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Natural Grocers positions itself for accelerated growth

DENVER — Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage is opening two new stores in August, as it looks to accelerate growth following last year's initial public offering.

"This has been a wonderful year for Natural Grocers in Oregon. We have received a warm reception from Medford and Salem residents," said Kemper Isely, Natural Grocers co-president. "We have always seen Oregon as a natural fit for us, with its focus on active and healthy lifestyles and its keen awareness of issues around sustainable agriculture and healthy food. We're looking forward to putting down deep roots in Beaverton and Bend."

Natural Grocers, based in Colorado, will expand its footprint in Oregon with locations in Beaverton and Bend, opening August 6 and August 27, respectively. 

The company offers free health coaching to its customers — including individualized nutrition sessions, meal planning, and other guidance about nutrition and health. The company also offers free seminars and hosts guest speakers and cooking demonstrations for the community. 

The new Oregon stores will feature community rooms where residents can get a free cup of coffee or tea and free Wi-Fi access. There are also demo kitchens and educational spaces for healthy cooking presentations and community events.

Natural Grocers offers only natural and organic products, including a selection of USDA-certified organic produce and meats from animals raised naturally without the use of antibiotics or hormones. The grocery chain also has a natural dietary supplement and body care department and a large selection of gluten-free and other special dietary need products.

The Natural Grocers stores in Beaverton and Bend will open at 8:56 a.m. and close at 8:04 p.m., from Monday through Saturday, and open from 9:56 a.m. and close at 7:06 p.m. Sundays. Why the weird hours? The family-operated company says the odd hours a reminder to its staff that shoppers should always feel welcome. “If you come a little early, we will open the doors with a smile to get you inside. If you show up right at closing, you are still welcome to come in and shop at your leisure,” reads the company website. 

The company was founded in Colorado by Margaret and Philip Isely in 1955. It has since grown into a national chain with 69 locations across Colorado, Texas, Utah, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Missouri, New Mexico, Montana, Kansas, Idaho, Nebraska, Arizona and Oregon — employing more than 1,900 people to date. Although the company went public a year ago, Isely family members continue to manage it.

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