Why you should shop at your local heath food store
When I first started working for Wendy O’Byrne in Natural Foods (the first in Cork), heath food shops were considered a bit crusty and hippy which was right up my alley. I loved the in-shop bakery and smell of spices that we hand-dispensed to order. If a customer wanted three nuts only, we would open a bag and just sell them that. The shop was tiny and everything was higgledy-piggeldy on top of each other and full of wood and clutter. If there was such a thing as a mission statement it would have been “Bringing health foods and whole grains to all, for the good of mankind?” and would have been more of a battle cry than a marketing concept.
In Natural Choice, which has evolved from Natural Foods, the work environment has changed in many ways. Our shelves are a less charming metal and we have loads of space, in most respects we look more like a small supermarket. It’s no longer feasible to split bags of nuts or personally dispense dry goods. We no longer have a bakery or even vegetables. Health foods are no longer a minority interest but downright fashionable, you can get the basics almost everywhere. So, if you can get your lentils and your soya yoghurt in your local Tesco, why come all the way into town to us? We are not even a cool looking shop or a savvy experience.
Because we still care about helping you make good choices. For your health but also importantly, for the environment and for the planet. We try to source organic and fairtrade and ethical because we feel it matters and not just as a sound bite. When vegan and gluten free has stopped being popular we will still sell the stuff because we are not about cool but fairness and what is right. We don’t link sell or make commission, we don’t have to sell you a supplement. Our boss wants us to help the customer and give advice that will enable a more positive long term change than just a spurt of good intention that gets them nowhere. We don’t have to sell slimming supplements which are the bread and butter of many shops.
So if you like the idea of an independent local family health food shop that is there to serve you, come and support us. let us know what you need and how we can make ourselves better to change with the times but without changing the battle cry “Wholefoods and beyond! For the planet and for everyone!”