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Natural Foods Merchandiser

Retailer Roundtable: How do you support local year round?

Retailers who support local products
Natural products retailers share how they support locally made and locally grown products throughout the year.

Ron Sharp

Merchandising manager at North Coast Co-op in Arcata, Calif.

"We have several wonderful food producers in our area, as well as a vibrant farming community. During winter we purchase root crops and brassicas from local farmers. We stock other local products, such as sauces, jams, honey, cheeses, cereals, soaps and wine, throughout the year and have monthly specials on them. Several local producers make private label products for us, which are best sellers."


Amber Glass

Manager at Basics Cooperative Natural Foods in Janesville, Wis. 

"Even in Wisconsin, we can source some local items, such as fresh sprouts and wheatgrass, year-round. And for many greens and herbs, our vendors use greenhouses to start the season earlier and end later. Good storage crops such as hard squash, rutabagas, parsnips, beets, carrots, potatoes and garlic extend the fall harvest through the snowy months and even into spring."


Summer Auerbach

Chief operating officer of Rainbow Blossom Natural Food Markets in Louisville, Ky.

"Our five stores support and stock local products year-round in several ways. We play host to a farmers’ market May through October; stock local produce, eggs, meat, dairy and cheese; and have a weekly community supported agriculture pickup. Giving our customers a variety of local options is a crucial part of what we do."


Luna McIntyre

Marketing and membership coordinator at Eastside Food Co-op in Minneapolis. 

"We support local farmers year-round by letting them know when we’ll want to purchase specific items and how much. We also build customer appreciation for fresh, seasonal produce by expanding our selection when it is available. Now they always ask about and anticipate our abundant offerings grown within a 200-mile radius of our co-op."

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