How 3 independent natural retailers embrace the future

Three innovators in the independent natural retail space discuss the bold moves and brave decisions they've made to differentiate and stay ahead of the curve.

2 Min Read
How 3 independent natural retailers embrace the future

“We used to be the weird kids on the block that only served a small segment of the population. Everyone used to point and laugh at us, and now everyone is following us ... It should be an exciting time to really galvanize support for looking at things with fresh eyes and adapting to the new normal.”

—Abraham Nabors, Mustard Seed Market and Cafe

Part 1: Setting the stage to make bold moves


  • Abraham Nabors, Mustard Seed Market and Cafe, tells the story of his family’s unique stores—how they got started and where they are today.

  • Shannon Hoffmann, GreenAcres Market, talks about her family’s retail stores across the Midwest and how they have evolved. 

  • Marieke Cormier, Roots Natural Foods, tells her story of having strong roots in natural products retail and branching out into foodservice. 

  • How Cormier made the decision to go into foodservice and how opening the restaurant has shifted the face of the business. 

  • Hoffmann talks about making bold moves in order to differentiate among 20 new competitors. 

  • Community outreach events are a great way to create culture within the team and with the local community. 

  • The importance of training and hiring in order to keep the culture congruent and thriving. 


Part 2: Co-creating the future of retail


  • Nabors talks competition online and the disruptive business models that drive Mustard Seed's innovation. Customer loyalty programs, implementing third-party grocery delivery services, and coming up with solutions to cater to customers’ needs are a few to consider.

  • Hoffmann discusses creating an online shopping platform and bringing back a retro mascot that has taken over their social media channels. 

  • The future of disruption for Cormier comes with designing and curating a new location for her local community.

  • The rate of change in the retail space makes it imperative to be creative and reinvent in order to stay competitive.

  • Bringing the wellness piece to consumers, identifying specific demographics in need and building on what you are good at.

  • Sticking true to your mission and why it’s important to continue to challenge yourself as a retailer in order to fit the needs of the local communities you serve.

This session—Next Generation Retail: Envisioning and Creating a New Future—was recorded at Natural Products Expo West 2018. 

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