Canada's business magazine for traditional natural health retailers

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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CHFA calls for creation of new natural health products act

CHFA visits Parliament Hill, calls for creation of new natural health products act

The Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) hosted its second annual Natural Health Products Awareness Day on Parliament Hill on November 15. CHFA members and staff attended strategic private meetings with Members of Parliament (MPs), distributed Educational Awareness Day kits, conducted a press conference, and participated in various media interviews, including an appearance on CTV Morning Live by CHFA president Helen Sherrard.

"The purpose of these activities was to promote CHFA's key message that the time is now for Parliament to create the new Natural Health Products Act," explained Helen. "We continue to educate MPs on the important role NHPs play in our economy and in the lives of millions of Canadians."?

In addition to MP meetings, CHFA staff secured a key meeting with the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) where Helen and Carl Carter – CHFA's director of Regulatory Affairs & Policy Development – spoke with Phil Harwood, PMO Policy Advisor. Meetings were also held with the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition (New Democratic Party of Canada) and the Office of the Liberal Leader. To round out the meetings, Helen and Carl, along with CHFA board chair, Matthew James and government relations oversight committee chair Matt Breech met with David Lee, director, Office of Legislative and Regulatory Modernization.

The day of meetings was concluded with a CHFA evening reception to further support MP engagement efforts. The reception was attended by 32 MPs and Senators. CHFA reports it is pleased with the quality of conversations held and believes its message of creating the new Natural Health Products Act was well received. CHFA continues to work with MPs both in Ottawa and in member ridings and looks forward to its next bilateral meeting in January of 2012.

The association also released the results of a national Ipsos Reid Omnibus survey that clearly indicates the public is in support of the creation of an Act specifically for NHPs, with seven in 10 Canadians supporting this initiative. •

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Boucher Institute opening a retail natural dispensary

The Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine has announced it is opening a retail outlet: Boucher Naturals - Natural Health Products, Dispensary, Books & More. It is the newest addition to the New Westminster, BC-based graduate-level naturopathic medical college.

Currently under construction, this street-level retail space will feature a fully-stocked natural dispensary, a comprehensive range of natural health products for purchase, as well as a wide selection of healthy snacks and juices.

Managing the store will be William (Bill) Reynolds, the former executive director of the Canadian Health Food Association. He brings nearly 40 years of experience in the natural products industry, ranging from managing retail spaces to the importation, manufacturing and distribution of natural health products in Canada.

The 1,400 square foot retail space is set to open its doors in early December 2011. Its dispensary will serve the Boucher Naturopathic Medical Clinic, located on the third floor of the Boucher Centre, while the retail space will feature the highest-quality natural health products and offer educational services, such as lectures and seminars, to the public. For more info, please go to •

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Preferred Nutrition supports Canadian Women's Foundation

Preferred Nutrition, with the help of participating Health Food Stores, raised $40,468 through its Have a Heart campaign. This money will be used across Canada by the Canadian Women's Foundation (CWF) to support programs that invest in the power of women and the future of girls. These programs focus on stopping violence, helping to end poverty and empowering girls.

Deane Parkes was privileged to sit on the CWF grants committee. He was extremely moved by the programs the CWF supports. "I have to admit, it was a heart wrenching experience – especially since the money from donations was enough to support only about 20 per cent of the applications. I can assure you, the money we raised will be put to very good use! ...My hope is that we can continue this kind of support, on both the national and local levels, for many years to come." •

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35 Years and counting for Foodsmiths

by Melissa Chapman

Hats off to Foodsmiths in Perth, ON, for reaching the magic 35th year in business. Started on the back porch of a log house in 1976, Foodsmiths survived a catastrophic flood in its early years, which nearly wiped out the fledgling business.  From that point, things have only continued to get better for owners Claire and Don Smith. On-going success has prompted five moves, each to a bigger and better location than the last.


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New products introduced at CHFA Expo East

True Hope introduced True Hope EMP in January 2011. They went to court with Health Canada and won the right to sell it in Canada.

Clef Des Champs introduced new packaging to its line, including cough syrup, cold & flu and organic baby care products.

Raw Elements; represented by BioResource, introduced several new products including Olive Oil, Hemp Pea, RawTella, and Dandy Blend, a dandelion coffee substitute.

Madhava Natural Sweeteners introduced Coconut Sugar with two flavours: regular and blonde at the show. The product came straight from coconut trees.

Zen Soy introduced a line of pudding and jello without extra sugar, that is completely vegan and organic. It comes in a pack of 4 with 108g each.

