Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Reviews | Glassdoor

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Reviews

Updated July 9, 2017
345 reviews

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2.8
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Kemper Isely
187 Ratings

345 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • I just get tired of reading negative posts and this one is in no way coming from our home office (in 51 reviews)

  • I've seen many brand new store managers leave very soon after taking the position (in 32 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (2)

    "A Company that Actually Cares"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

    Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Response

    May 31, 2017 – Talent Coordinator

    Thanks for your feedback! We appreciate hearing good things. Our commitment to product standards is what sets NG apart. Who can resist Vitamin Bucks?


  2. "Manager/Buyer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager/Buyer in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Manager/Buyer in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great environment along with like minded employees who are enthusiastic about their work

    Cons

    Management in store has little power

    Advice to Management

    Listen to employees more

    Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Response

    Jun 26, 2017 – Talent Coordinator

    Thanks for letting us know how your experience with us was. We're proud to foster a work environment that connects the community with like minded people working for change.

  3. Helpful (5)

    "A disorganized and cheap company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Medford, OR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Medford, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage full-time

    Pros

    A 10, 20, or 30% discount on everything and a dollar per hour store credit every pay day. However, even with the discount the store is still pretty overpriced and Id rather see that extra dollar an hour on my paycheck since I can't pay rent with store credit.

    Cons

    The management in my store is extremely disorganized and unable to write a functional schedule. Natural Grocers won't pay a competitive wage so professional, hard working people don't apply and the store is run by 20 year olds who quit after a couple of months. They won't hire enough people to stay fully staffed, so when someone quits or calls in, which is most days, it is an incredible hardship on everyone else. They have their cashiers giving out at least 4 different handouts to every customer and have a long sales pitch that goes along with it. On the case of those handouts, the company doesn't even have a paper recycling set up and wastes pounds and pounds of paper per week printining fliers that didn't get read.

    Advice to Management

    Pay for quality employees and that is what you will get


  4. Helpful (8)

    "Wouldn't Recommend"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Frozen/Dairy Department Manager in Oklahoma City, OK
    Former Employee - Frozen/Dairy Department Manager in Oklahoma City, OK
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good pay, great benefits, very easy to move up and advance if you want. The only reason I'm giving 2 stars instead of 1 is because of the pay and benefits.

    Cons

    The upper management is terrible and the company has quickly gone down hill. Store managers now have virtually no control over their own stores and act more as figure heads while home office calls the shots. Working there was amazing initially but eventually I couldn't stand it and had to move on. If you do decide to work there, don't plan on making it a career. It will drive you crazy. You have very little control over anything and it's to the point where ever customers can tell things aren't going well. Also the work/life balance is horrible. To work there they expect your 100% dedication and won't work around your other life commitments.

    Advice to Management

    Stop micromanaging your stores and adding duties onto your store level employees (NHC's, department managers, etc), allow department managers to have complete control over their inventory.


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Dept Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Liberty, MO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Liberty, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    You get 10% to 30% off on items.

    Cons

    Gestapo management. Never work for this place. Everyday is a different work schedule, they watch you ever min of the day. There have cameras in the store to watch you work like a dog. Very negative management. Production environment you must work at the 110% level all of the time or get fired. Culture & Values are zero - work like a dog or leave. Low pay 10-12 per hour. Slave labor employer. Draconian work place.

    Advice to Management

    Sell to your competitor. Get rid of your 30 cameras in your stores. You should be a shamed on how you treat your employees! Gestapo management. Low pay really. Slave labor! Draconian environment.

    Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Response

    Jul 20, 2017 – Talent Coordinator

    Natural Grocers is Committed to the Employees. We offer great perks and benefits and value work/life balance in the stores. Working in grocery presents challenges and opportunities to hone retail... More


  6. Helpful (14)

    "They run all the good employee away"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate/Cashier in Edmond, OK
    Former Employee - Sales Associate/Cashier in Edmond, OK
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    If your a lousy employee who likes to come to work late, no show no call , or just not do your job, you'll be sure to rise to management status at the Edmond Oklahoma store. What's that? You have a great idea? Well go ahead and share it with your store manager so that she can take the credit and then work you to death but not before cutting you off at one hour before you might become a full time employee. They love to drain the life out of people by opening a gazillion store in the absolute worst locations (who are the idiots scouting locations anyways?) and then blame it on employees for not selling enough reusable bags. Basically, there are no pros.

