Whole Foods Franchise

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whole foods franchise

Whole Foods is a chain of food stores that operate across the globe. There are currently around 500 stores in North America and the UK, but the latter is only home to seven of them. Brits can find Whole Foods in and around London, in Clapham Junction, Camden, Kensington, Stoke Newington, Piccadilly Circus, Richmond and Fulham.

However, the UK does have a claim to fame when it comes to its Whole Foods network. The Kensington store, located in an old high street department store, is set across three levels and occupies a total of 80,000 square feet. This makes it the biggest Whole Foods outlet in the world.

Whole Foods Products

Whole Foods is famous for its health-conscious approach to its products. From the outset, its founders strived to build health food stores that actually offered healthy food, as opposed to unfamiliar pills and potions. For this reason, it banishes artificial flavours, colours, preservatives and sweeteners from its entire product line and maintains a strict Unacceptable Ingredients list that features items such as activated charcoal, foie gras and shark cartilage. The business is also committed to sustainable agriculture and sells a range of organic foodstuffs.

At Whole Foods stores, customers can find meat; fruits and vegetables; deli foods; cheeses; dried fruits and nuts; sweets and chocolate; and meat-free, dairy-free and gluten-free products. The business also sells coffee, tea, alcoholic beverages and personal care products. If customers cant get to their local store, these can all be purchased through AmazonFresh.
In the UK, however, this service is only available in and around London. AmazonFresh provides an incredibly quick delivery option, distributing products on the same day as they were ordered or even within two hours if purchased by an Amazon Prime member.

But this isnt all the business offers. It also runs numerous educational events in its stores. Customers can catch panel discussions, supper clubs and even mixology masterclasses throughout the year at Whole Foods outlets.

History of the Business

The idea for the Whole Foods business was dreamt up by 25-year-old John Mackey and 21-year-old Renee Lawson in 1978. Borrowing $45,000 from family and friends enabled them to start a small natural foods store in Austin, Texas, which they named SaferWay. Before long, the couple were evicted from their rented apartment for storing their own products there, so they moved into the store. This proved to be difficult, as it was a commercial property, and they were forced to wash under the hose of their dishwasher.

In 1980, the couple took a big leap forward by merging their company with Craig Weller and Mark Skiles business, Clarksville Natural Grocery. The resulting entity was named Whole Foods Market and had 10,500 square feet of space and a workforce of 19 people. At the time, there were only around five natural food supermarkets in the whole of the US, so this relatively large store had lots of potential.

However, on Memorial Day in 1981, misfortune struck again. The worst flood in 70 years wrecked the store and its stock and damaged most of its equipment. The business wasnt insured, so it lost around $400,000. Luckily, neighbours and local customers offered to help rebuild the company, and it re-opened just 28 days later.

From there, Whole Foods Market gradually grew through mergers and acquisitions. It expanded into Dallas, and then into New Orleans, after it bought out Whole Food Company in 1988. A year later, it set up its first west coast store in California. In the 1990s, Whole Foods Market continued acquiring competitors natural food chains to become a nationally recognised brand.

It fostered an international presence in the 2000s, when it launched in Canada in 2002 and the UK in 2004. Today, Whole Foods Market owns a vast array of natural food brands. These include Whole Food Company, Wellspring Grocery, Bread & Circus, Mrs. Gooch's, Fresh Fields, Bread of Life, Amrion and Merchant of Vino. It has also bought Allegro Coffee, WholePeople.com, Nature's Heartland, Food For Thought, Harry's Farmers Market, Fresh & Wild and Wild Oats© Markets.

Does Whole Foods franchise?

No, Whole Foods does not currently offer franchising opportunities. This means that you cant open your own Whole Foods store under the business branding. However, there are other companies in the health food sector that are looking for savvy franchisees. Lets take a look at two of the best.

Humpit Hummus

This franchise specialises in all things hummus. Alongside the delicious dip, customers can enjoy pitta breads, salads, falafel, a range of fruit juices and the business very own hot or iced HUMPTEA. This is the only 100 percent plant-based food franchise in the UK, so if you become one of its franchisees, you can be sure youre providing your customers with fresh, healthy food. As the trend for veganism blooms throughout the UK, this is definitely a lucrative business model.

Humpit Hummus currently has stores in the north of England and Scotland; specifically, in Huddersfield, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield, York and Edinburgh. To add to the franchises portfolio, youll need to invest £70,000.

The Avocado Show

Moving from hummus to avocados, this franchise has crafted its menu around the delicious, green fruit. Founded in 2016, The Avocado Show quickly developed a loyal customer base. From day one, people havent been able to get enough of its tasty menu, and often queue into the street while they wait to get served.

In the past, there have been concerns regarding how ethical it is to consume a large quantity of avocados. However, this business ensures that each of its avocados are picked, packed and transported in a socially and environmentally responsible way, so theres no need for you or your customers to worry.

Currently, The Avocado Show has three restaurants two in Amsterdam and one in Brussels. To bring this healthy food franchise to the UK or further expand it abroad, you should be prepared to invest around £150,000.

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