John Mackey, the co-founder of Whole Foods Market, is planning to open a chain of plant-based restaurants and wellness centers once he retires from the retailer’s CEO position next month, reports Bloomberg. The locations will offer fitness and spa services.
Mackey is a partner in Healthy America, a $31 million-funded startup with a mission to be a national network of vegetarian restaurants and medical centers for wellness. Bloomberg found a job posting that calls the concept “an evidence-based lifestyle company, leading the convergence of culinary, healthcare, and wellness.” The posting went on to say, “for the first time ever, we are bringing together all three under one roof, to meaningfully transform the health and wellbeing of individuals.”
Southern California is expected to be the site of the flagship location for the store, an anonymous source familiar with the plans told Bloomberg. According to another job posting, the restaurant will offer “a broad spectrum of eclectic plant-based dining options, ranging from the most health-promoting to a balanced indulgence.”
Mackey, who is often credited with helping to make organic popular in the U.S., is the co-founder of a natural foods store that merged with a rival in 1978 to form the first Whole Foods. As a vegetarian, he has long advocated for healthy eating.