Canada's business magazine for traditional natural health retailers

St. Francis buys 50 acre organic farm

St. Francis buys 50 acre organic farm

One a recent road trip, I made my first-ever visit to St. Francis Herb Farms, a family-owned business that has been operating for 27 years. St. Francis is situated in the beautiful Madawaska Valley, a unique, remote, cottage country region, two hours northwest of Ottawa, and three and a half hours northeast of Toronto. Paul Rivett-Carnac is the company president.  His parents – Monique and Jeremy – are the company founders, and today, Paul is a co-owner of the business, along with his wife Caitlin.

The big news at St. Francis during the visit was the announcement of the company’s recent purchase of a 50 acre farm.  “This will take us back to the early days of the company,” explained Paul, “when my parents grew and harvested many of the herbs.  On our new farm, we will grow many of the herbs we use in St. Francis formulations.  Over the years, we have grown so much, and seen multiple expansions to our manufacturing facilities, we have contracted local organic farmers to help augment herb supplies.  The new farm will allow us to – along with our current farming partners – further source as many herbs locally as possible.”                          Story/photo: Bruce W. Cole

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Kardish takes home top retailer award

Kardish takes home  top retailer award

Three Ontario retailers walked away with hardware during the annual CHFA East Awards on September 19 in Toronto.

Kardish Health Food Centre in Ottawa was named winner of the Brock Elliott Memorial Award for Excellence in Retailing.   Eamonn McKay of  Fiddleheads Health and Nutrition in Waterloo was presented with the CHFA Excellence in Retail Sales award.  Foodsmiths in Perth captured  the CHFA Sustainability Award – Retailer category.  The only non-Ontarian to win a retailer award was Story Sheidow of The Turning Point, in Montague, PEI., who took home the Gordon Storie Memorial Bursary.


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CHFA East: September 17 to 20, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building

CHFA East: September 17 to 20, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building

Summer may be winding down but the industry is just gearing up for what is sure to be the best CHFA East to-date.

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Aura Cacia amber glass bottles let consumers DIY

Aura Cacia amber glass bottles let consumers DIY

Aura Cacia is pleased to be supporting consumers with easy ways to make safe and natural personal care at home using essential oils.

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BioK+ Vanilla in stores now

The long-awaited Bio-K Plus Vanilla Probiotic arrived in stores as of August 1st. 

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Alice Chung wins RBC top entrepreneur award

Alice Chung wins RBC top entrepreneur award

Alice Chung, the owner of Alive Health Centre in British Columbia, recently won the RBC Top Entrepreneur Award.   Alice, who also owns Supplements Plus in Toronto and Morning Sun in Alberta, was also recognized as one of Canada’s Top 25 Immigrants for 2015.

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Carlson introducing Ceylon Cinnamon at CHFA East

Carlson Laboratories is giving CHFA East attendees the first look at Ceylon Cinnamon, its newest product launch into the Canadian market.

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Foodsmiths marks 10 years of BYOB program: has raised over $50,000 for charity since 2005

Foodsmiths marks 10 years of BYOB program:  has raised over $50,000 for charity since 2005

Foodsmiths in Perth, ON held a summer-long celebration (July1-Aug. 31) to mark the10th Anniversary of the store’s BYOB (Bring your own Bag) program.

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Genuine Health re-formulates pain relief line, adds Biovaflex

Genuine Health re-formulates pain relief line, adds Biovaflex

Genuine Health has re-formulated and re-launched fast pain relief+, fast arthritis pain relief+ and fast joint care+, three of its natural products used to combat pain and swelling.

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New look for Natracare nursing pads

New look for Natracare nursing pads

Natracare Nursing Pads have been re-launched in new packaging, alongside Natracare post-birth Maternity pads and the award winning Natracare organic Baby Wipes.

For more information, please visit  •

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Pre-Show Buzz for CHFA East

Alpha Health Booth 415

Alpha Health is bringing a heat safe cooking oil to the market. This product is exclusive to natural health stores. Distributed through Alpha Health & Purity Life.

Andalou Booth 1803

100% Non-GMO Project Verified face, body and hair care with fruit stem cell science for clinically proven, age-defying results.   

Aura Cacia Booth 1642

Come and see new and innovative ideas for you to grow essential oil sales. We will be displaying our new shelf and floor stand units for DIY merchandising.

biokplus Booth 321

Drop by and get your FREE sample of our new Bio-K+ Vanilla drink!

Bragg Booth 2052

Visit Bragg Booth 2052 for limited supply samples/Bragg bags & meet Patricia Bragg! Find Patricia at our distributors’ booths, too!

CHFA Booth 1100

Retailers are invited to visit CHFA booth 1100 for a chance to win an Apple Watch

CLM Booth 1605

Come see the new Allimax Gel, 60’s size and to qualify for our Allimax Umbrella!

