In November 2019, Community Natural Foods was acquired by Calgary Co-op. Garry desired to see the business grow in order to continue to be competitive in today’s diversified health food environment. He wasn’t interested in working with just anyone, though. He wanted to make sure our loyal customers would continue to receive the quality customer experience they have become accustomed to, and he wanted to see the business remain a Calgary-based one.
When Calgary Co-op heard that there was an opportunity to acquire the business, they saw an immediate synergy. “When Calgary Co-op learned that Community Natural Foods was looking for a buyer, we knew it was a tremendous fit with Calgary Co-op’s operations and aspirations,” Said Ken Keelor, CEO Calgary Co-op. “It allows us to grow our commitment to our community and to health and wellness of Calgarians.”
The two organizations share similar values, including a focus on lessening our environmental footprint and increasing the accessibility of health and wellness options for Calgarians.
“I really want to thank Calgarians for their loyalty and the Community Natural Foods team for their passion to provide our city with natural and organic food at a great price,” says Garry. “It’s been an amazing 42-year journey and it was my personal wish to sell to a buyer who would steward the Community Natural Foods business and brand carefully and thoughtfully. I believe the Calgary Co-op team is the perfect fit as our two organizations share similar values and a deep connection to this community.”
For the foreseeable, Calgary Co-op’s operational plan is to run the three stores and online shopping division very similarly to how they are run today.
Community Natural Foods was founded in 1977 by the Wilkes brothers. The brothers grew Community with the intention of providing Calgarians with natural and organic food at a great price. The business flourished as discerning customers could now find delicious alternatives to the artificial ingredients found in many foods sold at conventional supermarkets.
As the organic revolution grew, the original store on 11th Avenue SW was outgrown and CNF moved to the corner of 14th Street and 10th Avenue SW. Consumer demand later led Community to relocate to its current location, less than a block away at what is now our 10th Avenue Market and Cafe. In 2000, Community expanded yet again and opened its Chinook Station Market located at 202 61 Ave SW. In April 2013, Community opened its third location the Crowfoot Market located at 850 Crowfoot Crescent NW.
At Community Natural Foods we believe in products that care about people, communities and the planet we all share. We carry over 15,000 products and you can expect to find what you are looking for when you shop at a Community Natural Foods, no matter what your dietary or health restrictions may be.
From deli to dairy, our shelves are packed with organic, locally-sourced, fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, supplements, body and home care products. We strive to provide the highest standard of products for our customers, supporting the fair trade, local and organic industries – because we want you to have the very best there is to offer!
From our knowledgeable and passionate staff, to our free to attend expert talks, you can expect an experience like no other when you shop with Community Natural Foods.
If you don't live in Calgary, no worries, you can enjoy the same experience here with us online. You can explore hundreds of recipes, read helpful lifestyle and health articles and buy quality products through our online store.
We hope you love supporting your local Community as much as we do!
Wellness for All
Community Natural Foods has always been a place of community, connection and wellness which has welcomed all Calgarians for more than 40 years.
As an organization, we acknowledge that systematic racism exists. It exists in America, here in Canada, and more locally it exists here in Calgary. As an organization we also know that good intentions are not enough. We must commit to actively participating in solving these long-term systematic issues by acting as an example within the city of doing the right thing.
Despite our best efforts to be inclusive, we know that we can do more and that we have our own issues to correct. We acknowledge that our senior leadership does not effectively represent the diversity of our broad community and that Black and Indigenous voices have not had a voice at decision making tables. We acknowledge that senior roles within our organization are disproportionality filled by white men. We acknowledge that our team has not spent the time necessary to understand and educate ourselves on the issues of racism and discrimination. We acknowledge that there has not been enough space or time set aside for conversations on topics like racism and discrimination.
We also acknowledge that we don’t have the answers to any of these systematic issues, and that we won’t be able to successfully address any of these issues without first committing to listening and learning from members of marginalized communities. As first steps today we want to announce three specific areas and ways that we intend to respond to these acknowledgements.
The first is to commit to listening:
- Committing to 1/1 conversations with staff on topics of racism, prejudice, and oppression
- Committing to hosting focus groups with groups of staff on topics of racism, prejudice, and oppression
- Committing to engaging with leaders from the BIPOC community who can provide feedback on any initiatives intended to drive us forward as an organization
The second is to commit to learning
- Committing to reading books on the topics of racism, prejudice and oppression including:
o Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
o Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
o How To Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
o White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
o Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics Of Starvation, And The Loss Of Aboriginal Life by James Daschuk
- Committing to listening to podcasts and watching documentaries on the topics of racism, prejudice and oppression including:
o YYC Colours - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ndRnIrmtwM
o The Skin We're In: Pulling back the curtain on racism in Canada - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msoBTIv1VqM
o The Unlearning Channel - https://soundcloud.com/theunlearningchannel
- Committing to sharing what we are learning from the resources above actively on our staff intranet
The third is to commit to action:
- Committing to the creation of a diversity committee who will present opportunities for improvement to senior management on a quarterly basis
- Committing to the use of gender pronouns on signatures
- Committing to always appropriately acknowledging territorial history and rights when hosting events
- Committing to investing into bystander intervention training
- Committing to investing into anti-racism training
- Committing to actively investing into development opportunities for members of marginalized communities
Additionally, we expect our list of commitments to action to grow and change as we go through the process of both listening and learning. With that, should you have any recommendations for additions to any of the lists above we will always welcome them.
Respect for the Earth