Canada's business magazine for traditional natural health retailers

Alive Publishing Group Acquires Canadian Natural Health Retailer

Screen Shot 2020 09 02 at 4.22.23 PMVancouver, BC — September 2, 2020 — Alive Publishing Group (APG), North America’s leading expert in natural health, has announced the acquisition of Canadian Natural Health Retailer (CNHR), Canada’s premier business magazine for health food stores.

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L'Eau Vive

leau vive health storeMany health food stores across Canada possess a certain intangible: it can’t be explained in a few words.  It is a thing – or group of things – a feeling, a spirit that makes a store unique.  It is woven into the store’s culture, and it is what sets the tone for a happy customer experience.

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Retailing post COVID-19

owners dandelion health foodsCurbside pick-up and delivery were two services that were implemented very quickly at Dandelion Foods in Almonte, ON.  And co-owner Meg Pettipas says they are services that are likely to remain.  “These are services that we've considered in the past, but have put off for future consideration. Given our aging demographic, we will likely keep this service available post-COVID.”

As some restrictions have started to relax, Meg has noticed more customers are shopping in-store and has followed up with some new measures.  “We immediately implemented directional signage for aisles and thinned out some of the display shippers for easier movement around the store. As the regulations relax, and more stores open and customers get tired of staying at home, I can see the need for limiting the number of customers in the store. We're keeping a watchful eye and will implement new measures as needed.”  

Looking to business post COVID-19, Meg predicts a lot of change,  much of it positive.  “In the short term, as restaurants remain closed or limited in their serving, I predict that sales of meals-to-go or heat and serve products continue to hold strong. When business returns to normal, I think there will be an impact on our cleaning practices. This crisis has demonstrated the need for a clear procedure on cleaning, for the safety of customers and staff.  My hope is that many of the new customers that we've gained over the last few months will return to the store. As one of the less than a handful of food stores open in our area, we've had a lot of new customers come in to our store for the first time.”

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New owners for the Organic Grocer, Surrey B.C.

Family Photo copyJune 1 marked a major transition in the history of The Organic Grocer, Surrey, B.C.  Almost 27 years after founding the store, owners Deb Foote and Garth Owen sold the business.

The Organic Grocer’s new owners are Kristina and Robi Cavallari.   Kristina brings a natural health background to her new venture.  She is a graduate of the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, earning her registered holistic nutritionist designation.  She has worked at Finlandia Natural Pharmacy, Quidditas Health, and most recently at Divine Root Nutrition.  Robi’s background and expertise is in the financial planning and banking sector. They have two young children.

Deb and Garth both have long histories as active participants in the Canadian organic movement.  Deb worked with Wild West Organics  from 1986 to 2006, and she received the CHFA Organic Achievement Award in 2005.  She has served on the boards of the Certified Organic Association of B.C., the Pacific Agricultural Certification Society and the CCEC Credit Union (which helped fund the original store).  She has also been involved with Agriculture Canada’s Organic Value Chain roundtable and the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada in Truro, N.S.     

Garth was primarily on the retail side at Lifestreams store and Woodlands Restaurant in Vancouver.  He also worked with the East End Food Co-op and Famous Foods, a century-old pioneer in bulk food, and spent a decade at Edible Island Whole Food Market in Courtney, B.C.  He served two terms on the CHFA board of directors and headed the organic caucus.  

Naturally, they depart the industry with with mixed emotions. “I guess you could liken the process of selling a business to sending your first born off to college,” explained Deb.   “We are relieved and – at the same time – perhaps a little hesitant. It’s a big change. We have been a part of this industry for more years than we can remember and ridden many a wave along the way. Yet, we have enjoyed every minute of it, challenges and all.”

The Cavallaris are looking forward to carrying the legacy of  the Organic Grocer.  Said Kristina, “The Organic Grocer speaks to us as a family and is the perfect fit for our future.”

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Organika CEO makes B.C. top 30 Under 30

aaron chinCongratulations to Organika CEO Aaron Chin on being named one of the 2020 30 Under 30 winners, as named by BC Business. Aaron joined Organika – a company founded by his father Tom – as a youngster, working around the plant, doing odd jobs. He joined the company fulltime in 2014, and worked in various departments, learning the business from the ground up. Today, Aaron and his brother – company president and COO Jordan – are the second-generation leaders of the organization.

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Our front line: Our retailers

nutters prince albertOur retailers coped and conformed during the COVID-19 pandemic.  They hired part-time and temporary staff to help clean and stock the stores, ran extra social media contests for free products, shared baking posts and healthy recipes to encourage grocery shopping in the stores and help keep Canadians healthy. 

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A once-in-a-lifetime news story: COVID-19

community natural foodsSince the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been trying to get an accurate gauge for how I felt.  It got more difficult as time went on as the situation changed daily.  This thing has been a moving target since day one.  

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Supports healthy skin, hair, nails and joints

active collagen Daily use of Active Collagen supports healthy skin, hair, nails and joints. As we get older, our collagen production naturally decreases and drops off significantly after menopause. Sourced from sustainably-sourced and wild caught fish, Active Collagen can help offset this natural decline. This product offers a neutral flavour alternative to the current Organic Raspberry Flavour, a crowd favourite, which can be added to shakes, smoothies or juices.

