Entrepreneurial Spotlight: the Whole Story

Most successful businesses developed from an entrepreneur’s passion and confidence in their idea. John Mackey’s passion for healthy living led to the birth of Whole Foods, one of the country’s largest health food chains.

Mackey met fellow Whole Foods co-founder Rene Lawson while living in a vegetarian housing co-op during their college years. Their passion for healthy living and desire to meet the growing demand for health food stores led them to open SaferWay, a small natural food store in Austin, Texas. To fund their venture, Mackey and Lawson borrowed $10,000 and raised an additional $35,000.

Two years after its founding, SaferWay merged with Clarksville Natural Grocery and was renamed Whole Foods Market. After the merge, Mackey became the company’s CEO. Mackey’s leadership and fearless nature helped build Whole Foods into an international organization, with locations all across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Mackey is an influential advocate in the movement for organic food. He was a vegetarian for 30 years and then adopted veganism. The Whole Foods CEO is also a visionary. Through his business, Mackey implemented multiple charitable programs, including the Whole Planet Foundation, which helps to end poverty in developing nations, and Global Animal Partnership, which sets standards for the treatment of farm animals.

In 2006, Mackey announced that he was reducing his salary to $1 and would donate his stock portfolio to charity. In a letter to his employees, Mackey said, “I have reached a place in my life where I no longer want to work for money, but simply for the joy of the work itself and to better answer the call to service that I feel so clearly in my heart.”

An entrepreneur’s passion oozes out of their veins and oftentimes, that passion leads to a successful business venture. Mackey recognized the need and growing popularity of healthy living in Austin and created an international business that catered to people trying to unleash their health potential.

At Far West Capital, we love and support entrepreneurs that don’t let limited finances hinder them from converting their passions and ideas into a reality. Like John Mackey, we’re all about unleashing the potential in others – so go out and unleash your health potential.

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