What we hear most often from our customers is this: "Thanks for not putting bad stuff on your shelves -- it makes it so easy and enjoyable to shop at your store when I don't have to be suspicious of the contents in every single item."
Our customers appreciate our clear standards and our willingness to apply those standards consistently when our competitors won't. In fact, every day you can see many suspect products in so-called "fresh market" grocery stores and conventional supermarkets alongside more healthy alternatives. It's easy to get confused or just give up and buy whatever is at hand.
We understand the temptation of other grocers to bend the rules in order to sell popular brands and profitable conventional foods that, at least on the surface, claim to be healthy. However, we have built a business that attracts customers who appreciate our purist approach, and a business that does not depend on these products for increased sales and profit. Please know you can shop our stores with the confidence that we carry all the products you need in the safest, healthiest versions available.
We sell only safe products. Generally, this means you will find minimally processed foods, single ingredient foods, and products with no artificial ingredients. The government standard for the safety of ingredients in food, body care, and dietary supplements is known as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). We like our standard better: known not to do harm. Read more about ingredient safety and government oversight of food, body care, and supplements here.
We sell only natural and organic products. What's natural? To us, it's not just a marketing term. We take it seriously. We review all of our foods and dietary supplements to assure they don't contain artificial ingredients used to color, preserve, dye, emulsify, stabilize, or solidify them. And we review body care products and cosmetics to see that they contain the safest ingredients available. We also encourage our customers to take us to task if they find something suspect on our shelves.
Take a look at "What We Don't Sell and Why" for a list of ingredients we don't think belong in groceries, meat, dairy, body care, and supplement products because they are not known to be safe.
What about Whole Foods? Yes, we mean that Whole Foods, the mega-gourmet smorgasbord. It's a really fun place to shop, and many of their principles are aligned with ours, which is why their stores do so well when located near ours (and vice versa). However, we don't encourage our customers to buy only prepared food because it costs more and there is less control over what's in it. Sure, go ahead and splurge sometimes -- we'll still be here to help you get back to basics. By the way, congratulations to our friends at Whole Foods on their recent 30th anniversary. We are planning our own festivities -- for our 60th!