Canada's business magazine for traditional natural health retailers

3 minutes reading time (636 words)

Women serving women

women serving womenSeventy five per cent of health decisions are made by women.  This according to Faith Popcorn, author of Power of the Purse.  I’ll add this: 90 per cent of people who serve customers in natural food stores are also women.


Seventy five per cent of health decisions are made by women.  This according to Faith Popcorn, author of Power of the Purse.  I’ll add this: 90 per cent of people who serve customers in natural food stores are also women.

I just returned from running some retail trainings in Prince George, Fort St. John and Grande Prairie.  I have been doing trainings for over 20 years, yet it was only during the final presentation that I took notice of who was in the room.  There were 25 women and one man! When I asked how long the women have worked in health food retail, many said 10, 15, 20+ years. They have served generations with safe, effective products.

 It takes 10 years to master a craft, so today in natural food stores across Canada, there are masters of nutrition who have first-hand experience seeing the benefits when someone changes their junk food lifestyle and begins to use natural health products.

No graduate stepping out of a naturopathic or nutritional school has near the experience of helping people be well.

These women do not need to see biased clinical trials conducted on a small select group of men, for they have watched countless people overcome serious illnesses after giving up on the pharmaceutical and junk food diet.

I said to one woman how blessed we are to earn a living while helping people live healthier, more productive lives. Her eyes teared up as she expressed that was exactly her, too.  This feeling of helping people be well is consistent in all the traditional health food stores. 

 Women who care

Health food stores across Canada are consistent in one thing – women who care; women who take the time to go to product knowledge seminars and become RNCs, herbalists, aromatherapists and nutritionists; women who listen attentively to customers who have serious health issues; women who help guide members of their local community in how to eat cleaner and healthier, and benefit from safe effective supplements.

Where else in Canadian communities is a person able to become educated by experts on how to live a healthier life for themselves and their families? NOWHERE!

This is why I believe natural food stores bring more well-being than any other institution, business or association in the community. I have not heard of a consumer EVER having a serious side effect from shopping in a health food store, EVER!  As Gifford Jones, MD, says “Where are the bodies?”

The Orthomolecular Foundation says in 33 years (since they started tracking), there have been no deaths from vitamins…ZERO! And why? Because of women who care! 

They would NEVER recommend a product to a person they would not personally take in the same situation.   Thank you to the women across Canada (and the odd man) who lead the natural food industry for the suppliers, products and brands while building the entire well-being of Canada, one customer at a time, with care, understanding and love.

Brands to carry

Do you need to carry every brand?!

Do you have a criterion for choosing the brands you carry?   If not, here are a few to consider:

  • Private label
  • Exclusive
  • Nationally advertised
  • Local
  • Clean
  • Good credit terms
  • Low out of stocks
  • Rebate program
  • Easy ordering process
  • No hassle return policy 
  • Strong demo plan
  • Coop ads
  • The key is to make sure the vendor and rep are helping you – their retail customer – sell their product to consumers.  Otherwise, do not carry the brand or at minimum, do not recommend it.

   Happy sales to you! •



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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.

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