Canada's business magazine for traditional natural health retailers

Natracare maxi pads the winner of 2012 Responsible Packaging award

Natracare has been named the recipient of a 2012 Responsible Packaging award for the Natracare Natural Maxi Pads, third party certified, compostable bio bags, awarded by the Responsible Packaging Project.

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New smoothie from Vega equals two veggie servings

Vega has introduced Vega Energizing Smoothie, a quick way to "energize your day" with a convenient, on-the-go nutrient boost. Vega Energizing Smoothie contains 10 g of protein, 5 g of fibre and 1 g of Omega-3. Just add water, shake and go!

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Carlson products garners eight awards

Carlson Laboratories has announced eight of its fish oil products have been recognized by the International Taste & Quality Institute. The ITQI presented one golden star for Carlson & Carlson for Kids Norwegian Cod Liver Oil (lemon flavour), Super D Omega-3 Liquid (lemon flavour), and Carlson & Carlson for Kids The Very Finest Fish Oil (both lemon and orange flavours). Carlson's most highly concentrated fish oil, MedOmega (lemon-lime flavour), received two golden stars.

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New palm sugar named Top 10 for innovation

Since its launching in February 2012, it has been a “sweet ride” for Organika’s Organic Coconut Palm Sugar.  The product was recently appointed one of the Top 10 Innovative Products in the Grocery Showcase West held in Vancouver in late April.   Evaluated for its unique nature, buzz-worthy quality and consumer response rate, Organika’s Organic Coconut Palm Sugar was in the running against 400-plus exhibitors.

    Visit under the “What’s New” page or look under “Food” category for more information. •

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Good Health Mart meeting brings training opportunities

The Ontario-based Good Health Mart group of stores held its third annual Supplier Meeting in Port Severn in late May. Above, franchisees and store managers – along with owners Eunice and Murray McMahon – took a moment between meetings to gather outside Rawley Lodge. GHM attendees were treated to training and updates from select suppliers. "We want to thank the four suppliers who participated – SISU, New Chapter, Natural Factors and Prairie Naturals," said Eunice. The event is important to GHM, explained Murray. "Staff appreciates the training and opportunity to learn about the new products from the suppliers." •

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Three Three new products from Natural Factors

CurcuminRich Turmeric Root 300 mg

The curcumin molecule has several different actions. This seems to be the key to curcumin's potent effects in chronic degenerative disorders, which often have multiple pathways of dysfunction that converge to cause disease. For example, research shows curcumin can regulate numerous pathways that have been linked to inflammatory diseases, including transcription factors, cytokines, protein kinases, adhesion molecules, redox status, and enzymes.

Stress-Relax Magnesium Citrate Powder 300 mg

This berry-flavoured powder is an effective source of easily absorbed magnesium. Magnesium helps the body metabolize carbohydrates, fats and proteins. It also helps in the maintenance of bones and teeth, in tissue formation, and to maintain proper muscle function. Insufficient magnesium may contribute to stress, trouble sleeping, and muscle tension.

PGX Daily Satisfast

Natural Factors PGX SATISFAST Whey Protein combines the health and weight loss benefits of two exceptional products; clinically proven PGX (PolyGlycopleX®) and 100% natural whey protein. Available in French Vanilla and Chocolate.

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COTA announces Organic Week

Celebrations planned for September

The Canadian Organic Trade Association, with Canadian Organic Growers, is excited to announce Canada's third annual National Organic Week, a time to celebrate healthy food, safe environments and sustainable family farms and products from September 22 to 29. This year's celebration of "All Things Organic" is a great opportunity for the organic community in Canada to come together, and for retailers in particular to engage with the public. Over the last two years, Organic Week has featured events at the local, regional and national level, with 28 company sponsors and hundreds of participating retailers, chefs and public events.

There are many ways to get involved, and it costs nothing to come up with a great Organic Week idea or event. In the past, participating retailers have used Organic Week as a backdrop to a new front store display profiling organic products; organic food and drink samplings; organic garden workshops and even organized mini-farmers markets.