CNHR Booth 1335

CNHR’s popular Photo Wall is back…shots from the past year’s issues and events on display…some never before seen!

Ecoideas Booth 1247

Don’t miss Ecoideas’ newest innovative products at this year’s CHFA. Also in store: new packaging, samples and prizes!

Eden Foods Booth 306

Visit Eden Foods at CHFA East and see our wonderful organic food offering.

Flavorall Booth 823

Flavorall, a Canadian stevia brand with 15 different flavours is excited to partner with Tony Waters Agencies for sales in the grocery channel across Canada. 

Harvest Best Cereal Booth 401-600

Come visit us in the Marsham aisle to sample our line of Non-GMO Project Verified cereals and find amazing show specials.

Homeocan and Mustela  Booth 1923

Stop by Homeocan and Mustela booth 1923 and see fall and winter products that will grow your business.

L’Ancetre Booth 320

Come taste two new products, launching early 2016: St-Gregoire Organic Cheddar and Organic Smoked Cheddar.

Mettrum Originals Booth 846

Come and visit Mettrum Originals in Booth 846 and discover more about nature’s original super food – hemp!

N8ked Brands Inc. Booth 1940  

Come visit us for fun, food, free giveaways, contests and order incentives. 

Natracare Booth 1805

Our Nursing Pads have been re-launched in new packaging, alongside our post-birth Maternity pads and organic Baby Wipes.

Natural Factors Booth 1203

Natural Factors is launching three new products:  Super Mushroom Immune & Energy Formula, Garcina Cambogia and Berberine.

Omega7 Sea Buckthorn Booth 1003

Drop by for free samples, Omega7 pens and super hydrating Omega7 Sea Buckthorn oil lip balms (while supplies last).

Organika Booth 1317

Come join Organika as we celebrate our 25th anniversary by introducing 4 BRAND NEW products and amazing show specials. 

PASCOE Canada Booth 408

Come to visit and meet our knowledgeable and friendly sales team, get your free sample and enjoy our great booth special!

Platinum Naturals Booth 903

Stop by our booth to take advantage of our show specials, take home some giveaways and see our great new look!

Preferred Nutrition Booth 706

Receive CASH BACK, FREE Book signings and meet W. Gifford-Jones MD, Marita Schauch ND, Brad King, Jack Davidson and Maca George!

Purity Life Booth 1936

Meet plant sterol expert Stephen Wicks from South Africa to learn more about immune modulator Moducare.

St. Francis Herb Farm Booth 2034

St. Francis is launching a topical chest rub. See us for more details on the newest addition to our cold and flu season line-up.

Sarafino Booth 138

Sarafino is proud to introduce its new line of organic and fair trade chocolates, soda syrups, spices, herbs and salts. 

SOW GOOD Booth 2050 

Stop by and experience our NPA certified line of natural fragrances and bath and body care products. 

Strauss Booth 2422

Strauss is going to distribute directly to its accounts and will not be using distributors anymore.  Drop by to learn more.

Vitalite Quebec Booth 1609

The publisher of the leading French health, nutrition and fitness magazines, Vitalite Quebec and Fitness Quebec, is proudly celebrating 20 years of printing Vitalite.

Vitargo Booth 536

Get to know Vitargo, a multi-patented carbohydrate fraction taken from non-GMO starch, and is sugar and gluten-free. 

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NHP Week scheduled for November 2 to 8

Dozens of retailers and suppliers of natural health products across Canada are preparing for Natural Health Products Week (NHP Week), taking place November 2 to 8. This year, the Canadian Health Food Association’s (CHFA) initiatives will focus on continuing to educate Canadians on the benefits of NHPs by developing a positive and engaging campaign.

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WhiteWave acquires Vega

Vega has agreed to be acquired by WhiteWave, one of the world’s leading makers of plant-based foods and beverages. The transaction is designed to create further opportunities for growth, making plant-based nutrition more accessible.

“As a pioneer in the plant-based movement, we’ve introduced Vega to a core loyal fan base and we are confident that WhiteWave will provide us with the expertise and resources to further realize our vision of empowering the world to thrive through clean, plant-based nutrition,” said Charles Chang, president and founder of Vega. •

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Mettrum purchases Hempola: re-brands as Mettrum Originals

Hempola – one of the first hemp companies in Canada – has now been re-branded as Mettrum Originals. 

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John Holtmann golf event raises funds for Vitamin Angels

John Holtmann golf event  raises funds for Vitamin Angels

The 4th Annual John Holtmann Memorial Golf Tournament was a great success.  “CHFA was thrilled to take the lead in organizing the event this year,” said CHFA president Helen Long. “Thanks to all our sponsors and golfers, we were able to make a significant contribution to the Vitamin Angels.  We would like to thank everyone that participated in the event and helped to make it a wonderful and successful day.” 

