CEO John Mackey founded the natural-foods supermarket chain 16 years ago, selling to an urban crowd of health-and environment-conscious consumers.
Since that time, Mr. Mackey, 43, has seen Whole Foods Market grow into the largest chain of its kind, dominating the $5 billion health/natural foods retailing industry.
As such foods move more into the mainstream market, Whole Foods distinguishes itself by providing customers the service of a mom-and-pop store in a large grocery setting.
As the leading health/natural foods retailer, Whole Foods has created a national brand identity in a growing business that's dominated by small chains and single-store outlets.
In its most recent fiscal year, the company's sales rose a healthy 24% to $496.4 million, from $401.7 million.