Both are chain stores that are part of larger corporations with some similarities but with different origins and different options for customers.
Natural Grocers began in 1955 in Golden, Colorado, inspired by the drive to find wellness through diet and natural supplements instead of conventional medicines, in healing oneself from the inside out.
This can be seen and understood by visiting their store location and seeing how the products are organized, as well as the information readily available. Natural Grocers cares very much about education. They hold weekly classes not only about the wares they sell but how to incorporate healthy eating choices to improve your overall well-being.
I would say that this store is much more specialized in the products they offer. All of their produce is organic, they follow strict pasture-based dairy standards, and have a large selection of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free products as well as an expansive selection of vitamins, supplements, probiotics, and essential oils. Natural Grocers has the goal of making all health conscious products accessible and affordable.
Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market began as a business concept when two companies, Sunflower Farmers Market and Sprouts Farmers Markets joined forces in the suburbs of Chicago in 2013. The stores have since grown into ten different states in the Midwest.
Fresh Thyme is much larger with its center and biggest section being their produce department. One of the company’s goals is to encourage customers to increase the number of fruits and vegetables in their daily diet, though not all of it is organic. They also sell hormone-free meat, fresh fish, and ready-made meals and snacks.
Fresh Thyme also sells supplements, vitamins, and probiotics as well as planet-friendly cleaning supplies and natural body care products. Customers can also buy some goods in bulk, such as coffee, nuts, and granola, with the aim of being cost effective.
Both stores offer ways to save money, with in-store coupons as well as ones you can find online. Both businesses have a focus on health improvement through the products we ingest or use around the home with an aim to educate. I believe that both fit quite nicely into the Quad Cities and I will visit both again soon.