Whole Foods Founder Opens Health-Optimizing Eatery


John Mackey’s transition from Whole Foods to holistic foods is well underway.

What’s happening: Love.Life, a plant-based eatery focused on the functional benefits and nutrient density in food, opened its first location in Culver City, California at the beginning of May.

Co-founded by former Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, the restaurant concept adopts the retailer’s standard of quality, prohibiting hydrogenated fats and over 200 preservatives and additives.

Among the all-day cafés menu choices, Mackey is especially proud of a new category called “Optimize,” dishes with ingredients clinically proven to help treat and reverse chronic health conditions.

Vitality for All

A strong proponent of food as medicine, Mackey thinks scaling the concept nationally can make an impact on public health:

“[I] believe the food we eat is the most powerful choice we can make when it comes to health.”

But, the restaurant is only a third of the company’s ambitions, with the rest of Love.Life’s immersive health & wellness quickly taking shape.

  • 2021: Purchased Miami’s Love Life Cafe, tapping chef Brooks McCarty to develop the concept’s menu alongside culinary genomic experts, nutritionists, and human performance coaches.
  • 2022: Raised $31M to expand the framework for an “evidence-based lifestyle company.”
  • 2023: Acquired telemedicine provider Plant Based TeleHealth, a lifestyle medicine provider, and rebranded it to Love.Life Telehealth.

Up next. In 2024, Love.Life will introduce the medical and wellness offerings that complement the restaurant through physical wellness hubs. There, the company’s clinicians will prescribe tailored lifestyle programming and precision wellness therapies for preventing and managing chronic illness.

Takeaway: Love.Life wants its holistic approach to become a lifestyle. And by building an integrated ecosystem, it’ll keep all aspects of it in-house.

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