Natural foods retailer wants refreshed store to be a community hub
Goodness Me! Natural Food Market has wrapped up a five-month renovation of its flagship store in Hamilton, Ont.
The 16,500-sq.-ft. Upper Gage location overall includes a new facade, new flooring, expanded produce section, more refrigeration and freezer space, more shelving and a secondary seating area.
“We’ve been in this location for 20 years and it was time. It needed a refresh,” says Lindsay McFarland, communications manager at the natural foods retailer, which has nine stores in Ontario. “We really wanted to enhance the customer experience for our Hamilton Mountain customers, so it’s about making [this store] a place that is functional and beautiful, where they want to come and spend their time.”
While the seating areas remain closed due to COVID-19, McFarland is hoping people use the space to gather and meet once restrictions lift. “The goal is to become a community hub, not just a place to grocery shop,” she says. “We wanted an environment where a couple of colleagues, for instance, could meet at the big harvest table and plug in their laptops, and grab healthy food from our eatery.”
Renovations began on May 24 and the store remained open the whole time. The store’s offering includes 100% certified fruits and vegetables, verified humanely raised meats, locally sourced dairy, sustainable seafood, and more. The fresh look incorporates art from local Hamilton artists Jacqui Oakley and Jamie Lawson of Vermillion Sands.
To celebrate the renovation reveal, Goodness Me! donated $5,000 to a local food bank, Neighbour 2 Neighbour Food Share, and invited others in the neighbourhood to donate healthy food in store until Nov. 28.
“We were looking for another organization that also has a goal of feeding people good food and so it felt like a real natural fit to partner with Neighbour to Neighbour,” says McFarland.
The retailer also announced plans to open a new store in London—its first in that city—next year. “We’ve got some pretty audacious growth plans ahead of us and we’re just excited to continue to go into communities where we can just help people be healthier and happier and live longer lives,” says McFarland.