Texas Monthly: Story Preview

From the March 2005 Issue...

John Mackey

The 51-year-old co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market on profits, principles, chocolate-enrobed salmon, and why his wife won’t play games with him anymore.

by Evan Smith

On the way over to see you I passed the old Whole Foods location, at Tenth and Lamar [in Austin], and I got to thinking about how far you’ve come in the past couple of decades—not distancewise, since it’s only a few blocks from there to the new, 80,000-square-foot store, but in terms of everything else.

I’m less nostalgic about that location than the one that predated it—SaferWay, which was at Eighth and Rio Grande. It was the beginning of Whole Foods. My girlfriend and I started it. After two years we opened the store at Tenth and Lamar, and then we had a second store, and then a third and a fourth, but my memories of SaferWay are more intense. We literally lived in that store. We weren’t supposed to, but we were buying stuff direct and putting it in the living room of the house we were renting; you’d come in the front door and you’d have to weave through all these bags of flour and rice and whatnot. Our landlord found out and gave us the boot. So then we said, “We’re at the store all the time anyway. Why don’t we just move into the third floor?” The story I love to tell is that we didn’t have a shower. It was zoned commercial. So we used to take baths in the Hobart dishwasher, which had a little hose that hung down. And Barton Springs, of course.

Subscribe now to read the rest of this story online.

Subscribe now to read the rest of this story online.

Already a subscriber? Please register or log in. You'll need the access code printed on the third contents page of the March issue of TEXAS MONTHLY. Don't have your copy handy? Visit our Customer Care page to get this month's code.

Already a subscriber? Please register or log in. You'll need the access code printed on the third contents page of the current issue of TEXAS MONTHLY. Don't have your copy handy? Visit our Customer Care page to get this month's code.

Advertising Sections
 
Click & Go
Inbox
Click here
Experience the Joy of Flipping!
Click here
UT TeleCampus - Learn online.
Click here
Everyday is a SUN-day!