Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Career Overview | Glassdoor

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Overview

Lakewood, CO
1001 to 5000 employees
Company - Public (NGVC)
$500 million to $1 billion (USD) per year
For more than 60 years, Natural Grocers has combined the affordability of natural groceries and supplements with free health and nutrition education. Our industry leading standards are never compromised in order to empower our community. Our mission is shared through providing a ... Read more

Mission: Natural Grocers has been the leader in the natural foods movement since 1955. The decisions we make are based on intent and integrity. From the beginning we established a foundation we refer to as our Five Founding Principles:
1. We are dedicated to providing Nutrition ... Read more

Company Updates

  • We're hosting OPEN INTERVIEWS for a brand new store in Heber City, UT 8/9 & 8/10 noon-3pm at the Holiday Inn Express 1268 S Main Heber City, Utah. Apply online to qualify 18+

  • We're proud to partner with the Colorado Department of Labor Veterans Employment Team and the American Job Center for the "Hire a Veteran" Job Fair Thursday 7/27 1pm - 3pm at the Wheat Ridge Rec Center 4005 Kipling St. Wheat Ridge, CO. Join the good4u crew!

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Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage – Why Work For Us?

Natural Grocers has been in business since 1955. We are a company that is built on great intent and integrity. From the beginning we established a foundation we refer to as our Five Founding Principles


1. Nutrition Education

We are dedicated to providing Nutrition Education in the communities we serve. Over the years, Natural Grocers has spent literally millions of dollars helping to empower our customers and employees to take charge of their health. This community service is the foundation upon which our business is built. It’s also why we have nutritional health coaches, health and wellness experts, educated and knowledgeable employees and a resource room available at most stores.


2. Highest Quality Products

We are committed to Quality. Every product on our shelves must go through a rigorous screening and approval process. Our standards are second to none and our suppliers are continually evaluated to ensure their dedication to our guidelines. Providing the highest quality groceries and supplements, Natural Grocers branded products and only USDA certified organic fresh produce at the best prices in the industry are part of our mission.


3.  Affordable Pricing

We are committed to Every Day Affordable Pricing. We work hard to secure the best possible pricing on all of our products so that everyone can afford to take care of their health.


4. Commitment to our Community

We are committed to our Community. From free nutrition education lectures, to bag-free checkouts, to sourcing local products, to our donation programs, we work hard to make sure that we are serving the communities that help shape our world.


5. Commitment to our Employees

We are committed to our Employees. They are what make our company great and we work hard to ensure that they are able to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Supporting them with free nutrition education programs, good pay and excellent benefits is what helps us to ensure satisfied, healthy employees who deliver world-class service to our customers.

IT WAS 1955.

Our parents, Margaret and Philip Isely – poor, idealistic – started Natural Grocers with $200 and a dream that everyone should be able to afford a healthy lifestyle and be empowered to take control of their own health.

margret-polaroidThe inspiration for this dream came from their own struggles to afford healthy food and be healthy. Shortly after the birth of their second child, Margaret became chronically ill. When conventional medicine was unable to help her, she turned to the health mavericks of that time: Adelle Davis and Roger J. Williams. She used the principles in Davis’ book, Let’s Get Well, to heal her body with nutrition, which included eating nutrient-dense, natural foods and taking dietary supplements.

It was a call to action. After the remarkable improvement in Margaret’s health brought on by following this nutrition regimen, our parents became health crusaders. Borrowing $200 to help feed the family and put gas in the car, they went door-to-door in Golden, Colorado lending books on nutrition and giving out samples of whole grain bread. They would return a week or two later, discuss nutrition and take orders for supplements, the bread and other natural, nourishing foods.

In a time when TV dinners and convenience foods were enjoying their heyday, our parents bucked convention. They taught us that nutrition education is the foundation for building health and being in control of your life, and that healthy living should be affordable and accessible to everyone.

Against all odds we’ve succeeded in growing a thriving, dynamic business that empowers people to live in health. We have done this by bucking the trends, by staying current and involved in nutrition, and by using our Five Founding Principles to guide our business decisions.

