- The first Whole Foods Market opened up in 1980 in Austin, Texas.
- Two years earlier, founder and CEO John Mackey launched a grocery store called Safer Way with a group of cofounders.
- Safer Way didn’t stock meat, seafood, coffee, or any products with refined sugar. And consumers took a pass on the new health foods store.
- “We stopped trying to remake the market and started trying to engage the market,” Mackey wrote in his new book “Conscious Leadership.”
- Even after the pivot away from Safer Way, Whole Foods Market has continued to adapt and change over the decades.
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Before there was Whole Foods Market — the grocery behemoth that sold to Amazon for an estimated $13.7 billion in 2017 — there was Safer Way. That was the name of the health foods store in Austin, Texas, that Whole Foods Market founder and CEO