Wild Oats was founded by the current Directors, Mike and Loes Abrahams in 1981.
In late 1979 Mike and his Dutch girlfriend Loes were both working at the European Space Technology Centre in Noordwijk. Sharing a love of healthy, macrobiotic food and aspiring to work in a more environmentally sound and sustainable field, Mike and Loes made an offer on a natural food store in Bristol.
Without any previous retail experience, Mike and Loes quite suddenly found themselves the rather dazed new owners of a tiny deli, with open sacks of grains and beans on the floor, huge open tins of things like olives, and all manner of strange delicacies. There were few shops of its kind around in those days, but the demand for healthy wholefoods was growing rapidly and the shop grew from strength to strength. After months of refurbishment, Wild Oats officially opened its doors in 1981. Unofficially of course, customers who had been unable to readily source what they wanted elsewhere, had long since begun knocking on the door of the not-yet-open shop to request this or that!
Eventually Mike and Loes were able to buy the basement of a neighbouring flat, creating more storage space for the existing shop, and then eventually the shop next door came up for sale enabling further expansion. By June 1987, the shop had doubled in size and offering more product lines than ever.
In 2006, Loes was involved in a low speed collision after which her health continued to deteriorate leaving her unable to work. Mike, however, remains at the helm, employing 4 department managers and 26 members of full and part time staff. As well as remaining very much involved in the day to day running of the shop, he focuses his attention on educating others in the wonders of wholefoods, supplements and healthy living. From early 2013, he has been running a series of lectures with selected nutritionists and therapists on various aspects of nutrition and healthy living.