Some of the most important innovations have been decisions that bucked the trends in the natural food industry itself. For example, against the advice of all the high paid health food industry business consultants, we have always set the majority of our supplement department by section and not by brand. This is so customers can easily compare similar products and choose the one that is best for them.


In 1989 when we incorporated produce departments into our store format, we made the decision to only sell Organic produce. No other large chain does this. Our customers and employees do not have to worry about commingling, cross-contamination, or figuring out which variety of produce is organic and which is conventional. It is all organic.


In 1990 we removed all partially hydrogenated oils from our shelves, because there was significant scientific evidence that it was undeniably harmful to health. Twenty-five years later, the FDA is finally catching up with us and recommending that it be removed from the Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) list.


In 1995 we formalized our nutrition education programs with the creation of the Nutritional Health Coach position. Today, this is one of our biggest differentiators from our competitors. And it is how we provide the unparalleled nutrition education for which we are known.


In 2009 we went bag-free at our check outs. This has made a big impact on the health of the environment. It is estimated that approximately 100 million bags have been saved from the landfills since implementing this program.


In 2014 we rolled out our pasture-based dairy standards and began the process of removing products that come from confinement dairies from our shelves. This standard provides our customers with dairy products that reap all of the benefits of raising animals as nature intended – dairy that is better for you, the animals, the farmer and the environment. This is a step that has the potential to reverse global warming, stop the desertification of our planet, eliminate the stranglehold chemical agriculture has on policy making and improve the financial well-being of farmers. Properly grazed grasslands can sequester more CO2 than the rainforest and hold the water in the land. Who knew there was so much power in cup of yogurt from a pasture-based dairy? And that a decision to buy it, as opposed to a confinement product, could help the planet more than we imagined.

Sixty years and more than 90 stores later, we continue to carry on our parents’ unconventional way of thinking. We believe this is the way to empower health – the health of individuals, families, and the environment. From our family to yours, we thank you for taking this road to health with us.


Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Reviews

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Kemper Isely
193 Ratings
  • Featured Review

    Helpful (2)

    "A Company that Actually Cares"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Produce Manager in Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Assistant Produce Manager in Denver, CO
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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


    Proud to work for a company with such high ethical standards for their products, that also cares about their employees.


    Hourly wage is not as high as some comparable jobs, but the benefits and culture are the best.

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Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Photos

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage photo of: Jump into a Career in Sustainability
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage photo of: Hunter Whitmyer, Director of Operations. Fun Fact: Hunter started working for Natural Grocers as a teenager!
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage photo of: Store Managers Kevin and Mike
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage photo of: The Pearl St. good4u Crew leaders
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage photo of: Join the good4uCrew
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage photo of: Natural Grocers Cycling Team
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Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview





    Health Coach Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Amarillo, TX
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview


    I applied online. I interviewed at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage (Amarillo, TX) in June 2017.


    Basically a test over the phone that lasts one hour. Very uncomfortable/awkward. If you don't get the question right, the interviewer tries to give you hints and then proceeds to explain the right answer, which makes you feel like you have no background education on the topic. They did not focus on WHO the potential employee is such as their experience, work ethic, personality, ability to adapt to certain situations, etc. They email you a day before the interview stating they will be "testing" your knowledge on certain topics but they are actually looking for specific answers, which is a bit ridiculous. Of course I did not answer every test question exactly how they wanted to, but what do they expect? When people are put on the spot to answer something specific they learned five years ago in their college nutrition classes, I can imagine it would be difficult for anyone. I am a credentialed registered dietitian and they were not impressed with that. This company needs to fine-tune their interviewing process as they most likely miss out on people who have great potential (AND an nutrition degree) and are sadly "judged" by a test. You would think they are looking for a candidate who has an overall grasp of supplements, organic foods, antibiotic resistance, etc. and utilize their 4+ week training to brush up on the things that can be learned quickly. Their expectations and pay ($18/hr) do not correlate at all, so beware, RD's! Take your hard-earned skills to a company who will value that.

    Interview Questions

    • List the three n-3 fatty acids and specific sources of each   Answer Question
    • Explain the relationship between calcium and hydrochloric acid   Answer Question
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