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Pilgrim's Market grows into complete wellness centerPilgrim's Market grows into complete wellness center

Natural Products Expo and Natural Foods Merchandiser joined to award retailers of the year in the categories of sustainability, innovation, community and best new store. Pilgrim's' Market of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, is an innovation finalist. 

Christine Kapperman

September 6, 2014

2 Min Read
Pilgrim's Market grows into complete wellness center


In 1999, Joe Hamilton opened a humble 1,200-square-foot natural foods store called Pilgrim’s Market to share his passion for healthy and socially responsible living. After 14 years, five expansions, and one move across the street, Pilgrim’s Market—now 24,000 square feet—offers shoppers produce, bulk, deli, fresh meat, beer and wine, bakery, frozen and chill, supplement and gift departments.

But as the times change, so too do the store’s resources—which are no longer limited to products on the shelf. “We’re in a time of health crisis in the country, but this crisis brings great opportunity for new and innovative solutions,” says Hamilton, who partners with local doctors and universities to promote cooperation and communication between alternative and conventional health care channels. The result is a well-rounded health advisory board, a full-service holistic health care clinic and ongoing educational initiatives for anyone hungry to learn more.

pilgrims-acupuncture2.jpgThree Pilgrim’s innovations include:

Tapping into medical knowledge: With the goal of becoming a comprehensive resource, Pilgrim’s Market convenes a team of health professionals who advise the store on how to navigate delicate health discussions with shoppers and identify areas where they could either offer advice or refer shoppers to a professional. Along the way, the Medical Advisory Board enriches the store’s relationship with the medical community.

Full-service holistic clinic: Pilgrim’s Wellness Clinic boasts naturopathic, acupuncture, chiropractic, osteopathic, massage, ayurvedic and mental health practitioners on site. “We work synergistically,” says Hamilton. “The store helps the clinic and the clinic helps the store.” Practitioners conduct seminars and store tours, provide a link to the medical community and serve as a resource for store staff.

Education hub: Since Pilgrim’s Market opened a 2,000-square-foot education center in August 2008, it has hosted approximately 350 events serving 7,000 participants. The center is home to lectures and community education initiatives, welcoming a variety of speakers from local doctors to apitherapy specialists.

About the Author(s)

Christine Kapperman

Senior Content Director, New Hope Network

As the senior content director at New Hope Network, Christine Kapperman combines her 20-year journalism background with her passion for business to cover the natural products industry for newhope.com and Natural Foods Merchandiser magazine. She also led content at worldteanews.com. She loves tracking (and tasting) trends as she shares what’s next to show up in cups, plates and in pantries across the United States.

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