Sprouts Farmers Market Had A Humble Beginning

It's often said that the greatest success stories have the humblest of beginnings. We've seen it in history — Abe Lincoln rising from poverty and obscurity to one of the greatest leaders in world history. We've seen it in fiction — Frodo Baggins taking the Ring to Mordor. But what about grocery stores? In particular, those grocery stores that have helped change the way people buy and consume food. We're talking, of course, of Sprouts Farmers Market.

You'd never guess that with over 370 stores nationwide, publicly traded stock, and over 31,000 employees, Sprouts had a humble beginning (via Sprouts). It's from that humility, savvy business practices, its commitment to farmers and natural foods, and the bonds of family, that Sprouts has become a shining example of something we think today is all but unattainable: the American Dream. And no, you don't have to be asleep to believe it.

What you can build with $600 and truck

The story of Sprouts begins in 1943, with a man named Henry Boney and his fruit stand. Henry purchased a truck thanks to a $600 loan from his in-laws, which he used to haul produce to and from his fruit stand. He and his wife Jessie quickly expanded their business from one to five fruit stands. In time, those fruit stands would become a conglomeration of natural food grocery stores called Henry's Farmers Market (via the San Diego Union-Tribune).

The Boney Family sold Henry's to Wild Oats Markets in 1999, for a hefty sum of $46 million (via the San Diego Union-Tribune). Three years later, Henry's son and grandson, Stan and Shon Boney, opened the first Sprouts in Chandler, AZ. In 2011, according to Sprouts, the chain merged with Henry's, reuniting the separated family businesses. Today, according to MacroTrends, Sprouts Farmers Market pulled in a revenue of $6.1 billion in 2021. Not a bad profit margin for the plucky little fruit stand from San Diego.