The multilingual, multicultural staff at Organic Grocer in Surrey are able to assist customers in many ways with their expertise in organic products.

ORGANIC AND LOVING IT: 25 years of healthier eating

Organic Grocer in Surrey still on the forefront of the movement in Canada

If you’ve long sought out organic products for your diet and general lifestyle, you probably appreciate how the range of offerings from organic retailers has broadened in the past decade or so.

Garth Owen founded Organic Grocer in Surrey 25 years ago and still owns and operates the busy 3,000-square-foot store with his wife, Deb Foote. He smiles when he thinks about how far the industry has come since then.

He remembers well the transition from farmers certifying themselves, to the point where now the federal government oversees organic certification and product labelling. Along the way, interest has surged from consumers looking for healthier alternatives to mass-produced food and household products.

“The demand is incredible,” says Owen, whose store was one of the first certified organic retailers in Canada.

Celebrating 25 years of organic growth

In Surrey, the demographic has changed through the years from largely rural to predominantly urban and significantly more ethnically diverse. Not only that, people are more aware of their health and their ability to have more control over the quality of food ingested. “It’s not like it used to be 25 years ago,” Owen says. “For some people, organic food was a difficult concept, but now it is part of the mainstream.”

Over the years, the store’s product range has expanded greatly, prompting Owen to say Organic Grocer has “multiple personalities.” Among the highlights from the store’s product lines:

  • There’s a full range of organic grocery items, from produce and packaged goods to meat, poultry and dairy. They also carry environmentally friendly cleaning products, which sell well in winter when people’s homes are sealed and indoor air quality decreases.
  • With one of the largest vitamin sections in Surrey, the store has upped its preventative/wellness game. Along with a staff of product experts who are constantly learning more, they employ a master herbalist, holistic nutritionist and experts in “beauty without cruelty.”
  • GMO products are weeded out as staff discover them. A large number of wheat and gluten-free products are available, in colour-coded packaging for ease of identification.

The four S’s: skin, sleep, stomach and sex

Customers often come in looking for answers to health questions relating to all four areas, Owen says. “That’s why we have accredited staff, but we also lean on our naturopathic doctors to give us some guidance.”

The store has a mutually beneficial relationship with various local doctors and specialists, who hold mini-clinics there at least once a month, and diagnose patients referred by store staff, who usually come back to purchase products.

*****

Click here for a list of 25th anniversary activities, clinics and workshops hosted this month by Organic Grocer, or stop by the store on King George Highway in Newton. (Find more online at #25OGYears or #LivingTheEthicalLife)

 

Comments are closed

Just Posted

New West mayor says Surrey won’t be left out in transit 10-year plan

Jonathan Cote one of two speakers at luncheon focusing on transportation, land use planning

UPDATE: Missing Surrey snowshoer found dead on Mt. Seymour

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside North Delta elementary school

The officer was intervening in an alleged assault outside of Immaculate Conception School when he and the woman were stabbed

Suspect charged after four Surrey banks were robbed in just four hours

Financial institutions in North Surrey targeted on Feb. 12

Surrey says WorkSafeBC should be in charge of asbestos abatement

City staff say WorkSafeBC has ‘greater knowledge, experience and expertise’ concerning asbestos

VIDEO: Nail-biter game against Germany tonight earns Langley’s Team Canada a win

Langley’s Team Tardi is 5-2 at the junior curling worlds in Nova Scotia, hoping to defend their title

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

Most Read