Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage History


Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers, then and nowWhile Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage may be new to you, many of our customers have been shopping with us since 1955. It was then that  Margaret and Philip Isely borrowed $200 from Margaret's mother and started the business. They began by going door-to-door in Golden, Colorado, selling whole grain bread and lending nutrition education books to the people they met. The Iselys knew that as people learned about good nutrition, they would need to order vitamins and bulk foods. They would return a week later to take orders for vitamins, supplements, and whole foods.


Their door-to-door business was successful enough that they were able to open their first retail storefront within six months. In 1963, they purchased a store in Lakewood, Colorado that looked like a country cottage. At the time, they were primarily selling vitamins and supplements, so they named the new store "Vitamin Cottage."


Liz Isely and Kemper Isely

In the 1960s, living a healthy lifestyle wasn't always very fashionable. Our parents struggled to make a living selling vitamins, natural foods and related products. During this time, Zephyr joined the business and began investigating ways of buying products at better prices. He developed a low-cost buying method, in partnership with our suppliers, which we still use today. Buying products at better prices has allowed us to always offer every day affordable prices to you.


Education and customer service have always been cornerstones of the Natural Grocers mission. We believe that in order for people to achieve optimal health, you need to have access to the best health and nutrition information available.


We also believe that you should be able to afford to buy the products you need in order to take care of your own health. Therefore, selling quality products at every day affordable prices is extremely important to Natural Grocers.


Every product we sell goes through a strict review process to ensure it meets our quality standards. There are some products we will not carry because they contain certain ingredients that we think are of questionable quality or safety (please see What We Won't Sell and Why).


Margaret passed away in 1997, but the business is still operated by her children and grandchildren. Over the years, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage has grown from a "Mom and Pop" business to a multi state chain. Every year we add more stores, which reflects our ability to continually meet our customers' needs.


We invite you to come in and experience a store that can change your life!