We’re asking customers to share what they love about their local natural products store. This month, the spotlight shines on one shopper’s experience at Horrocks Farm Market in Lansing, Michigan.
When Mary Cassareal moved to the United States from a small town in Cuba with her family, she didn’t know that stepping into the local natural products store would become a moment she’d never forget. She clearly remembers the summer day in 1998 when she and her mother first stepped inside Horrocks Farm Market, in Lansing, MI.
“We walked hand in hand past the automatic doors into Horrocks to find Mr. Horrock sitting in a chair past the entrance. With a smile as sweet as Michigan cherries, his eyes creased with joy as he reached up to hand us each a red rose. ‘Good Afternoon, welcome to Horrocks!’ he said, dressed in what his generation would call his Sunday’s best,” Mary recalls.
Immigrating from famine and extreme poverty, Mary and her family couldn’t believe their eyes. “The first time my mom and I walked into Horrocks, she was in absolute shock, followed by a lot of tears. So much abundance in one small store. To see so much knowing the rest of our family couldn’t reach.”
Horrocks dates back to 1959 and has several departments including: meat, dairy, deli, produce, grocery, candy, popcorn, a garden center, a green house, and a beer garden. Pre-COVID times, the retailer offered complimentary coffee samples. Today, they have two locations located in Lansing and Battle Creek, MI.
Besides appreciating the availability of nutritious options compared to her childhood town, Mary enjoys shopping at Harrocks for its atmosphere and community feeling. “Shopping locally embellishes the hometown experience significantly. Small ordinary moments become a slice of sweet comfort to share in a small town, making grocery shopping charming. Like the caramel apples and hot apple cider in October, Horrocks is always something to look forward to, especially when sharing with loved ones.”
Today, Mary and her family maintain a plant-based diet and are always purchasing fibrous and leafy greens. Some household favorites of Mary’s include organic cashews for cashew milk, split peas, organic beans, plantains, malanga and yucca.
For her family, cooking has always been a cornerstone. “My mom is notorious for cooking her heart out before the sunrise, to have everyone in the home wake up to a steamy cuban coffee and hearty meal for breakfast. Breaking bread and bonding over food is a privilege we never take for granted.”