Natural Foods Merchandiser logo

Cambridge Naturals champions retail innovation

Retailer of the Year: Innovation finalist

Melissa Kvidahl Reilly, Writer/Editor

August 25, 2016

2 Min Read
Cambridge Naturals champions retail innovation

Elizabeth Stagl and Michael Kanter founded Cambridge Naturals in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1974 when both were just 22 years old. The store became a true family affair in 2014 when the duo’s daughter, Emily Kanter, moved back from the West Coast to become a co-owner. Her husband, Caleb Dean, was named a partner this year. Under this joint leadership, Cambridge Naturals, a Certified B Corporation, remains committed to sourcing locally, organically and ethically and partnering with businesses owned by women and underrepresented individuals. All the while, the store works to increase access to quality foods and supplements and promote positive change for its employees and neighbors.

Here are three more ways Cambridge Naturals is a true innovator:

Supporting community. In addition to providing financial support to dozens of nonprofits, the store is a major contributor to Community Cooks, which mobilizes local organizations to offer homemade foods to individuals seeking assistance from human service agencies or struggling with food insecurity. The store hosts fundraising events for this initiative each year, and many staff members volunteer on their own time.

Prioritizing activism. By working with local group Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, Cambridge Naturals advocates for raising the federal and Massachusetts minimum wage. In 2014, after meeting with Michael in Washington, D.C., Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez traveled to the store to host a roundtable discussion on this topic with reps from other local businesses.

Related:12 leading natural products Retailer of the Year finalists

Engaging (and enriching) staff. The store hosts frequent training sessions and also encourages employees to share their knowledge with one another. “One of our staff members has a master’s in experimental medicine and has led a few trainings on antioxidants,” Emily says. “Our customers expect our staff to be highly knowledgeable about the products we carry, so we encourage them to take part in these trainings as much as possible.”

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Melissa Kvidahl Reilly


Melissa Kvidahl Reilly is a freelance writer and editor with 10 years of experience covering news and trends in the natural, organic and supplement markets. She lives and works in New Jersey.

Subscribe and receive the latest updates on trends, data, events and more.
Join 57,000+ members of the natural products community.

You May Also Like