Natural Grocers: A look inside East Texas' newest grocery store - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Natural Grocers: A look inside East Texas' newest grocery store

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) - After months of eager anticipation, East Texans can now take a look inside Tyler's newest grocery store: Natural Grocers.

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage was established in 1955 by Margaret and Philip Isley, whose foray into the healthy food business began when the couple sold whole-grain bread door-to-door. Their first storefront in Colorado was called Vitamin Cottage, but as the company grew, the name change to Natural Grocers better encompassed what the business had become. Their children still run the company, which has grown into a chain of stores in 16 states, including 14 stores in Texas. 

On Sunday, the Tyler store, located on South Broadway in the former Bed, Bath and Beyond location, had a "soft opening," allowing the store to open its doors to media and the public quietly, while they "work out the kinks."  The store looked nearly perfect, with friendly staff in each area to assist people trying to find their way through, and beautifully-stocked shelves. 

The product offerings are all organic, according to Patty Moore, regional nutritional health coach for the company. Eggs are all organic and cage-free, meat is all free-range and grass-fed, and so on. Moore said that when you shop at Natural Grocers, you don't have to search on the shelf for the choice that is organic, because all of their choices are organic.

They also work to keep prices as low as possible, Moore said, while giving shoppers the high-quality products they desire. There are numerous products from Texas-based companies on the shelves, including Tyler's own Porch Culture Coffee. Texas products are clearly marked on shelves with a Texas flag sticker, to make them easily spotted by those who want to support local business. 

There is a section of books on various topics, including nutrition, weight loss, and nutritional supplementation. A well-stocked health and beauty section is in a front corner of the store, featuring much-loved lines like Burt's Bees and Kiss My Face, along with many others. 

Many will appreciate the section called "Grab 'n Go" which features pre-made salads, sandwiches, wraps, and other foods ready for customers to grab on the way to work or school.

The produce section features an array of beautiful and all-organic, non-GMO offerings. There were the usual oranges, grapes, and squashes, but also gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, scarlet Japanese sweet potatoes, and golden beets. The meat section features grass-fed all-organic meats like the usual chicken and beef, but additional offerings include elk and buffalo, for those who would like to try it.

Of course, there are snacks, too; there's an array of chips, cookies, soft drinks, coffee drinks, and more. All are made without any trace of high fructose corn syrup, Moore said, and are organic and non-GMO. Many are gluten-free, as well. 

Natural Grocers will offer classes in their community room which has a roomy kitchen area for demonstrations by chefs and nutritionists. The room is available for use by non-profit groups, as well. 

Natural Grocers is sure to be well-received by East Texans looking for healthier alternatives to conventional groceries. Moore says that they are excited to be a part of the Tyler community and that everyone is invited to drop in anytime for information, classes, or nutritional coaching, all of which are offered at no cost. 

Grand opening for the store is Tuesday, March 31.

Tyler's Natural Grocers can be found on the web at NaturalGrocers. com. They are located at 4820 S. Broadway. 

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