By Miriam Raftery
March 21, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Shon Boney, a leader in the natural grocery store industry with long roots in East County, died March 8, 2021 at age 52 of brain cancer.
Grandson of Henry Boney, the founder of Boney’s Marketplace, later known as Henry’s Marketplace, Shon worked in all aspects of the San Diego based business until it was sold to Wild Oats. He then moved to Arizona, where he co-founded and served as CEO of Sprouts Farmers Market, which grew into one of the nation’s preeminent healthy grocery store chains.
Born in La Mesa on Nov. 9, 1968, Boney graduated from Grossmont High School in El Cajon, where he lettered in baseball, football and soccer. Later he played baseball for the University of California, Los Angeles. He married Heather Ryan in 1993; the couple had three daughters Sydney, Brooke, and Morgan.
Also a private pilot, he flew cancer patients and veterans cross-country for treatments. He enjoyed ski racing on the Mammoth Mountain Ski Team, as well as mountain biking and activities with his family.
“He was passionate about helping people," says his sister, Missy Benker, 10 News reports. "If he ever learned about anyone in need, he was always one of the first ones there to help and trying to find a way to help."
The Boney family founded numerous grocery businesses. After first selling peaches at a roadside stand in La Mesa, Henry Boney founded Speedee Marts, which later sold to Southland Corp, owner of 7-Eleven, the first convenience chain to franchise stores, before founding Henry’s. Henry’s son, Steve, founded Windmill Farms in Del Cerro, later run by Scott Boney, the youngest of the Boney sons, until a cruise ship accident left him disabled.
A memorial service for Shon Boney is planned on April 17 at 1 p.m. at Secret Hills Ranch in Alpine. Instead of flowers, the Boney family suggests donations to one of the charities that Shon supported: challengecenter.org, veteransairlift.org or angelflightwest.org