Natural nail polish removerSuncoat introduced Nail Polish Remover Gel that is alcohol-free, vegan, and corn and soy based at the show, with currently a patent pending. It comes in a travel pack size of 30mL.

AOR introduced a new line called Axioma Health with products including OsteoNOx, RejuveNOx, CardioNOx, ImmuNO, AntioxidantNOx, and InflaNOx.

Hain Celestial Canada introduced the Greek Gods Yogurt, all natural Yogurt, Spectrum Oils such as Asian Stir Fry and Coconut Dream in a cream, milk, and water form.

ProBar introduced Halo Bars with vegan marshmallows and only 150 calories per bar.

Stortz & Associates Inc introduced a new line of Eco-Friendly toys called Begin-Again, "Soil not Oil."

Living Naturally introduced the iHealthKiosk, a online touch-screen health book for consumers.

Stealth Health Foods Inc introduced a new Salba product: Banana Powder in January 2011.

Adeeva introduced Clinical Weight Loss.

Camino BarsCamino introduced a new line of juices and bars.

SISU introduced Ester-C Energy Boost, a daily vitamin drink mix. "Bring water to your life!"

Peak Performace Products introduced a New Zealand Whey Protein Isolate, unflavoured in a bag.

Natracare introduced re-designed and re-named Natural Panty Liners with 30 in a box.

Organika introduced Instant C Orange Flavour in one-a-day packages.

Natural joint pain reliefPascoe introduced Pascoe Agil for joint pain

Soladey introduced a toothbrush called the Ionic J3X. This model uses the same technology as the Soladey Eco with the added efficiency an integrated solar panel.

Lorna Vanderhaeghe introduced GLA Skin Oil with Borage Oil.

Maison Orphee introduced a new type of dijon mustard and Quatuor blend of oils.

MacKellar Farms launched 100 per cent all-natural Canadian edamame, grown on a Canadian family farm.

Ecover launched both Zero Natural Dishwashing Powder, a phosphate-free formulation and Zero Natural Laundry Powder without fragrances, optical brighteners, phosphates, dyes, colouring agents or chlorine.

Raincoast is offering five different flavours of canned sardines. Rich in omega-3's and one of the ten best eco fish.

Steaz introduced zero-calorie sparkling fair trade organic green tea, naturally sweetened with stevia.

Manitoba Harvest introduced a new and refreshed package.

Amy's Kitchen launched hearty soups, light & lean pastas and rice crust pizzas.

The Winning Combination launched Abrexin, as well as Vitamints: easy mints on the go.

Allergic Solutions introduced a great tasting, versatile baking mix that meets all your allergic needs.

Greeniche introduced stevia, containing premium quality natural stevia extract with 97 per cent purity of Reb-A.

Heart Chocolate has been infused with CM-X extract, a unique proprietary formulation of cinnamon cassia.

Silver Hills introduced Mack's Flax Bread with delicious, high fibre, and omega 3 flax seeds.

Natusoy Foods Ltd launched Sea Veggies in three flavours: Sea Salt, Hot

Chili and Black Pepper. Healthy seaweed snacks.

Nature's Path sampled Love Crunch premium organic granola, which has three new flavours: Aloha Blend, Carrot Cake and Apple Crumble.

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New products from Genuine Health

Genuine Health has launched three new products just in time for CHFA Expo East. Vegan proteins+ in natural strawberry flavour is a complete protein with a balance of all essential amino acids and is made from a unique combination of vegan proteins including non-GMO pea, cranberry, organic sprouted brown rice, alfalfa and hemp. It provides 36g (20g dietary) of protein per serving.


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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

Get into the hands of 10,000+ retailers

Reach 10,000+ natural health store professionals via CNHR Magazine.  CNHR is delivered by Canada Post six times per year to virtually every health food store across Canada.  Retailers are your true sales force.  So, get your product into more stores and get them selling for you.  

Remember, your first sale is to the retailers.  CNHR can get your message in front of them. Connect with the retailers who sell and recommend your product.

Put CNHR’s many resources to work for you:Display ads, Product Profiles, Trade Talk news in CNHR Magazine along with Facebook, CNHR web page, podcasts, inserts, videos posted to our website, sending product samples to stores…we have the access to Canada’s natural health retailers.  Put our many resources to work for your company and products today.

Contact:  Katherine Stevens:   647/975-3370         Contact:  Candace Sicari:   705/209-9280

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