A lot has changed in the natural/organic grocery business since New Leaf Community Market opened its first 3,000-square-foot store in a converted warehouse in a mixed residential/light industrial area of Santa Cruz, Calif., in 1985. Scott Roseman was working at the cooperative grocery while attending the University of California at Santa Cruz when in 1984, he offered to buy its assets. It had been operating for 13 years before that as a cooperative.

As shoppers peruse the aisles of Westside Market – be it one of the grocer’s three locations in New York City or its Maywood, N.J., branch – they’ll catch glimpses of owner John Zoitas’ family roots, whether it’s one of his children overseeing the day-to-day operations of a particular store or a specialty food item imported from his native Greece. 

With roots deep in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” S & R Quisberg is a family owned independent supermarket company based in Baxter, Minn., that believes in making meal planning and the shopping experience as convenient as possible for its customers.

The Myers Group opens grocery stores with long-term goals in mind. Whether they’re in the heart of downtown Seattle or in a tourist community, the company’s owner, Tyler Myers, says he wants his stores to be around for the next 40 or 50 years.

A lot has changed since the 1960s, when the concept of the modern co-op first took root in communities throughout the United States. Although many of the social changes from that era have become muted over time, GreenStar Co-Op Natural Foods Market believes the co-op is an idea that is picking up steam, especially as people embrace the idea of eating more organic, locally produced foods. 

With a year-round population of about 25,000 and a geographic area of only four by two miles, the island of Key West, Fla., is a relatively small community, figuratively and literally. Fausto’s Food Palace has been the community’s grocery store since 1926, which speaks to the strong connection between the two.

When the economy began its decline in 2008, the staff at Dion’s Quik Marts decided to look at it as less of a challenge and more of an opportunity. With 10 convenience stores and two grocery stores dispersed throughout the Florida Keys and South Dade County, the locally owned and operated chain is a favorite stop of residents and tourists.

After several years of selling fish and produce out of a horse and buggy, George Darrenkamp opened a retail store in the front room of his home in Lancaster, Pa. The family called it the General Store, and few could have anticipated the ongoing success that would stem from this modest convenience store. Today, the company has grown to three locations throughout Lancaster County, Pa., and is operated by the third generation of family ownership.

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