In Memoriam: Paul Bennett

In June, industry said a sad goodbye to a friend and leader. Paul Bennett passed away at the age of 59 due to a heart attack.

Bennett and his wife, Sue, founded Harvest Moon Natural Foods, Olathe, KS, in 1994, and was an active member of the Natural Products Association (NPA). He served as NPA president from July 2003–2005, and served on the board of directors from 1998 to 2006.

“To me, and for so many in our industry, Paul Bennett served as the ultimate role model for all independent retail owners,” says Debra Short, owner of House of Health in Shawnee, OK. “Paul’s never-ending belief in and loyalty to natural products wasn’t just centered in his local community though. His volunteer efforts and unique ability in reaching out and working with others to find a better way to promote our health food industry was recognized and respected by all who knew him—and as such he was the ‘ideal’ choice for serving as the president of the Natural Products Association. As a person who ‘walked the talk’ he served as a truly inspirational leader who took both the association and industry ‘to the next level.’”

Indeed, Bennett was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, who was supported many charities in the Kansas City area such as Ozanam and Braden’s Hope For Childhood Cancer. States Short, “He will be missed, mourned and remembered as a person who made a tremendous difference in so many of our lives.”

Contributions can be made in Bennett’s name to Braden's Hope (

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, September 2013 (online 7/17/13)