SMART Program

The Store Manager Accelerated Readiness Training (SMART) Program provides fast-tracked training to highly-motivated and ambitious retail professionals. The SMART Program provides you with all the skills needed to be a successful Natural Grocers Store Manager in nine exciting months of focused training. 


  • Foundational training in Store Management responsibilities at the Natural Grocers’ Training Center in Golden, CO.
  • Dedicated practice mastering the daily operations of each department (Body care, Dairy/Frozen, Grocery/Bulk, Produce, Receiving, Vitamins) in a live store environment and mentorship from an acting Store Manager on how to lead your future team to success. (This training takes place at stores located throughout the Denver Metro area).
  • Leading a store in managerial transition or supporting the New Store Operations Team. This 2-6 week period is your opportunity to put into practice all that you've learned.


To learn more about our SMART program and Apply today:

Visit our website
Email any questions to [email protected]
TEXT “GROW” to 97211



Meet the Program Manager




Billie Brabble is the SMART Program Manager at Natural Grocers, where she uses her passion for career development to train new generations of company leaders for successful management careers. Billie has over 10 years of experience in natural foods retail with six years in store management. She uses her industry experience to develop leadership and operational skills through a structured training program and one on one mentorship.

Billie grew up in the small mountain town of Nederland CO. She is a lover of classic science fiction books, including the works of Arthur C. Clark, Isaac Asimov and Frank Herbert. Her primary hobby is creating art in various mediums, including painting, mosaic and polymer clay.

SMART Program Graduates


CarissaSMART Project

The opportunity to work in a diverse environment in the home state of Natual Grocers enticed me.  I personally was excited to be the only Produce Manager in my round of the program! I was happy to show people that even as a produce manager with no SAP training it can be learned, and you can succeed and lead a store! My favorite part of the program was getting to learn all aspects of each department.  I also enjoyed the monthly seminars, where we get to catch up with the other SMART trainees.  Most of all I enjoyed getting to work with The SMART Program Manager and learn from her.  She is incredible in all that she does and is extremely passionate about the success of each of us. 

SMART ProjectMike

When I was considering applying for the SMART Program, the biggest appeal to me was the amount of time and detail the training program was going provide me. I felt that after the program was finished, I would have all the tools to lead a team and run a successful store. After completing the program my favorite part of the training is how much support and detail that goes into providing us (The SMART Trainees) with the proper tools in order to build successful managers.

I also liked that we train in each department for four weeks with the current Department Managers and get to learn all the tricks of the departments. This allowed me to see what it takes to run a successful department and what to expect from my Department Managers for my role as a Store Manager. The SMART Program Manager does a wonderful job at assisting us the whole way through the training to make sure that I feel comfortable taking on a store after completing the program.

DominiqueDominique Crew Member

Since starting with Natural Grocers, I’ve received so many opportunities to grow both personally and professionally with the company. When I first heard about the SMART program, I was instantly intrigued. Billie and the entire team working behind the scenes to make this program happen have been nothing short of excellent during my time with them. Their knowledge and attention to detail when it comes to putting the training together will be sure to set anyone up for success! Overall, my favorite part of being in the program has been getting to learn the various and ever-changing roles of being a Store Manager and learning when and how to use my resources. This program has given me all the tools needed to be an effective Store Manager and run a successful store. I highly encourage anyone who is passionate about Natural Grocers and looking to further their career should apply!

SMART ProjectChris

Since I came from an outlying store in Iowa, I think what initially intrigued me about the SMART program was the opportunity to be immersed into the Natural Grocers' culture. Being able to get a taste of how the SSC, Home Office, and the abundance of stores in the front range area operate has given me a new perspective and better understanding of Natural Grocers' in general. Working in each department with the diverse crew members that we have, while still maintaining a whole store view is far more beneficial than I ever thought it could be.