People are more and more engaged with what they eat and they don’t just believe the marketing. They want to dig deeper and understand whats really in what they’re eating and where it comes from.
My Mom started the business and the business wasn’t successful because of the products we chose, but it was the care she showed the customer, and really it was her sharing her personal life experiences; how to be healthy and how to help your family be healthy.
In 1981 they opened a small store in the back corner of a plaza on the east mountain in Hamilton. Today we’ve grown to 9 stores from Brantford to Barrie.
Our initial offering was mostly bulk foods and a little bit of supplements. We’ve grown to be a complete natural food grocery store offering every department that you would find in a conventional grocery store but just with a higher quality of ingredients; organically grown stuff, naturally grown stuff, local stuff.
Our customers really appreciate that we offer an alternative in a marketplace that is totally saturated with unhealthy options.
In the past two years we decided to make a leap in the company to our own distribution model, and we were looking for a site for that. We really considered three options: We considered east of Hamilton, we considered Hamilton, and we considered Brantford.
We ended up choosing Brantford for a few reasons. We spoke to the Economic Development folks and they were very helpful, receptive, keen to have us here, and there was some interest in helping maintain property tax levels or even see them reduced for businesses like ours, so that was, that was very attractive.
We also found this great site that we’re so enthusiastic about. It had previously been a food distribution facility so a lot of the infrastructure was here to help support our use.
The location is fairly central to us relative to our location. It’s very close to highways, there’s not a lot of traffic on the 403 between here and Hamilton and so, so it’s very workable for us.
The reception we received when we came to Brantford with our retail store a few years earlier was unlike the reception received anywhere else, I has made us feel very welcome and positive about the community, and also from a staffing perspective, when we staffed our Brantford store the quality of people we found was excellent. We recognize there’s an opportunity here to hire quality people who are passionate about what we do.
We also knew that the community was growing and changing significantly, and we thought there was an opportunity here that wasn’t being filled.
It’s been nothing but positive. We’ve been very happy with the workforce here in Brantford both the availability and the skill and passion of the workforce. You know, the future is exciting, and our industry is changing so quickly so we need to work hard to stay on top things, but the opportunity is limitless. People are more and more engaged with what they put in their bodies. They understand that what they put in their bodies makes a difference.
I’m very proud of what my parents started and being able to carry that on and grow it to more markets and more people.