By Caroline Brooks
365 by Whole Foods Market, led by president and Eli Broad College of Business alumnus Jeff Turnas, opened its first store’s doors on May 25. “We’re like Whole Foods’ scrappy kid sister or brother,” Turnas said in an interview. “There’s a piece of the business we’re not getting … The focus on affordability is geared toward getting new customers,” he added.
365 stores will be physically smaller, with subsidized offerings and fewer decorative displays. For example, a traditional Whole Foods Market might stock its shelves with 20 brands of bottled water. To keep prices lower, 365 will carry just a few. Turnas and his team applied their “thoughtful simplicity” approach to everything from floor plans to operations and ordering. 365’s first location is in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. The chain will open locations in Bellevue, Washington and Portland, Oregon in the coming months, and expand to another 10 cities next year.
After graduating from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business in 1995, Turnas began his career at Merchant of Vino in Detroit and joined Whole Foods Market when the companies merged in 1998. He then worked his way up from associate store team leader in Chicago to various regional coordinator and purchasing roles in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. He served as president of the North Atlantic region before taking the Whole Foods brand overseas in 2009 when he was named president of the newly developed U.K. Region, which expanded into Scotland and continues to grow. Turnas also serves on the board of Whole Planet Foundation, which is dedicated to alleviating poverty through microcredit in communities around the world that supply Whole Foods Market stores with products.
As a part of an annual lecture series featuring high-level executives from global companies, Turnas will speak to finance students at the Broad College of Business in the fall.