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CHFA East in Toronto September 17 to 20

CHFA East is just around the corner. “While we don't want to wish away the summer, the excitement is building for this much anticipated event,” said Judy Sharpe, director, trade shows and conferences for CHFA. 

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Industry golf tournament in Ottawa August 26

Industry golf tournament in Ottawa August 26

Mark Wednesday August 26 on your calendar: CNHR Magazine is hosting the first-ever Greater Ottawa Natural Open Golf Tournament at Pine View Golf Course in Ottawa.

“We have two goals with this tournament,” explained CNHR publisher Bruce Cole.  “We want to create a regional event, bringing industry members from eastern Ontario and western Quebec together for a day of fun and camraderie.  Secondly, we want the natural health community to support an important local charitible organization.  This year, we will be working with Harmony House in Ottawa.” Harmony House serves a vital role in the nation’s capital: it is a second-stage women's shelter (the only one in eastern Ontario), assisting women and their children in making the transition from a life of fear and abuse to one of security, confidence and independence.

The day will include lunch, 18 holes of golf (team scramble format scoring), dinner, prizes and a silent auction.  Retailers and suppliers are welcome to enter a foursome or sign-up individually.  Single players will be formed into foursomes.  Sponsors are invited to take part.  Hole sponsorships are available. Out-of-town guests can find tournament accommodation rate at Marriott Ottawa East for $139 per night.  Cost for tournament entry is $125 per player plus GST  ($40 for dinner only plus HST). For more information,  email Candace Sicari at or •  

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SOL Natural Foods expands by 3,000 sq. ft.

SOL Natural Foods expands by 3,000 sq. ft.

On January 23, 2015, the five owners of SOL Natural Foods in Aylmer, QC (James McConnell, Jean-Guy Beaudry, Guy Couture, Marie Couture and Monique Enright) began a long-awaited expansion project.  The current store will be increased by 3,000 sq. ft., taking the store size to 6,000 sq. ft. (4,000 sq. ft. sales floor).   “We’ve been dreaming of this project for 10 years,” said Monique. “We wanted to offer our customers a sales area of 4,000 sq. ft. Since 2005, SOL has felt the need to double its existing space. Finally, in 2007, an opportunity presented itself. A restaurant went up for sale 600 feet from our location at that time, and the available space was equivalent to the space we were already occupying . We could see expanding our sales area to the 4,000 square feet that we needed.  The additional sales area will enable us to increase our inventory. We will also be able to enhance the presentation of our products, improve our customers’ comfort and shopping experience and better serve our customers.”

General manager Guy Couture said despite the work going on, the store has remained open. “One of our greatest challenges has been to let our customers know that we were open during the renovations.” The expansion will be complete this spring.  SOL was opened in 1986 by the current owners.  •

Ontario Natural Food Co-op (ONFC) is now selling its Ontario Natural  brand outside  of Ontario.  “In an effort to expand and develop its Ontario Naturals brand, ONFC decided late in 2014 to begin shipping to existing ONFC members and customers beyond the Ontario border,” explained Jennifer Hyde, Ontario Natural’s  brand manager.  “This was a momentous occasion since we had always restricted the sale of our products to Ontario customers.  This expansion allowed us to ship to our 125+ customers outside of Ontario, as far west as Winnipeg and as far east as Halifax.   

 “Alongside this was our decision to develop a working relationship with Horizon Distributors in British Columbia.  ONFC and Horizon have had a long-time relationship but had never done any business together, until now.  In February of 2015, we started shipping the Ontario Natural sauerkrauts and canned tomatoes to Horizon, which has exclusivity within the province of British Columbia.  So far, pick up at the retail level has been strong.” 

For more information, contact Jennifer at  •

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Guelph Organic Conference attracts over 1,800 attendees

Guelph Organic Conference  attracts over 1,800 attendees

Energy, enthusiasm and passion” are the three words conference manager Tomas Nimmo used to describe this year’s Guelph Organic Conference, held January 29 to February 1 at the University of Guelph.

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CHFA West running April 9-12 in Vancouver

CHFA West running April 9-12 in Vancouver

Retailers know that April doesn’t just bring the first signs of spring – it’s time for CHFA West.  Running April 9 through 12 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, CHFA West is a must-attend event for everyone involved in our industry. 

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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

July/August Issue


It is the once-a-year issue of CNHR where we turn the spotlight on to our industry suppliers. We share your stories of innovation, determination and creativity in bringing your products to market. It is the opportunity for suppliers to show and tell how they support the natural health retailers.

What is the "deal?"

It is our best offer of the year: When you buy a full or half page ad, you get a FREE full or half page to tell your company’s story. In this issue, our editorial is your company story.

Contact: Candace Sicari - or Katherine Stevens -

Community Board

Watch here for Job Postings, Wanted Ads, For Hire, etc. To add, contact Donna

Check out the Community Board