While Natural Grocers debuts in Tucson (7220 E Broadway/just east of Kolb), this location is the fourth store in Arizona (Sedona, Prescott, Flagstaff) and has 91 stores in 15 states, employing more than 2,000 people. A second Tucson location will be at Broadway Village (Broadway/Country Club).
Today Circle of Food as well as other food writers and health practitioners were privy to a presentation, tasting and browse around the store.
I was impressed with what I saw and heard. Browsing the store, I saw brand names I had not seen previously. I shall return to explore further.
This year Natural Grocers celebrates its 60th anniversary; its first owner Margaret Isely was inspired by Adelle Davis. author and nutritionist who advocated for unprocessed whole food and healthy eating. Ms. Davis was ahead of her time.
Natural Grocers has five principles:
–Dedicated to providing nutrition education – every store has a credentialed nutritional health coach
–Committed to quality – no artificial colors/sweeteners, no irradiated foods, no dairy products from animals treated with growth hormones, meat comes from animals that are humanely raised, only USDA certified organic produce, no GMOs and more!
–Committed to everyday affordable pricing – considered to be the low priced leader in the industry
–Committed to the community – offers free culinary/nutrition classes, free use of community room for non-profit orgs, fund-raising drives for food banks/money stays in Tucson
–Committed to their employees – offers a living wage not a minimal wage, employees have health insurance and grocery discounts.
They also provided a list of food and body care products and supplements which they don’t carry and why. The list is extensive; here’s a few:
Glycols – 3 glycols are sometimes added to supplements: polyethylene glycol (PEG), propylene glycol, and propylene glycol alginate. These products have been known to produce kidney and liver damage in rats and central nervous depression in animals.
Apricot kernels (B-17) – Naturally contain cyanide which is a poison. The amount of cyanide can vary greatly from crop to crop.
No products with NutraSweet (aspartame), Splenda (sucralose), Sweet One (acesulfame K).
Also there are no paper or plastic bags. BYO bag or your groceries go into a box. No waste.