John Mackey to Build Chain of Cafes and Wellness Centers

Whole Foods Market Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer John Mackey retired and is handing the reins to Chief Operating Officer Jason Buechel. Mackey says he is launching a new health and wellness venture after his retirement from the Amazon-owned company. Mackey announced that he is building a chain of plant-based restaurants and wellness centers that offer fitness and spa services. The startup is called Healthy America, LLC, and received $31 million from investors to launch across the U.S. The medical wellness centers and vegetarian restaurants are expected to operate under the name Love Life!, with the first store opening in Southern California in 2023. It is staffed by former Whole Foods Market veterans from the executive team, store development, finance, and human resources. Former executive team members include Betsy Foster, who left Whole Foods Market in 2020, and Mackey’s former Co-CEO Walter Robb, who departed the company in 2017. The company has yet to make a formal statement, however job postings reveal that Healthy America will offer eclectic plant-based dining, wellness centers focused on lifestyle medicine from Eastern and Western philosophies, plus wellness, educational and fitness and spa services. There will be both membership opportunities and a-la-carte options open to the public.