The Organic Week graphic banner, logo, and supporting materials (posters, shelf wobblers, info-sheets or consumer materials) are shared with participating retailers. All participating retailers are listed on the official Organic Week website ( and events listings directories, and promoted through social media.

If you are a retailer and would like to be involved, please contact Remember to visit Organic Week's website ( to find out about upcoming organic events and activities in your area.

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Industry couple helping to feed orphans with organics

Dale and Linda Bolton are doing some amazing things through their Natural Calm product line to help feed African orphans, by teaching organic farming and providing nutritional education.  They are accomplishing great things, but could use more support from our industry. Please take a minute to visit and see what they are doing.

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Sangster's wins provincial business award

Sangster's Health Centres has won the North Saskatchewan Business Association's (NSBA) New Direction Award.

The New Direction Business Award is presented to a NSBA business that identifies and pursues a new business idea. Sangster's Health Centres won this award based on its pursuit of integrating its own manufacturing facility – Canadian Bio – into daily operations. This vertical integration of Canadian Bio is invaluable as Sangster's can now control the quality of its own products, make special runs if product is needed quickly, and give customers a better price on Sangster's brand of products.

Sangster's Health Centres opened its first store in 1971 in Yorkton, Sk. Today, Sangster's has 37 locations across Canada, with its head office based in Saskatoon. •

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Retailer Forum

Two new programs from CNHR will help put retailers together to discuss and solve common issues

I want to introduce two new initiatives from CNHR to provide this option: The CNHR Retailer Forum and the CNHR Retailer Mentorship Program.

The Retailer Forum will be on our website, Here's how it works: if you have a question, problem or concern, post it on the Retailer Forum on I invite all other retailers to offer their thoughts, solutions, ideas, etc. to the posed question.

It also works in reverse: if you have a tip, an idea or good-news story other retailers can learn from, post it. Hopefully, the Retailer Forum will result in lots of interaction and conversation between retailers, and loads of problem solving and information exchange. You can go to Retailer Forum on to check it out.

The Mentorship Program will require experienced, established retailers who are willing to share and serve as a mentor to newer, less experienced retailers one-on-one. I will put people together, and let you do your own thing.

Please email me at if you fall into either of these groups: if you're either looking for help or if you're willing to help.

Everyday, you are sharing your vast product knowledge with consumers in your stores. I am hopeful many of you will be as generous with your business knowledge in helping your fellow retailers across the country. •.

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Sequel Naturals changes its company name to Vega

Sequel Naturals re-brands, company now known as Vega the same name as its best-selling line.

After careful consumer research, Team Vega noted that its internationally-recognized Vega brand has earned customers' trust as a leader in clean nutrition. By aligning the entire family of brands under the single Vega name, the company hopes to create more consistency within the brands, increase in-store brand recognition and make the entire line of products more easily-recognizable to consumers.

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David Chapman honoured by industry friends, co-workers

November 17 was a special night for David Chapman, founder and past-president of Purity Life Health Products. It was his official retirement party, and it was a well-attended gathering, which included David's family, co-workers, former employees, vendors, retailers and other industry friends.

It was also a night to honour David's wife and partner in business, Elyse Chapman. 

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Preferred celebrates 10 years in business in 2012

Preferred Nutrition is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. To celebrate, the company will be inviting its retail partners, suppliers and consumers to join them throughout the year with special events, offers, contests and more. In a press release, the company said, "Preferred Nutrition has had the privilege of serving the health food industry for the past 10 years as a strong supporter of health food stores. It has been our goal to provide unique, high quality products to help create healthier, happier lives for consumers. Our hope is that the next 10 years will provide more opportunities to continue our strong ties with the health food store community and to provide products that will help consumers make educated and healthy choices. Please accept our thanks for your support over the past 10 years – we are all in this together!"

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Calgary retailer wins an iPad from Preferred Nutrition

Kim Ryrie of Community Natural Foods in Calgary (centre) was the lucky winner of an iPad in the Preferred Nutrition CHFA East 2011 contest winner. Presenting Kim with her i-Pad is Preferred's western regional manager Linda Pedersen (left) of Health Sales Canada and Shelley Mehta, Preferred's business development manager.

