Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers Reviews

Updated March 28, 2015
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2.8
114 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
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Kemper Isely
56 Ratings

Pros
  • Good benefits, good employee discount, good people to work with (in 14 reviews)

  • Great benefits, awesome non management coworkers, great products (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • Many of the people in the home office are not familiar with the employee handbook (in 16 reviews)

  • They treat assistant and store managers like a pressure cooker and leads to high turn over (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. 4 people found this helpful

    Highs and Lows

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Grocery Clerk
    Former Employee - Grocery Clerk

    I worked at Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The customer base at my store was knowledgeable and loyal. We had a very close-knit crew at my store for a while, good store management, and a sense of community. Admire the company's stance on organic produce and confinement-free dairy. Good starting pay and benefits relative to other grocery stores.

    Cons

    Always, always, always short-staffed. Store managers were wonderful and dedicated but regional/corporate decisions seemed absolutely batty and incompetent far more often than not. Occasional store meetings were valuable but far too drawn out. Initial love for the store steadily degraded by micromanagement from corporate office, too few people on the floor to do the work, and seeing good and competent managers and employees passed up for promotions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I feel that there is far too much focus on expanding the company into already saturated grocery markets and not nearly enough focus on improving infrastructure (and, for that matter, morale) at existing stores. We were so short-staffed, all the time, and corporate/regional managers seemed completely oblivious or indifferent to worker satisfaction. When I started at NGVC, the people I worked with were happy. I go in there now, and they are not. That might make for better short-term profits but it's not in line with the founding principles of the company or its long term success. Consider slightly higher initial pay for cashiers (I was not a cashier, for what it's worth. We all knew how hard that job was relative to working the floor). Please make your promotion process less drawn out and leave it more in the hands of store management... good people were left up in the air for weeks and sometimes months while the corporate office approved promotions. This is a good company from the bottom up but in many ways it's being wrecked by strange and inscrutable decisions from the top down.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. Good pay, lousy moral.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Produce in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Produce in Kansas City, MO

    I have been working at Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers

    Pros

    Good pay, Upward mobility, instore credit perks with each pay check, lessons on health

    Cons

    Low number of staff, heavy work load resaulting in negative team members.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Post some inspirational pictures up or something. We have to know your expectation and why we are going the extra mile.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  3. 2 people found this helpful

    Management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Management in Kansas City, KS
    Former Employee - Management in Kansas City, KS

    I worked at Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great Benefits, Team building,Great Pay, Learn something new on job everyday.

    Cons

    Upper management & home office is stretched to thin and can not fully service the needs of the individual stores. No real work/Life balance even though promised.Company is growing to quickly and focusing on new stores and lacking giving the attention needed to older stores.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
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  5. Understaffed and low morale.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Grocery Clerk
    Former Employee - Grocery Clerk

    I worked at Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Better pay than other grocery stores.

    Cons

    Low morale, cleaning bathrooms, frustrating customers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of those terrible 6am meetings.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. Sinking ship at the helm of uneducated, ignorant management and desperate staff members who throw others under the bus.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers (more than a year)

    Pros

    I worked at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage for about a year and there were a few good things about working there. Mostly the products and the patrons. That's about it. The benefit package they gave was standard. It was the only job I've had that I actually never had a bad experience with any customers, only staff members (usually the other way around). The patrons that visited our store were bright, active, fun, and positive.

    Cons

    Store management is an absolute joke and downright embarrassing for the company as a whole. The in-store politics were on the same level of high schoolers having a popularity contest, fueled by immaturity and jealousy that should have been grown out of and left behind when appropriate. The Assistant store manager was an absolute creep and homophobe, and was suspected as a perpetrator of sabotage. He still, sadly, has kept his position, because evidently NGVC does not prefer honest hard workers, but desperate 60-year-old-clowns running their stores.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a different job, learn a thing or two about the real world.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. I've had a great time and love the people I work with, my coworkers in store are family.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Great pay, benefits, discounts and products to purchase. Great customers.

    Cons

    Company is growing fast, short staffed overworked. feels like their greedy. Lacking communication. Feels like we're just a number.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Show your employees more care. Don't judge from a desk states away with a piece of paper.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. Great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers

    Pros

    Hire within the company.

    Cons

    Some positions will give too much work load.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    De-stress

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9. Outstanding Company if you care about food quality

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Management in Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Management in Denver, CO

    I have been working at Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Fast Growing company with a very positive outlook. Great Benefits and promotional opportunities. This company has great values and a mission to bring healthy natural foods to new communities. They support manufacturers, growers and producers of food that meets a really high standard

    Cons

    The company only has stores in the Western US at this time. The fast paced environments are not for everyone. They really have really high expectations for customer service

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Put more stores in the east

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  10. 1 person found this helpful

    Awesome place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Store Manager in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Store Manager in Houston, TX

    I have been working at Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Huge discounts and free money to buy food and supplements, owners that care about their employees, excellent training. A company culture that really believes in the something besides the almighty dollar.

    Cons

    Not really any cons that I can think of. They Isley family has been running their stores for 60 years so they really know what they are doing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You have built a great place to work that your employees can be proud of. I'm blessed to be a part of the team and I look forward to being with you many years.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. Great place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO

    I have been working at Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers

    Pros

    Great benefits. Company provides store credit to all employees. Owners stand behind their founding principles. 100% Organic Produce. Do not compromise their standards. Every Day Affordable Prices. Excellent career advancement opportunities. Free health and nutrition training for employees. Ability to build relationships with customers and impact their lives in a positive way. Monthly employee trainings that all employees attend.

    Cons

    Growth is a pro, but can be a con if you are not able to be flexible and adapt to change.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to communicate vision to employees and take time to celebrate company milestones.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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