Independent Natural Food Retailers Association
In 2020, we had the opportunity to share some of our knowledge with members of the independent natural food retailers association. By the end of our session, we had a message from INFRA saying: “We want to talk story with you!”
Fast-forward a year later, we found ourselves in Alameda, CA to tell the story of the next generation of natural food stores. It was no longer enough to just send good, healthy, whole foods to communities; stores were seeing a need to address the environmental and social issues affecting their communities as well.
East Bay Natural Grocers and Alameda Natural Grocery have been a leader in this respect for a number of years, with an award-winning waste reduction and reuse program, as well as having shifted their hiring practices to create an environment of allyship for their employees and customers.
The legacy of natural food stores is the United States is rich and storied. INFRA has many members that have been at it since the beginning, and they wanted to share a story of one of those stores. We trained our lens on the El Cerrito Natural Grocery Company in El Cerrito and Berkeley, CA where Bob Gerner has been a purveyor of natural foods for his community since 1971. Bob took us behind the scenes of this vibrant community hub, and the long-time employees shared their “why” for working in such a dynamic industry.