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Sangster's relocates to larger space

Sangster's Health Centres is looking for a new franchisee for its new Prince Albert, Saskatchewan store. Sangster's recently moved to a new larger location in the Cornerstone Shopping Centre in Prince Albert. The Sangster's store has been in Prince Albert for 17 years. However, the current franchisee is retiring, so Sangster's is searching for a new franchisee to welcome into the family.

In other Sangster's news, Jenn Heibein is taking on the newly formed education coordinator position at Sangster's. Jenn has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Guelph and has been with Sangster's for three years as the product development manager. With a strong passion for the industry, Jenn is taking on the endeavour of spreading natural health knowledge to both retailers and consumers, which Sangster's believes is key in this industry.

Sangster's is a family business which started in Yorkton, Sk. in 1971

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New organic dulse

EDEN Foods has introduced Organic EDEN Whole Leaf Dulse. EDEN Dulse Palmaria palmate is wild hand-harvested near the mouth of the Bay of Fundy just off of Grand Manan, New Brunswick. This island is famous for dulse due to a unique growing environment. High cliffs on the west side shade the dulse beds from early sunlight. This results in the high quality dulse. The cold North Atlantic, morning shade, and vigorous, nurturing tidal flow creates ideal growing conditions for it. EDEN Dulse is certified organic and sustainably hand harvested.

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Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox

Are you taking calcium or vitamin D? This book could save your life!  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox is a book written by Dr. Kate Rhéaume-Bleue.

Millions of people take vitamin D and calcium supplements for bone health. New research shows that this actually increases the risk of heart attack and stroke because the added calcium lodges itself in arteries. The secret to keeping bones strong and arteries clear is vitamin K2, a little-known supernutrient that humans once thrived on and that has been ignored by scientists for almost 70 years. To order this book, please ask your Natural Factors rep.

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Dr. Roger Rogers

Dr. Roger Rogers: pioneer, InspireHealth co-founder

Dr. Roger Rogers, co-founder of InspireHealth and a pioneer of integrative medicine, passed away on November 22, 2011 at the age of 83. A practitioner of patient-centered medicine: Roger inspired, empowered and engaged his patients in their health. Recognizing early on in his career that patients themselves, could impact their health and survival as much as any medicine they took. Roger provided the inspiration that engaged his patients in their life-long pursuit of health.

Born in Vancouver in 1928, Dr. Rogers received his BA and BSW from UBC and practiced social work until he entered medicine in 1955. He interned at St. Paul's Hospital and operated a family practice in Vancouver for twenty five years, with an emphasis on prevention and a holistic approach to health.

Dr. Rogers was involved in founding and supporting the Association of Complementary & Integrative Physicians of BC (ACIPBC), and the Canadian Complementary Medical Association (CCMA). In 2002, Roger was inducted into the Canadian Health Food Association's Hall of Fame.

Recognized as a pioneer and leader in integrative cancer care – both nationally and internationally – Dr. Rogers was the grateful recipient of many awards and acknowledgements, culminating in the presentation of the Order of British Columbia in 2001. The Hecht Foundation created the Dr. Roger Rogers Prize in 2007, which awards a $250,000 prize biennially to a leader in complementary and alternative medicine.

A kind, compassionate human being; Roger dedicated himself to loving and caring for his patients, and his patients loved him in return.

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Nutrition House opens three new Ontario stores

Nutrition House opens 3 new Ontario stores

Nutrition House has opened three new stores in Ontario: Humbertown Shopping Centre in Etobicoke franchised by Chester Listoria, Headon Forest Shopping Centre in Burlington franchised by Stephanie West, and Liberty Village Shopping Centre in Toronto franchised by Anthony Kim and Michael Chang.

Nutrition House also sold a corporate store located in the Southcentre Mall in Calgary, Alberta, franchised by Tiffany-Joy Robertson. And the Nutrition House in Fairview Pointe Claire in Pointe Claire, Quebec has changed owners. The new owner is Eva Agathengelou.

In total, Nutrition House has 62 stores across Canada, and now three American-based stores in Atlanta, Georgia franchised by Ray and Norma Curby.