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Quarter Master Natural Foods

quarter master staffHere are the people who bring the “why” to life at Quarter Master:  From left, owner Tim MacMillan, Andy Pettifer, Marnie Gray, Aron Barnes, Adam Whitford, Michael Sutherland (manager), Brad McRonald(assistant manager), Jennifer Wilson, Sylvia Squair. Missing from the photo: Joyce Lewis, Jessy Deroneth and Deborah Galardo.

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Organic Garage

CNHR editor Bruce W. Cole popped in on some members of our natural health community during a recent road trip in the western part of the Greater Toronto Area.

organic garage staff  Organic Garage opened in 2006.  Today, there are five stores. On a visit to the original Organic Garage on Oakville’s Kerr St., we met (from left) cashier supervisor Aliyah Allen, produce manager Gibson Elek, grocery manager Carson Ash and grocery specialist Blanche McCoy.

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Nutters Everyday Naturals in Red Deer, AB has a new, spacious home

nutters owners“The smaller location didn’t allow for such a broad product mix,” says Brad Winsor, Nutters’ regional manager, retail operations. “Since the move, we were able to expand many sections and essentially serve our customers better.”

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Healthy gut, happy baby

organika baby probioticBuild the foundation for a healthy gut and soothe bouts of colic with Organika’s new Baby Probiotic Drops with Vitamin D. Clinically proven probiotic strains help create a balanced gut microbiome, nurtured by prebiotic fibre from beetroot. Plus, vitamin D makes sure bones and teeth grow healthy and strong!

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Natural aphrodisiac

assured naturals libidoNew look – same libido enhancing formula! 

Ultimate Libido with tongkat ali is an aphrodisiac formula for men and women with naturally sourced ingredients. It combines epimedium extract, used in herbal medicine as an aphrodisiac, along with tongkat ali, damiana powder, niacin, zinc, and BioPerine® black pepper extract, for a comprehensive approach to maintaining a healthy libido. 


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Certified Naturals™ AppleSlim™ Capsules

certified apple slimThe power of apples’ polyphenols.  AppleSlim™ is a new supplement featuring the power of apples’ polyphenols. Using wild-crafted, unripe apples for optimal antioxidant activity, the polyphenols contained in AppleSlim™ are clinically proven to assist with weight management, cardiovascular health and healthy blood pressure. Contains the innovative weight loss ingredient ApplePhenon™ – available in Canada for the first time ever!  Visit  or call 888/292-5660 to order.

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17 human clinical studies

traumaplant comfrey creamTraumaplant® Comfrey Cream from Terry Naturally CANADA helps to temporarily relieve aches and pains of muscles and ligaments caused by strains and sprains (such as acute ankle distortion and back pain). It also helps soothe sore muscles and is tested PA (pyrrolizidine alkaloids) free. Lastly, it’s safe for children ages three and up!   855/287-2646

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Gluten free oatmeal ready in three minutes

bobs red millBob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oatmeal Cups feature hearty blends of whole grain oats, flaxseeds, chia seeds, fruits, nuts and spices. Available in four different flavours and ready in three minutes – just add hot water or pop in the microwave.

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Two new products from Daiya

daiyaDaiya is proudly unveiling its plant-based vegetable crust pizzas, which feature a crispy gluten-free crust made from cauliflower, spinach and sweet potato, and are topped with Daiya’s acclaimed Cutting Board Mozzarella Shreds. Savoury, saucy, with a perfect cheesy stretch – your new go-to pizza. Pair it with Daiya’s new deliciously dairy-free pints. Made with rich coconut cream and luscious swirls of caramel and fudge, this premium dessert is ultra decadent and creamy.

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MaxOmega-3-Force:  3X better absorption!

max omega forcePrairie Naturals MaxOmega-3-Force uses the MaxSimil® enzymatic process that pre-digests Omega3 and delivers a readily absorbable and self-emulsified, monoglyceride-rich oil. MaxSimil® Omega-3 monoglycerides can be directly absorbed into the small intestine with no digestion required. MaxSimil® is clinically shown to increase the absorption of EPA and DHA by three times* Clinical data shows an improvement in the Omega-3 index with just one softgel per day of MaxSimil® patented Omega-3 fish oil.

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Not your typical pharmacy

mortar pesto staffMortar & Pesto in Red Deer, AB., is not your traditional pharmacy.  That’s because owner Jennifer Fookes is not your typical pharmacist.

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Alberta retailers attend Deane Parkes’ business education sessions

retailers in deannes sessionThere was an excellent turnout in Edmonton for Deane Parkes’ retailer training tour in Alberta in early November.  He also spoke to retailers in Calgary and Red Deer.  Stores that were represented at the Edmonton talk included  Polar Bear Health, Simply Health, Stony Plain Wellness, Optimum Health, Vitality Health, Planet Organic, Morning Sun, Regent Health, Homegrown Foods, Healthmatters and Sangsters.  Deane’s education tour was a function of his role as an education ambassador for Natural Factors and Assured Natural Distribution.

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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