Notes on Whole Foods Owner John Mackey

Atlasphere member Will Wilkinson notes on his blog that his local Giant grocery store is lousy in just about every way a grocery store can be lousy:

Sure, it’s cheaper than my other local grocery, Whole Foods (libertarian-owned, I’m told), but I think I may be willing to add $10 to each bill in order to save myself the aggravation of standing in line while the check-out lady makes yet another historic attempt to break all known records in lethargy (while the manager, a creature rarely seen, camps in the fetid back room listening to “The Rest of the Story” on Paul Harvey News and Comment.) Whole Foods is often packed, yet I rarely wait more than five minutes. Did I mention that Giant is ugly, and that the produce is bad.

I don’t know anything about Giant, but I know something about Whole Foods. In the early 1990s they bought out Wellspring Grocery, the natural foods grocery store that I had worked at in high school. At the time, I remember reading that Whole Foods owner John Mackey called himself a “new-age libertarian environmentalist,” whatever that meant.
A little research on the ‘net shows that he’s a colorful character:

[W]hen left-leaning journalists began attacking him for resisting union demands last year, MacKey responded by putting together “Beyond Unions,” a 19-page summary of his libertarian views that included quotes from libertarian giants like Ludwig von Mises, Milton and Rose Friedman, Henry Hazlitt, and Robert Nozick.

Heh. And how did he arrive at such pro-freedom views? Reportedly by reading Ayn Rand, among other authors.
Kathy and I find ourselves doing more and more shopping at the Whole Foods here in Albuquerque. …Why? Because it’s the best store in town: incredible selection, immaculately kept, and friendly staff. Always teeming with happy shoppers and fresh, delicious food. (Viva Capitalism!)

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