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Vita Health's John Holtmann

Vita Health's John Holtmann

We could fill all the pages of this issue to pay proper tribute to John Holtmann. Suffice to say if you knew John – if he was a friend or colleague – you'll agree.

John passed away on December 3 with his family by his side after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 61. Over 500 people (standing room only) attended his service in Winnipeg, which was a testament to how much John was loved and respected by all who knew him.

John is probably best known to many as the owner of the award-winning Vita Health Fresh Market retail stores in Winnipeg, although prior to that, he spent almost 30 years in various positions with Vita Health Products, a manufacturing company founded by his father-in-law, G. W. Seier. John joined the company in 1970 as a summer job.

In the late 90's, after all of Vita Health's retail and manufacturing interests were sold to Leiner, the Holtmann family purchased the retail portion back and John embarked on a new career path, turning a chain of supplement-focused stores into a food-focused business. He derived great pleasure and satisfaction from guiding and growing the business, teaching and mentoring his young team. And he was very proud to have his son Mathew join him in the business.

Industry-wide influence

Along with overseeing the growth and changes at Vita Health, John was very active in the industry. He played a key role in the formation of the United Health Merchants – now known as the Health First Network – in 1999, helping to pull retailers from all parts of the country under the UHM umbrella. And he also spent time as a director of the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA), even serving a term as the board's chair.

I recall the great sense of pride John exhibited when he had the opportunity to play host to the HFN annual meeting in Winnipeg in 2009. It was fitting given his important role in the group's formation 10 years earlier. He was proud to show visitors his stores, meet his team and tour them through his hometown.

In 2010, John received one of our industry's highest honours when he was elected into the CHFA Hall of Fame. In the spring of 2011, John announced his retirement from Vita Health – the same year the company was celebrating its 75th anniversary – and dozens of industry friends, colleagues and family made the trip to Winnipeg to surprise John with a dinner to recognize his many contributions to the industry.

John loved people. He had friends everywhere. It didn't matter if you were a supplier or a competitive retailer. I recall being in Winnipeg two years ago visiting a small health food store. The owner told me it was the norm for John to occasionally pop in, see how things were going and wish them well.

John's influence on the natural health industry and the many people he worked with and knew will be felt for decades to come. • Bruce W. Cole


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CNHR News Podcast

cnhr radio hour

News, Views and Happenings in the world of Canadian Natural Health.

Check out this month's podcast here

Your customers have spoken.  The numbers are convincing: Canada’s natural health retailers turn to CNHR for your new products.  A survey conducted in June 2020 shows retailers read the ads and Product Profiles, and react to them.  They order products they’ve seen in CNHR.  They look for your new products in CNHR.  Reach your customers via CNHR by print, video and/or podcast.  Various opportunities available to fit any budget. 

• Launch your new products

• Support your sales team

• Be visible as stores re-focus and re-charge

• Stake your position in the “new normal”

• Reach more stores – from coast to coast

• Introduce your company to new potential customers • Combine CNHR’s print, video and podcast options


New!  Product profile package

Retailers want to see more of your new products.  So, we’re making it easier for you and them. 

Introducing our new Product Profile Package:  a three-pronged way to reach retailers by combining print, video and podcast.  You get all three!

PRINT:  Claim a spot on CNHR’s Product Profile pages, mailed to health food stores coast to coast, and read by over 10,000 retail store buyers, owners, managers and staff.

VIDEO:  This is new for CNHR – video product reviews.  You’ll get a 30 second review of your product with product image and voiceover.  Five products per video, then e-blasted to CNHR’s database, to be shared among staff and with the store’s customers.   

PODCAST:  Also a new feature.  Your product will get a mention on the New Products portion of the popular CNHR News Podcast, hosted by CNHR editor Bruce Cole and Deane Parkes.   Your company name, product name, a couple of lines, followed with your company contact information.

Three-platform exposure for your new products, delivered by CNHR, the trusted source of industry information retailers have counted on for 24 years.   Three platforms for $699.00

The Product Profile Package is FREE to all full or half page advertisers!

For more information please contact:

Phone: 800.663.6580