Photography courtesy Nature's Emporium
Nature’s Emporium is planting its health-food flag in Oakville, Ont.
The family-run grocer, which has locations across Ontario in Newmarket, Maple, Burlington and Woodbridge, is opening a new store in Oakville’s Dorval Crossing shopping centre next year.
The 24,000-sq.-ft. shop is slated to open in spring/summer 2023 and will employ around 100 people. It’s the second shingle the retailer plans to hang next year, in addition to its first location in downtown Toronto at Shops at One York.
“We found there is definitely a void in Oakville for a one-stop health food supermarket,” says Joe D’Addario, CEO of Nature’s Emporium. “It’s in a great neighbourhood and great shopping centre that has been there for [many years] and is a big part of the community.”
The move is part of the company’s multi-year expansion plan, which includes two new Nature’s Emporium locations already confirmed for London, Ont. D’Addario says the grocer’s goal is to have 20 stores in Southern Ontario, including multiple locations in Toronto.
“Coming off the pandemic, people are obviously more concerned about their health and their immune system and eating good, healthy, clean, organic food,” says D’Addario. “That’s the direction people are going... and we want to be their neighbourhood grocer.”
Founded in 1993, Nature’s Emporium sells a wide range of organic produce, healthy meals-to-go, vitamins and supplements, and natural health and beauty products.
“The [new] store will have an in-house kitchen, hot bars and salad bars, a juice bar, as well as a nice outdoor patio space where people can enjoy a coffee or juice or something to eat,” says D’Addario.
The grocer’s offering is designed to meet the many dietary and lifestyle needs of today’s consumers, with options including gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegan, keto-friendly and soy-free; fair-trade and locally sourced items; meat and seafood with labels like wild caught, grass fed, antibiotic free and hormone free; eco-friendly household products, and more.
Nature’s Emporium currently offers an assortment of private label items across two major categories: food and household cleaning.
Always Organic covers the fresh and grocery categories, with premium products that are certified organic. As part of a rebrand, the Naturally True and Sustainable Selections labels are being transitioned to the “Always” brand.
The new Always Natural line will feature food items that aren’t organic but are made with natural ingredients and contain no pesticides, preservatives, or antibiotics. The new Always Caring line, which is currently in development, will include health and beauty, supplements, and household cleaning products that are sourced sustainably and have attributes such as biodegradable, petroleum-free and phosphate-free.
“We’re offering our customers high-quality products that are as good or better than the national brands, but we’re also offering them at really good pricing,” says D’Addario.