To celebrate Nature’s Fare Markets Silver Anniversary, we’re taking a walk down memory lane to reflect on some of our biggest milestones.
Nature’s Fare is so much more than a store: We’re a community hub where customers feel at home, and where everything on the shelves has been handpicked with the utmost care. We’re an inclusive, compassionate, fair employer where every staff member is considered a part of the family, recognizing the role each person plays in the company’s success.
We’re leaders for change, where the earth is respected and revered, and where the need to do our part extends from the top down. And it all started with our founder, Rick Monahan.
Rick moved to the Okanagan with his daughters, Claire and Alexa, in the early 1990s. He was, and still is, a man who strives to live an active, healthy lifestyle. But the catalyst for Nature’s Fare was so much more than that, because Rick was also passionate about the idea that leading a health-conscious life should be an opportunity afforded to everyone. The first Nature’s Fare store, in Kelowna—built on the premise of “one stop shopping, naturally”—was a reflection of Rick’s passion for promoting healthy living, as well as for educating and encouraging others in the natural food space. He sought out and stocked the best of the best in natural, organic products, was always on the lookout for new additions to the store’s catalogue, and continuously advocated for alternative health care options for all Canadians.
Rick believed in that first store and its staff—just as he has believed in every new Nature’s Fare store and team since—and he instilled in his daughters this enthusiasm for Nature’s Fare and the natural food industry. As soon as Claire and Alexa were old enough to pitch in, they became fixtures in the store, working after school and on weekends, so perhaps it’s no surprise that they both chose to return home to follow in their dad’s footsteps: Claire and Alexa both sit on the board and are part of the company’s executive team.
Nature’s Fare, and the Monahans, have become an integral part of so many communities, and their kindness and respect for others is unparalleled. Because of this remarkable family and their principles, our company tirelessly rallies around local and national charities who are making a difference. We’re big on community outreach, holding many events and bringing in experts to better educate and advise our steadfast following; Rick, Claire, Alexa, and th Nature’s Fare team understand that education opens so many doors when it comes to leading a healthy life.
We have also embraced the need to care for the environment, making major corporate decisions to improve the environmental impact of our stores. These changes have included a dedication to transparency, and upholding rigorous sustainability and accountability standards for any product offered in our stores. It is this dedication that led to our B Corp certification in 2014, awarded to retailers by the non-profit B-Lab organization for social sustainability, exceptional environmental performance and accountability standards, and transparency to the public. In many ways, Rick was ahead of his time, as these tenets feel like they are a part of the Nature’s Fare DNA; obtaining B-Corp status felt like recognition of his vision, and of how far we’ve come.
Since the doors first opened in Kelowna, we’ve launched seven more stores, in six incredible municipalities. We consider ourselves so lucky to be a building block in so many communities, striving to be an engaged business that has the pulse of the region. We couldn’t have made it to this landmark anniversary without you, our customers, who have so loyally walked through our doors for 25 years.
We thank you and look forward to many more years together.
Article was published in The Good Life magazine.