    Cons

    They initially come off as a wholesome company with their five founding princes which include work/family life balance but it's really just a facade to draw customers in. The grocery discount is also considered to be a plus but in the end it's totally not worth it. They've stripped employees of all dignity including removing their measly discount with a sale item , or getting a full NPower discount because your not a customer. I worked there for 3 years, never sick, never late, traveled to help different stores, came up with brilliant money making ideas and was totally browbeat by a kid that manages vitamins. I've had cards sent to the store from customers sharing how happy they were with me and never received recognition from anyone. Don't drink the organic koolaid, it's a joke. If I could give this company no stars I would.

    Advice to Management

    Stop hiring managers who don't shop and don't care about organic or supplements. Stop running off all your great employees. Stop cutting corners to line your own pockets. For god sake, stop those idiotic commercials that the whole perceives you as a joke now. Your parents story is not your story and it's clear that they would have never done to real human beings with children , families to feed and lives to live - what you have single handly done to ruin lives. Your manager in Edmond Oklahoma should be sued for liable for telling her staff that she doesn't want a former assistant manager shopping there anymore simply because she tried to do the right thing and report to HR all of the inconsistencies . She should be able to shop anywhere she wants to but considering it's her money lining your pockets I would def tell her not to now.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Employment experience varies by region"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oklahoma City, OK
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oklahoma City, OK
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits, a company that is making good strides in the industry, high quality standards, ability to move up or transfer to other stores nationwide.

    Cons

    Becoming more "corporate", disregard for loyal employees' treatment, difficult work life balance for some department managers and upper management.

    Advice to Management

    More feedback from employees that results in small changes, build up infrastructure to support company growth

    Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Response

    May 31, 2017 – Talent Coordinator

    Making strides in the natural industry indeed! Thanks for the input we're excited to grow and make more of an impact in our communities through providing free nutrition education and the highest... More

  8. Helpful (16)

    "It's Getting Worse"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lakewood, CO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lakewood, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Vitamin bucks and birthday pay are good. There are also a lot of amazing people who work within the company.

    Cons

    Nearly everyone at Natural Grocers is overworked, especially store managers and home office employees. How do you plan on building a successful company if you have unrealistic expectations of what your people (your most important assets) can do? The sad thing is that most people working in the company want to see Natural Grocers succeed, but end up burning out. That just creates a vicious cycle of turnover because 1) people either don't want to put up with being taken advantage of or are untrained so they leave and 2) the people that replace them with go untrained and end up burning out.
    It would be great if someone in upper management would admit that there are major problems and then come up with real solutions instead of pinching pennies on every last little thing.

    Advice to Management

    It's not all about you. We all know that you guys think the Isely name makes you somehow better than everyone else in the world, but it doesn't. Stop making reactionary decisions and treat your people better. For most of us, this company doesn't live up to its value of promoting wellness. For most of us, this company has had a negative impact on our health and wellness because we're all so stressed out.

    Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Response

    May 31, 2017 – Talent Coordinator

    Natural Grocers is 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... More


  9. Helpful (8)

    "Disconnected"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Lakewood, CO
    Former Employee - Manager in Lakewood, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great values and opportunity to learn.

    Cons

    Favoritism and disconnected from results. Decisions made on personal relationships and not on results.

    Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Response

    May 31, 2017 – Talent Coordinator

    Natural Grocers provides free nutrition education for all customers and good4u Crew members. If you're looking to grow a career with a values driven organization read more about our 5 Founding... More


  10. Helpful (13)

    "Things Haven't changed in 3 years"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Help Desk Technician in Lakewood, CO
    Former Employee - Help Desk Technician in Lakewood, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Vitamin Bucks, Employee discounts, employee training

    Cons

    As soon as the company went public things changed. The growth came fast and furious. Management lost touch with it's employees needs. The IT department was grossly understaffed and only got worse. Hours were extended to accommodate different time zones this stretching the IT department. We were not given any extra help but the issues just increased exponentially. The outsiders they brought in from other companies had their own agendas and didn't care who they had to climb over on the way up the ladder.

    Advice to Management

    Isleys, remember what your momma wanted for her employees. Nurture them, treat them as if you care for them. Is Liz still there? Unbelievable.

    Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Response

    May 31, 2017 – Talent Coordinator

    Continued education, employee discounts and store credit are all amazing benefits we proudly offer all members of the good4u Crew. Over the last few years our IT Department has grown leaps and bounds... More


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