How did you get your start in the grocery business?
I worked at my father’s store for a long time and learned the proverbial ins and outs with some great hands-on experience.
What led you to found Nature's Emporium?
Nature’s Emporium found me, I like to think. I knew I wanted to create a one-stop shop for customers who are passionate about leading a healthy lifestyle. I wanted this one-stop shop to be a place in the community where customers could go to learn more about natural health and wellness; where they could go to get inspired, feel empowered, and get expert advice.
When we started Nature’s Emporium 30 years ago, we could barely get any organic produce! Fast-forward three decades and look at how the landscape of food and health and wellness has shifted!
What do you love most about the grocery business?
What I love most about the grocery business is its dynamic nature; it's a hub of daily human interaction and often serves as a cornerstone of the community. The grocery store – in our case, the health food market – is more than a place to buy food, it's a gathering spot, a place where people come not only to shop but to connect, share, learn and belong. Every day, we have the opportunity to touch lives in a meaningful way, whether it’s through offering quality products that nourish the body, giving personalized advice on health and wellness, or simply being a friendly face offering a smile.
I also love the immediacy and tangibility of the grocery business. You can see the results of your work on the shelves every day, in the baskets of customers, and in the satisfaction they express. There's a unique reward in knowing that we're providing essentials that people need to live and thrive… to eat well, and live better.
What's the most important thing you do now as CEO?
Spend time on “the floor” at our locations listening to customers, speaking with team members across all of our departments. Relationships and the people that Nature’s Emporium touches are important to me and the company. I always have a long list of daily to-dos, but I always make time to stay connected with the communities we serve and our team.