John Mackey created Whole Foods Market in 1980 only a couple years after dropping out of college.
The supermarket chain, which is now a subsidiary of Amazon, specialises in selling products which are healthy and natural.
The businessman has an estimated net worth of around $85million (£67million), according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Since its launch over 40 years ago, Whole Foods has expanded its stores to over 500 in the US and international markets.
In 2017, Amazon agreed to purchase the supermarket chain in a deal which came to over $13billion (£10.3billion).
READ MORE: ISA alert as ‘early bird’ savers can avoid brutal ‘tax trap’
Before opening Whole Foods, Mr Mackey attempted to raise $50,000 (£39,787.50) with an ex-girlfriend when opening a store in Austin in 1978, but fell short, according to CNBC.
However, Mr Mackey was successful in opening up the supermarket chain’s first store in 1980.
He partnered with local grocery store owners Craig Weller and Mark Skiles with the trio setting the foundation for becoming millionaires.
Despite the launch, the entrepreneurs were hit with a setback as historic floods devastated their store in Austin.
Speaking to CNBC, Mr Mackey said: “We thought we were pretty much out of business. By all rights, Whole Foods should have died through that flood.
“We had to rebuild the store and it was going to cost a lot of money to do that and we just didn’t have the money, so I thought, we all thought, we were finished.”
A great deal of the company’s stock was ruined by the flood, or by looters, during that time which exacerbated the cost.
Even with this setback, the college dropout still wanted to achieve his business dreams and expand his portfolio of supermarket stores.
Mr Mackey added: “I wanted to open a second store after the flood. It was like, we can’t put all of our eggs in a basket that might float down the river.”
The millionaire was able to raise money after selling his shares at which point the company exploded.
Part of the supermarket chain’s identity is its environmentally-friendly image, which included the banning of plastic straws.
Speaking to the New Yorker about what he has learned as CEO of Whole Foods, Mr Mackey highlighted that businesses must “create value”.
He said: “Purpose is extremely important. I think that’s beginning to penetrate into more mainstream thinking about business.
“Meaning it’s not just about making a profit; it’s about a higher purpose and creating value for others.
“Customers obviously matter, employees matter, suppliers matter, communities matter, and then the environment matters.”
John Mackey stepped down as CEO of Whole Foods Market in 2022.