Product Standards

Products that make it through our doors and onto our shelves have gone through a four-step process, ensuring that they meet our quality standards. This selection process is maintained by our Purchasing Director and the operations committee to insure each step of the process.

Our Four-Step Buying Process:

1. Source of the Product: We review where the product comes from, how it was produced or grown, and the reputation and values of the company.

2. Clean Ingredients: Our current list of banned ingredients contains more than 100 items. The list includes ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, parabens, nitrates, artificial flavors and coloring, and growth hormones. A complete list of banned ingredients can be found here.

3. Does it meet our department standards: If the item makes it through the ingredients check list, it now has to meet the specific standards for that particular department. Those standards can be found here.

4. Would we take it home: We won’t carry a product that we wouldn’t take home ourselves. Taste, flavor, aroma, freshness – these all come into play when making product decisions. Our tasting process starts with our buyers and staff, and must meet a majority approval before it’s brought in.

Our Commitment to Non-GMO products and labeling: We are proud members of the NON-GMO Project, a non-profit multi-stakeholder collaboration committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices. It’s our shared belief with the NON-GMO Project that everyone deserves an informed choice about whether or not to consume genetically modified organisms.

When making purchasing choices our buyers compare new products with the NON-GMO Project’s list of verified products. Products that are included in this list are marked with NON-GMO tags on our shelf.

Going Beyond Industry Standards: Thanks to hard working team members, ingredients like High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) were added to our banned list before they showed up under the national spotlight. Our standards are constantly monitored, keeping them up to date and “beyond” industry standards. Our operations committee follows the latest trends, news, and food related topics to stay up to date on these important issues. We keep a close eye on food safety and food recalls, posting up-to-the-minute information on our website and Facebook.

Our Commitment to Transparency: One factor that sets us apart is our commitment to transparency. From our sales floor to our listed ingredients and nutrition content, we strive to provide accessible information on each and every product. If there is ever a question regarding a product, let us know and we’ll do our best to get you an answer.

We also provide profiles of our famers and ensure that their products follow the national guidelines for Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), showing origins clearly labeled on each sign.  For more information on our products, please ask a steward.