Retailer Story: Zed Clark of Natures Food Market

Attention: Be sure you read all the way to the end of the Natures Market Retailer Story! Natures has customized a special offer for Jan 2010 you won’t want to miss!.

A Special Message By
Joy Schrock – President – Berlin Natural Bakery

Over the years and throughout my travels, I have been fortunate enough to meet so many wonderful people at natural health food stores across the country.

It never ceases to amaze me at the stories that are shared with me as to how retailers got their start in the Natural Health Food business. Stories that are not only heart warming, but that also reveal why the natural health food industry is not a fad. The success of natural and organic products did not happen overnight. These people are the real pioneers in our industry. They are in it for the right reasons. Many of them suffered serious illnesses to find the cure through natural treatments and remedies and have a desire to share their findings with others.

It is only appropriate that the first retailer that we feature is Nature’s Food Market in our own backyard of Berlin Ohio. Berlin Natural Bakery was founded due to a need for a healthy loaf of “wheat” bread from this ONE store. As crazy as that may sound, it is in fact true. Several years later, Mr. Schlabach the owner and founder of Nature’s Food Market, introduced Berlin Natural Bakery to spelt grain. It didn’t take long until we completely discontinued our entire wheat line, to focus all of our energies and resources on this truly superior grain called spelt.

Howard Graves the founder of Berlin Natural Bakery and Delbert Schlabach the founder of Nature’s Food Market will forever be in our hearts. What a difference these gentlemen have made in the lives of us all. We will forever be grateful to them both.

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A Business With Purpose – A Lifestyle With Passion

By: Mark Weaver

Natures Market

A business with a purpose – that’s what Zedrick Clark sees in Nature’s Food Market. But it’s more than a business, it’s a lifestyle rooted in an early discovery of Native American blood in his ancestry. That’s what started Zedrick down this path. But what compels him to stay in the natural food industry?

As a teenager, he studied the lore of a people who knew how to live off the land; he learned about herbs as an alternative to medicine. “When we live our lives according to nature’s design,” he explains, “it really is better for our bodies and our world.” Although his immediate family had a typical meat and potatoes diet, Zedrick chose a mostly vegetarian diet.

At 18 years old, Zedrick went to work in a vitamin warehouse, working his way up to managing a retail natural food store a few years later. At a time when the organic food movement was gaining momentum, he saw the natural lifestyle as something to practice for ethical and social reasons. In this environment he learned good eating habits that went beyond vegetables and vitamins. But his curiosity, his desire for knowledge, led him further.

He became an agent for one of the country’s largest vitamin manufacturers and there Zedrick learned about the science behind vitamins and supplements, and about manufacturing methods. In visiting hundreds of retail stores across the country, his path became clear. He wanted to own a natural food store.

One of Zedrick’s wholesale customers, Nature’s Food Market, was started in the 1970′s by a young Amish man working with his parents and siblings. Mr. Schlabach got his start selling vitamins in a renovated chicken house. Moving to downtown Berlin, Ohio, the store thrived in a community that valued natural ways, providing vitamins and a host of other natural products.

Zedrick Clark

Nature’s had become Zedrick’s favorite stop for his personal shopping. Now married with two young children, he was ready to put down roots. He did what came naturally to a man whose faith is an integrated part of his life; he asked for divine guidance. Within hours found himself in Nature’s Food Market, where the owner was offering to sell him the store.

“My jaw almost hit the floor,” said Zedrick. “I knew this was the one I wanted.” In a very short time, a deal was signed and in December 2003 Zedrick had his own natural food store.

With the chance to realize his vision at hand, Zedrick poured his heart into taking a business that was already good, and making it great. In two years time he made significant progress in the growth of his business, and that’s when opportunity struck in the form of a disaster.

An early morning fire destroyed the 100 year old building that housed his business in January, 2006. Orange flames and billowing black smoke coming out of your business would cause many people to despair. But this the ruins still smoking, Zedrick was scouring the village for alternative locations. Within three weeks the store opened in a small temporary space.

Natures Food Market Staff

In September of that year, Nature’s Food Market re-opened in a new building. “We doubled our size and doubled our expenses, but fortunately, we also doubled the number of people we could serve,” Zedrick said. He takes seriously the people he serves. “The community we support is made up of people who are changing the world.”

Zedrick’s passion is obvious when talking about his products. “Without a doubt, the locally made products are my favorites. This community produces some of the best quality natural products such as locally made cheese, chemical free spelt bread from Berlin Natural Bakery, puffed grain, and even a local herbal extract company.”

On top of carrying the best quality vitamins and supplements, Nature’s carries a full line of natural and organic foods and an impressive array of bulk foods. The fresh ground peanut butter and bulk honey are customer favorites.

Zedrick serves as a board member of the Independent Natural Food Retailers Association, he has visited, consulted or trained over 500 retail stores in his career.

It was his passion for living life according to nature’s design that got Zedrick Clark into his business. But it’s the stories from people whose lives are changed that keep him there. After all, he says, “Wellness is contagious.”

************Nature’s Food Market Special Offer************

Berlin Natural Bakery Product Specials
Buy 1 of any Berlin Natural Bakery “FRESH” spelt baked goods and receive 50% off a second Berlin Natural Bakery item of equal or lesser value. Limit 3 per customer per visit. Offer NOT valid on frozen breads

Vitamins and Supplement Specials
Buy 1 bottle of any vitamin/herbal supplement and receive a 2nd bottle of vitamins/herbal supplements at 50% off equal or lesser value. Limit ONE special vitamin/herbal supplement purchase per household per visit. Valid only on items in stock…no rain checks.

Take advantage of these offers today by saying to the cashier “I saw the retailer story on Natures at Berlin Natural Bakery’s Website I would like to take advantage of the [bread/supplement] discount”

Special Offers Expires January 30th, 2010

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A Final Quick Question For You…

Would you like to see your local natural health food store retailer featured on our site like Natures?

If so send us your nomination by e-mail to joy [at] berlinnaturalbakery [dot] com with the subject line “Retailer Story Nomination.” In the body of the message be sure to put the store and the exact location. Thank you in advance for your willingness to help!

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3 Responses to “Retailer Story: Zed Clark of Natures Food Market”

  1. This is a nice blog i must say, usually i don’t post comments on others’ blogs but would like to say that this post really forced me to do so!

  2. Becca says:

    I like your site, but while reading on down I saw the photo of the stuffing and wanted the recipe for it. You shouldn’t be using other people’s bandwidth to post photos. You should save them, upload them to your own host and post them. That is the more honest way.

  3. Lester Rajk says:

    Hello,I love reading through your blog, I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation. Wishing you the best of luck for all your blogging efforts.

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