Calgary Co-op buys Community Natural Foods grocery stores

Calgary Co-op has bought the organic and natural grocer, Community Natural Foods. .
Calgary Co-op has bought the organic and natural grocer, Community Natural Foods. . Craig Hooper/Global News

Calgary Co-op has purchased the Community Natural Foods grocery store and cafe.

The two stores made the joint announcement on Monday, saying the sale is “part of the succession plan for Community Natural Foods’ owner and represents a coming together of two long-time community-focused Calgary retailers.”

“Calgary Co-op’s Board is pleased to support the expansion of Calgary Co-op’s commitment to health and wellness, while providing Calgary Co-op members with the benefit of annual net earnings from the Community Natural Foods business,” Co-op board chair Patricia McLeod said in a news release.

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Community Natural Foods, an organic and natural foods store, was started by the Wilkes brothers in 1977 and has been growing ever since. It was once located on 11 Avenue S.W., but soon moved to the current 10 Avenue S.W. location. It expanded further in 2000 to the Chinook Station Market and then again in 2013, with the addition of the Crowfoot Market.

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“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,” owner and founder Garry Wilkes said.

“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.”

Community Natural Foods will continue to operate as its own independent retailer, according to Calgary Co-op, and will keep selling the local and organic products shoppers are used to. The store will also keep its current staff and management.

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Co-op said the sale falls into the company’s commitment to source and sell products that come directly from local producers and farmers.

Calgary Co-op has more than 400,000 members and more than 3,850 employees.