Canada's business magazine for traditional natural health retailers

Customer service workers as superheroes

Shopkeeper wearing a maskLiving in this pandemic, my thoughts turn often to those on the “front lines” providing essential services, those whose work puts them at risk every day. At this moment, we as a society now seem to be recognizing the courage and sacrifice of the staff in retail food stores, natural and conventional alike. 

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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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Staffing the point of sale function

point of sale carolee colterOnce retail stores reach a point where it no longer works to have every buyer maintain the prices for their own products in the point-of-sale (POS) system, the question arises – how shall we staff the POS function?

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What to do about food waste?

Different food waste on white background top view. Clean banana, egg shells, shells of nuts, cleaning onions carrots potatoes, bits of green salad and branches from the tomato.In the natural food industry, food waste is often in our daily conversations; what does your store do with its food waste? I can’t compost in my city; how can I lessen my food waste? Of course, I send over ripe produce to the deli!

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Your real competition

deane parkes competitionIf you believe the online market is where your main competition is, you would be incorrect.

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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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Take your store beyond the door

wayne roberts janfebWith “Dr. Google” just a click away, consumers are heading to the internet now more than ever for health-related advice.

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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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What is win-win? An interview with Donald Cranston, president of Nutters Everyday Naturals

donald cranstonThis issue, I interview Mr. Donald Cranston. Donald has been doing this even longer than I have, so stand by for plenty of wisdom!

Alain: Thanks so much for taking part in this series, Donald. First off, let’s make sure our readers know a little about you and Nutters. Can you give us an intro please?

Donald: I’ve been in this role as a family-owned business since 1984, so 35 years. I was asked by my uncle to invest in and join Nutters. He and his partner were building Nutters as a bulk food concept in Medicine Hat. I was also looking at a Nutters franchise for myself in Calgary where I lived. But my uncle’s partner wanted to sell his interest in the company, so I jumped at the opportunity to become an owner in a new company, and to work with family. I came out to Medicine Hat and our team started building Nutters from six stores, and now we have 24. 

There have been tremendous changes over that time period. Over the years, we have carefully adapted to a quickly changing retail market.

Alain: I started in 1985, so you beat me by one year. Indeed, there have been so many changes over that time period. 

Donald: Retail is consistently changing. You have to adapt, you have to innovate, you have to figure out what your core strengths are and how to succeed with those strengths.

Alain: Thanks for this intro. The next question is what are some of the top three to five factors that – to you – make for a win-win relationship with vendors?

Donald: No doubt, on-going collaboration is the key; building our business together in a long-term relationship. Other factors include innovation in product development, staff training and field support staff. Most of our locations are in rural areas, so we really appreciate our sales representatives helping us on sales days, product/dinner trainings and overall working with us to get better. The vendors that have helped us grow the business are still with us after 35 years.

Alain: I came to know Nutters back in 2001 when I was doing consulting work with Prairie Naturals. I was so amazed at the Nutters welcoming and partnering approach. 

Donald: We work hard at our relationships with our vendors. We need to work together on trouble-shooting, sales support, promotional planning, strategic buying and other operational matters. We highly value our working relationships with the likes of Deborah Callbreath, Deane Parkes, Jean Robertson and other marvelous individuals that have helped us grow our business and be better connected with our customers.

Alain: I am sure most store owners and staff would agree that it’s all about working together. Our third question is this: Can you share an example of a great vendor or great story? 

Donald: I mentioned Jean Robertson earlier. She was our business development contact for Natural Factors at the time. Back in 1992, we invited her to a Nutters franchise conference at Kananaskis. We had so much fun. We were so green about the vitamin and supplement business at the time. She was the inspiration to help us get in the health and wellness side of the business. 

Jean not only helped educate us on the vitamins and supplements opportunity, she helped mentor me and our company along the way. It wasn’t just about selling Natural Factors products. It was about properly entering the category with product selection, merchandising, meeting customer needs, and how to train our staff. I’ll never forget how important Jean has been to our success.

Jean still sends me the odd email about trending information, merchandising, how to connect with our customers, product quality, efficacy and more. She’s always thinking about us. That really resonates with us and I can’t thank her enough.

Alain: Thank you very much Donald. Thirty-five years of wisdom on a one-pager is not an easy task, but I think we have the most important stuff covered.

In later issues, we’ll be asking other industry experts for their views on win-win. Opinions will most likely vary and even conflict. But it’s always guaranteed to be food for thought.

Donald's Checklist

• Adapt to a quickly changing market

  • Ongoing collaboration
  • Product innovation
  • Staff training
  • Field staff support
  • Vendors that help us get better
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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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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.

 Katherine Stevens:   647/975-3370         Celange Potocki   905/869-4870

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