Caron Balman, Supplements buyer at Kimberton Whole Foods in Kimberton, Pa.
I aim to provide products that are as close as possible to the way nature intended. This way, we make sure that each supplement supplies the maximum benefit for the minimum cost to the environment. As part of our buying guidelines, we look for products with few fillers or additives that are supported by scientific studies. We also avoid synthetic and artificial ingredients.
Debbie Sloan, Owner of Nature's General Store in Bend, Ore.
When choosing which supplements to carry, we decide by product, not necessarily by company, because even reputable manufacturers can carry questionable products as far as safety and efficacy go. But overall, every brand we stock must follow good manufacturing practice guidelines. We also prefer companies that do in-house testing.
Margo Martin, PhD, Manager at Natural of Course in Wichita, Kan.
We don’t bring any new product into our store unless it is backed by third-party clinical trials. We also believe it’s important to maintain proper temperature control in the store, so we keep the thermostat down to prevent products from going bad.
Jessica Brown, Team leader at Clover's Natural Market in Columbia, Mo.
We research new lines to ensure they’re sustainable and that the ingredient harvesting and testing are traceable. Our store has carried Gaia Herbs for a long time, and that company recently created a website and app called “Meet Your Herbs,” where viewers can see each batch’s test results by typing in a number found on the bottom of the box. Not only does this service inform us, but customers love it.