Cheers to Happy Customers!

In a new addition to WholeFoods Magazine, we’re inviting people to share what they love about their local natural products store. It’s always a treat to hear natural products retailers being showered with praise, and we gain valuable insights about what keeps consumers coming back.

This month, the spotlight shines on Rory’s, an organic and specialty family-owned grocery store with three locations in Massachusetts. The store opened in 1978 under the name Organic Market, and earlier this year the name was changed when the family passed ownership along to Rory Eames, the next generation (visit them at

Happy customer Jody Bergeron, RN, BSN, MS, a critical care RN with a busy schedule, told us why Rory’s is special to her: “There’s always something new to try with the variety of locally produced organic products.” The smoothie and juice bar is a draw, as is the selection of supplements and HABA products. “This market has definitely changed my life in that I use fewer chemical-laden products and have expanded options for healthful organic food products,” Bergeron says. “Natural and organic products are definitely a priority of mine when it comes to food, personal products, and household cleaning products.” Read more about what is making Rory’s a second-generation success on

Last month, we talked to Happy Customer Marissa Costonis, a certified health coach and author, about why she is a fan of Weaver’s Way, a co-op in Ambler, PA. Besides being able to stop worrying about where her food comes from, Marissa said she is now able to focus on a smaller number of high-quality products like local produce, meats and freshly prepared items. “Shopping in a small store for natural and organic foods also takes away the paradox of choice, which simplifies the shopping process.”

With those comments in mind, we’ve loaded this issue with information that will help you gain even more happy customers. Discover the latest in two hot grocery trends: plant-based and gourmet. You’ll also find expanded coverage on our website, where we will be reporting on the innovations, science, education and deliciousness showcased at the Plant Based World Conference and Expo, IFT19 and the Summer Fancy Food Show (all in June—we’ve been busy!).

To help you help your go-go-go customers stay on top of their game—whether they are endurance athletes, weekend warriors or simply dashing between errands and appointments all day—check out page 20 for the latest in the sports nutrition/
fitness/energy category…then flip to page 26 for the supplements and strategies that promote bone and joint health so aches and pains don’t slow your shoppers down.

There’s lots more in this issue to help you gain a competitive edge, but be sure to check out page 34, where we look at how adding a store brand to your offerings can help you build and strengthen your business. From fostering consumer loyalty to outsmarting “showrooming,” private label has a lot to offer—so much so that one of the experts we spoke with calls it “one of the best ways to retain customers.”

-Maggie Jaqua


We’d love to hear from your happy customers!

Next time a customer gives you feedback about what makes your store so terrific, suggest that they reach out to us so we can feature you in a future column! They can email WholeFoods editorial assistant Rachel Appleton at