Rachelle is a nutrition therapist holistically trained at Nutrition Therapy Institute in Denver, CO and currently practices as the Nutrition Health Coach at Natural Grocers. She is passionate about supporting the health of the whole being so that people can live their best lives.
Why Natural Grocers?
As a self-proclaimed foodie and locavore* and a holistic nutrition therapist by training, I was ecstatic when I returned to Lubbock after ten years away and discovered a Natural Grocers. I’d passed those previous ten years on the Front Range of Colorado, with four farmers’ markets a week at my fingertips from May to November and a Natural Grocers within a twenty-mile radius from any point. A proud West Texas native myself, I nonetheless felt I was moving to a food desert until my discovery of this unique – yet familiar to me – grocery and health food store at 73rd and Slide. A few shopping trips and coincidences (not coincidences?) later, I found myself the resident Nutritional Health Coach at said store. Since that point a year ago I only love Natural Grocers more, as I’ve become well versed in the founding principles on which the company is built. Let me fill you in on why I want Lubbock to show Natural Grocers some West Texas love.
What Makes this Store Different?
Founded in 1955 by Philip and Margaret Isely of Golden, Colorado, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage is still operated by the Isely family. As such it has the ability to maintain strong core values that drive every company decision. Take for example, the quality of food in the store. Only 100% USDA certified organic produce is sold, meaning you can get through the produce department faster without worrying about picking up non-organic or cross-contaminated produce. And yes, organic really does matter – more on that in another post. You also won’t be able to find an artificial sweetener, preservative, flavor or coloring in the store, nor a hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oil. That is also very good news. And finally, the company only sells naturally-raised meats, eggs and dairy, which means no confinement-based animal products, no use of antibiotics or growth promoters, and a minimum of 120 days on pasture for those animals. I don’t know about you, but I happen to like companies with values, companies willing to sacrifice profit margins in order to stay aligned with their values. Our world could use more of that. West Texans have never been short on values and now it’s time to turn our attention to food values like these.
A second distinguishing founding principle of Natural Grocers is the commitment to nutrition education. Every store in the company (now 80+ stores nationwide) has a Nutritional Health Coach on staff. The role of the NHC in the store is to provide free science and research based nutrition education in the form of nutrition classes and cooking demonstrations for the public and free one-on-one consults for individuals. Our mission is to serve people through education and access to healthy food. This makes us part of every community we serve, and commitment to our communities is a third founding principle that drives company policies such as bag-free checking and donations to the local food bank every time you bring your own reusable shopping bags.
I’ll stop. But seriously, I’d love to have you in the store and meet you personally and show you around. I’m proud to be aligned with a company with strong values where it comes to nutrition, health, education, food quality and food production. Very personalized customer service and attention accompany everything we do here; come in for a free store tour. And thanks to the LITL team for allowing me to help keep Lubbock in the Loop!
*’Locavore’ is a play on the words herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, etc. It implies one who prefers to eat ‘locally’, foods grown nearby from food farmers one knows. A practicing locavore eats fresher food, more nutritious food, reduces fossil fuel consumption required by food transport systems, and personally knows their food producer’s manufacturing practices.