Natural Grocers- Vitamin Cottage
We believe every person can improve their own health and well being when they have access to quality food, stay-informed about nutrition and learn to trust their own experience. – Natural Grocers Philosophy
Over the weekend I had the privilege of attending a special VIP event at Natural Grocers in Chandler, Arizona. Before being contacted by Francesco their PR manager, I had never heard of them. Turns out they are originally from Colorado and have several locations opening around the valley. The invited local bloggers and health professionals to learn a little bit more about their stores.
A few things that I learned about what sets Natural Grocers apart:
- They have a 10 page document titled “What We Don’t Carry And Why” including foods with artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, irradiated foods or chemical sunscreens.
- They only carry 100% organic produce.
- They keep bulk foods pre packaged for sanitary/cross contamination reasons and refrigerate nuts and flours to prevent oxidation.
- Inly cary natural raised meats with no hormones, antibiotics growth promoters, by products in the feed
- Dairy and meat products must be pasture based (access to a pasture for a minimum of 120 days), the presentation discussed the benefit of pasture based dairy.
- They are committed to providing affordable pricing. After walking around Mr. Hungry and I decided that their prices were a bit lower or right in line with other stores such as Sprouts and Whole Foods.
- Have a loyalty rewards program that allows points to accrue for discounts.
- They donate 5 cents to a local food bank every time you bring your own reusable bag- they also don’t have bags in their stores, only boxes from shipments.
- They practice green building practices by using low VOC paint and concrete floors.
- They are committed to supporting their employees by providing them discount cards loaded with bucks, treating their birthdays as a paid holiday and providing nutrition education.
The meeting was held in the kitchen/conference room which is found in every store. They actually offer the space for reserve for free for non profits as a way to give back to the community!
They put together an awesome lunch spread for us which included chicken salad, coconut yogurt fruit salad, Against The Grain baguettes, Against The Grain Pizza (we both LOVED that) and Jackson honest chips.
I LOVED the chicken salad so much I’m planning on using some of my chicken we grilled up last night to remake it. I asked if I could share the recipe with you guys and they said yes so here it is!
- 2T Now Coconut Oil
- 1.5 lbs chicken breast, finely chopped chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1T fresh grated ginger
- 3 celery stalks, finey chopped
- 2T coconut aminos
- 1/2 cup Natural Grocers roasted salted cashews, chopped
In a large skillet, heat coconut oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, celery and mushrooms to the skillet. State until onion is translucent. Add the ginger and garlic stir in and salute for 2 minutes. Add, the chicken, stir in and state for about 3-5 minutes or until no longer pink. Drizzle the coconut amino over top, toss all ingredients. Sprinkle the cashews on top and serve warm or cooled over salad greens.
Organic Girl Green Salad
- 1 clam shell container of Organic Grill Greens
- 1 cucumber, peeled, cut in half, seeded and sliced thin
- red onion, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup Kalamata olie slices
- Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar Olive Oil Dressing to taste
Combine all ingredients.
Of course no luncheon is complete without cookies! They provided Capello’s paleo friendly cookies which were DELICIOUS!
We also received $15 dollar gift cards to the store which Mr. Hungry promptly loaded up on all his food sensitivity free treats, I saved mine for the next round of groceries/recipe development/etc. I did however win this super cool mug in the raffle! #sipitreal
I’m really excited to get more familiar with their store. I will be offering MRT/LEAP food sensitivity testing as part of my private nutrition counseling. The protocol to calm down the inflammation is rather strict for the first month or so, having a place that I can send my clients that really provides the highest quality foods and ingredients will be key!
Thank you to Natural Grocers for inviting me to this event! Note I was not asked to post my experience nor was I compensated for this post I just wanted to share with you guys what I learned as always all opinions and thoughts are my own.