Community Natural Foods has re-opened its doors in downtown Calgary after undergoing a major renovation. The revamp of the flagship store, located in the Beltline area, is part of a five-year strategy that was developed when Calgary Co-op acquired Community Natural Foods in 2019.
“One of the things we talked about was it’s great that we have a rich, 40-year history, but we wanted to make sure we had a health food store that fit the 21st century,” says Adam Martin, general manager of Community Natural Foods, which has two other locations in Calgary. “Especially as a flagship store, we wanted to portray to the public, ‘here’s where our company is going… and here’s what health food can look like as we continue to move forward.’”
One of the main aspects of the renovation was to create a “vibrant, alive” customer experience, says Martin.
To start, the 100% organic produce section was moved to the front of the store, in a space formerly occupied by Community Café. “Like a lot of other stores, we wanted a beautiful lead-in with produce,” says Martin. He adds that Community Natural Foods buys as much as it can directly from farmers and has a long history building relationships with farmers. “We wanted the story of family farms and how we procure to be [front and centre] as customers walk in the store.”
The café has been moved back slightly and features a new menu, including fresh juices and smoothies, burgers, pizzas, burritos, soups, salads and power bowls. There are options for a range of dietary preferences including gluten free, low sugar, paleo, keto and vegan. There’s also a new self-serve kiosk for contactless ordering.
“Community Café was a very traditional buffet-based café, and so we had to rethink our entire menu and make sure it was going to be appropriate and meet our customers’ needs in a post-pandemic world,” says Martin.