October, Whole Foods Market launches the nonprofit Whole Planet Foundation, which funds micro-lending projects that empower the poor to lift themselves out of poverty through work and ingenuity. 

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) names Whole Foods Market the “Best Animal-Friendly Retailer” in its second annual Proggy Awards, which recognize animal-friendly progress.

2006

Whole Foods Market makes a landmark purchase of renewable energy credits, offsetting 100 percent of its U.S. electricity usage – the largest wind energy credit purchase at the time by a public company.

In 2006, 2007, and 2010, the EPA recognizes Whole Foods Market with Green Power Partner of the Year awards.

2007

The company opens its UK flagship store in London.

Global Animal Partnership introduces 5-Step Animal Rating standards, and Whole Foods Market rolls out the 5-Step Animal Welfare Standards prototype at the UK flagship store.

Whole Foods Market launches the Local Producer Loan Program and commits $10 million to help local producers grow their businesses through low-interest loans; a Florida honey producer receives the program’s first loan.

Whole Foods Market creates the Whole Trade Guarantee to ensure transparent, ethical and responsible sourcing and production and equitable purchase prices for producers.

Whole Foods Market adds a sixth Core Value: “Creating ongoing win-win partnerships with our suppliers.”

2008

The company announces its enhanced farmed seafood standards, which remain the most stringent in the industry.

Whole Foods Market establishes Premium Body Care standards for more than 3,000 personal care products.

On Earth Day, Whole Foods Market becomes the first U.S. supermarket chain to eliminate disposable plastic grocery bags.

Health magazine names the company “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store.”

2009

Whole Foods Market adds a seventh Core Value: “Promoting the health of our stakeholders through healthy eating education,” and launches its Health Starts Here program.

Whole Foods Market’s U.S. stores undergo third‐party inspections and receive organic certification.

In July, Whole Foods Market commits to supporting the Non‐GMO Project. The company now uses the nonprofit’s Product Verification Program for store brand products.
Scientific American magazine names Whole Foods Market one of the nation’s “Top 25 Green Energy Leaders.”

Whole Foods Market is the first supermarket chain to be certified under the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes Program, an alternative to LEED. The Dedham, Mass., store earns three Green Globes, and the SouthGlenn, Colo., store earns one Green Globe.

Whole Foods Market and shoppers donate more than $700,000 to fund The Lunchbox.org, an online resource created by Chef Ann Cooper’s F3 Foundation, which helps public schools provide more nutritious lunches for kids.

2010

Walter Robb assumes co-CEO role and A.C. Gallo takes sole responsibility for President and Chief Operating Officer role

In March, Whole Foods Market is recognized on the Ethisphere Institute’s “World’s Most Ethical Companies” list.

In April, the International Association of Culinary Professionals names the company the 'Culinary Youth Advocate of the Year.'

Shoppers donate more than $1.4 million during a seven-week fundraising campaign to improve school lunches through the Salad Bar Project, which helps fund 570 school salad bars. The company also becomes a founding partner of Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools.

Whole Foods Market partners with Blue Ocean Institute and Monterey Bay Aquarium to color-code wild-caught fish sold in its fresh cases to reflect the sustainability of fisheries.

In November, the Lake Grove, N. Y., store receives LEED Gold Certification and three Green Globes, making it the first supermarket to receive dual certification.

2011

In February, Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating system for beef, pork and chicken rolls out at Whole Foods Market stores across the United States. In August, the system launches at the company’s Canadian stores.

In April, Whole Foods Market introduces its Eco-Scale Rating System, an industry-first set of green standards for household cleaning products.

In April, the company debuts the nationwide “Whole Foods Market Do Something Reel” film festival in celebration of Earth Month and announces a $50,000 grant program for filmmakers working in the green film genre.

The company launches its new nonprofit Whole Kids Foundation, which combats childhood obesity through increased access to healthy foods.

In August, the company opens a wellness club at its Dedham, Mass., store, the first of five membership-based clubs in a pilot program designed to help shoppers make lifestyle choices that promote long-term health.

2012

Whole Foods Market is named National Retail Federation’s Retail Innovator of the Year.

In March, Whole Foods Market creates a new online magazine, Dark Rye, exploring food, art, health and sustainable living.

As of Earth Day 2012, Whole Foods Market is the first national retailer to no longer carry wild seafood rated red by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Blue Ocean Institute.

In May, Whole Foods Market publishes its first-ever Green Mission Report for stakeholders and the public, documenting its environmental efforts.

In August, Whole Foods Market’s North Atlantic region begins operating its 70,000-square-foot kitchen facility on a renewable energy system that generates power using recycled waste cooking oil generated by the commissary’s industrial fryers and local Whole Foods Market stores. 

Whole Kids Foundation celebrated its first year of supporting schools throughout the U.S. and Canada by funding more than 900 school garden grants in partnership with FoodCorps and 1,500 salad bars through Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, giving more than one million children access to healthy food choices.

Global Animal Partnership completes audits of Whole Foods Market turkey supplier farms. By Thanksgiving, every turkey sold from Whole Foods Market meat departments comes from a farm that has achieved a Step 1 rating or higher on Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating. This means turkeys were never caged or crated and were always raised with care.

Whole Foods Market installs more than 70 electric vehicle charging stations in 27 metros across the U.S. to provide the latest eco-technology for customers.

Whole Foods Market is named on Newsweek's top 10 list of 'Greenest Retail Companies in the U.S.'

2013

“Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business” hits store shelves in January. The book, co-authored by co-CEO John Mackey and Raj Sisodia, a business professor and co-founder of the Conscious Capitalism Institute, focuses on the higher purpose of a business, its relationships with interconnected stakeholders and the impact it has on the world.

Whole Foods Market ranks 19th on FORTUNE magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” list; the company is named the Most Admired Company in the food and drug store industry.

Whole Foods Market is named to WorkplaceDynamic’s Top 150 Workplaces list.

For the fifth time, Whole Foods Market is named to the Ethisphere Institute’s “World’s Most Ethical Companies” list.

Whole Foods Market becomes the first national grocery chain to set a deadline for full GMO transparency; at Natural Products Expo West, the company announces that by 2018, all products in its U.S. and Canadian stores must be labeled to indicate whether they contain genetically modified organisms.

Dark Rye wins a James Beard Foundation award for Best Group Food Blog.

Whole Foods Market opens a store in Midtown Detroit; Mayor Dave Bing hails the store as a “game changer” for the city. 

Whole Foods Market launches an in-store Meat Apprenticeship Program for team members.