Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Perfectly Practical #219 - Natural Grocers


I am one of those weird people who enjoy going to the grocery store.  Truly, I love strolling up and down the aisles looking at what is on offer.

In every foreign country Engineer and I have visited, we made it a point to go into a grocery store.  One can learn so much about the local culture there.

You cannot imagine how much hilarity is involved when you are trying to ask for various deli items from a man behind the counter when he doesn't speak English and you don't speak anything else.  One uses lots of gestures and prays that none are offensive in that culture.

I was so pleased to be asked if I would like to attend the soft opening of a new Natural Grocers in Tyler, TX.  A new grocery store...that centers around healthy food for the masses?  Yes please!

Upon arrival, they had a brunch spread for us that consisted of:

Yogurt Berry Parfait
Kalamata Olive & Tomato Topped Mini Frittata Muffin
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Turkey Bacon Sauteed in Coconut Oil
Green Tea Coconut Water Lemonade
Coffee

Always nice to catch up with Ms. Nicole
A sweet lady named Patty went through a power point presentation telling of the company's back story.  And I'm going to be honest, when she said, "We love fat around here...we are not afraid of fats" she made a new best friend in me.  She of course was talking about reasonable consumption of healthy fats but whatever, when I can buy lard and tallow on the shelf next to coconut and palm oil, I am a happy girl.

The room, which had a full kitchen complete with demonstration space, was packed with journalists, fellow bloggers*, chefs, health practitioners, farmers, trainers, real food advocates, and a Frenchman in a cowboy hat.

Some cool aspects of Natural Grocers to consider:

  1. They are and always have been a family owned and operated business.
  2. Their core values of dedication to providing nutritional education, commitment to quality at affordable prices, and commitment to the community as well as their employees have never changed.
  3. Each store has a certified health coach available to the customers at no charge.
  4. The cooking demo room is available to community groups gratis.
  5. They maintain complete transparency about what they do and don't carry and why.
  6. 100% of their produce is organic.
  7. They offer free classes to the public (calendar here) and then reward you for going!
  8. Their prices fluctuate according to their costs.  They work on a percentage of profit from each product so when their cost goes down, so does yours.
  9. They do not use plastic sacks but instead reuse product boxes.
  10. The company keeps track of legislation and advocates for food/health concerns.
  11. Their employees are all trained by a health coach and are paid a living wage.

I know what you are thinking, because I thought the same thing.  All of this warm and fuzzy company stuff is great but how does it affect my wallet?
Here are some examples:
  • I pay $5.99 for a gallon of the only organic milk that my store sells by the gallon.  Natural Grocers had several different brands to choose from with the most expensive being $6.99 a gallon.
  • I pay $1.09 for my store's brand of sparkling water in a 1L plastic bottle.  Currently S. Pellegrino sparkling water is $.99 for a 750ml glass bottle.
  • Beanitos black bean chips are $2.19 right now at Natural Grocers and I usually pay around $2.99 at my store.
  • 1 lb. Grass fed no hormone ground beef is $7.49 at NG, and at my store it is comparable if not a little more expensive.
  • 3lb. bag organic apples are $6.99 at my store and at NG they are considerably less.
Plus, Natural Grocers puts out several publications throughout the year:

  • A calendar comes out once a year that includes store coupons, tips for healthy living, and recipes.
  • Their magazine is published three times a year and has articles on health-centric legislation, product comparisons, coupons, recipes, and health tips.
  • The sale paper is released eight times a year and has similar articles as the other publications.


A few more things that set them apart from other grocery stores is that they keep their flours and nuts in a refrigerated section since their natural oils go rancid.

Also, they have a large selection of nutritional supplements which are next to, get this, a reading nook filled with books about health.


And beside it is a podium that has one of my personal go-to books resting on it - Prescription for Nutritional Healing - to be used in the store.  What could be more fitting than that for a store whose general ethos is "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food?"


Bottom line, Natural Grocers have done all of the hard work and research for you so you can be confident in your purchases.
Their prices are excellent for organic/health food prices and beat the non-organic prices on some items in addition to running sales and taking coupons.
AND they have fabulous health coaches that do live presentations where they say they aren't afraid of fat.
I am sold...and am eager for Natural Grocers to expand east into Louz-yana.


*Those fellow bloggers I mentioned, you can find them here:


This is part of WFMW.

4 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great grocery store! I wish there was a store like that near me :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! This particular store is about a 2 hour drive from where I am.

      Delete
  2. Sounds like a great store! If anyone is looking for something similar in Pittsburgh, PA, East End Food Co-op is the place. They have a great bulk food department.

    ReplyDelete

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