Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage "home office" Reviews | Glassdoor

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Employee Reviews about "home office"

Updated Sep 24, 2019

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2.7
40%
Recommend to a Friend
33%
Approve of CEO
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage CEO Kemper Isely  (no image)
Kemper Isely
304 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "Home office creates an environment for double standards(in 66 reviews)

  • "They also make it very difficult for store managers to get rid of troublesome employees(in 47 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "home office"

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  1. "Dairy/Frozen Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Dairy Manager in Missoula, MT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Amazing company to work for. They take very good care of their employees. They are very willing to work with you on a positive work/life balance.

    Cons

    The home office is not big enough or adequately staffed for how many stores they have. I think they are expanding to quickly.

    Advice to Management

    It would be nice to see them on the floor more. That way they would have better understanding of how things actually are on the floor.

    Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage2017-09-19
  2. Helpful (2)

    "Not great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Store Manager 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    good discounts, vitamin bucks, paid birthday

    Cons

    home office management and goofy procedures

    Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage2019-09-25
  3. Helpful (6)

    "Double standards"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Let's you be creative, great benefits, above average pay

    Cons

    Home office creates an environment for double standards. They can treat anyone however they like, but hold store managers and assistant managers to a higher standard. Proper communication is leaving

    Advice to Management

    Hold everyone to the same standards. Communicate better with store employees. Too much is last minute scrambling to get things done.

    Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage2019-06-14
  4. Helpful (9)

    "Okay job, but terrible "career""

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Department Manager 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    1. Discounts: You will receive 10% off meat, dairy, and produce, 20% grocery, 30% vitamins and body care 2. Coworkers: You will meet some awesome people here, unfortunately, the morale is so low, you'll watch them find other jobs one by one. 3. Environmental stewardship: this company actually recycles, unlike places like Whole Foods, who have bins for recycling, but just throw recyclables away. With the exception... of the "founding principle" that says employees are well treated, they actually seem to care about their goals. They do not care about their staff at all though, beyond a silly show. 4. Laid back atmosphere as far as dress code. 5. Local management at my location is actually excellent, despite working for a company that sets them up for failure by chronic understaffing. Here is a number: our store saw its sales increase by 46% over the past year, but our labor didn't increase by a single hour.

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    Cons

    1. Lowest pay in the industry: Here is what you will make: general staff $11, assistant managers $12, and department managers $15. There is no pay based on experience here. You could have a phD and ten years of management, and you'll still start at $15 for a department manager. Raises are a maximum of 3% each year, and you won't be getting 3%. You can get paid at least $3 a hour more anywhere else in the grocery... industry for the same job. Half of our employees are on public assistance. 2. The very worst benefits package I've ever seen at any job. The health insurance packs a $3500 deductible, and they will match your HSA to maximum of $20 a month. This insurance is so useless that most don't carry it at all. If you have a family, you'll want to avoid this catastrophic only plan, where you need to break both legs for help, because one won't meet the deductible. Nothing is covered until the deductible is met, and unlike most companies with these two bit high deductible health plans, they don't contribute anything significant to your HSA. Every year for the past three, the health insurance has plummeted despite huge company growth, so it will get worse! They will send you this insulting HR memos that say things like "with our wonderful insurance, you get a free wellness visit each year, because we care!" like people don't realize they are required to do that by federal law. There is NO GUARANTEED 401K CONTRIBUTIONS! Every year, they throw out the possibility of a "401K match" but it is discretionary, and even if you do get it, they will only match 25% of what you do. This means you have to set back 10% for them to put in 2.5%, then they act like they are so magnanimous in giving it. Even Walmart cares more than this. 3. The myth of the "family owned company": they recite this mantra like this is some mom and pop operation instead of a billion dollar corporation. What that translates to is the Isely family takes care of themselves and treats their employees like they are giving them alms instead of offering them a career. You'll get to hear the cringeworthy unrehearsed announcements from one of the Isely family constantly, for example, on the PA. The reality is this family thinks they know everything and doesn't listed to their employees at all. This is not a company that welcomes feedback or criticism. You are not paid to think! 4. This is a great part time job, but an awful career. With the poor salary prospects, horrible insurance, and practically non-existent retirement planning, you might think about working here part time for the discount, which is really the only thing to appreciate. 5. Micromanagement from the top down by incompetent corporate home office. 6. Natural Grocers has a zero enforcement policy for shoplifting. Despite hemorrhaging thousands upon thousands of dollars of shrink every week, they do nothing except blame employees. If they simply had adequate loss prevention tactics, this alone would pay for several more employees in our store alone. Instead, they care more about thieves than employees. Indeed, even when drunk homeless people come in and harass employees and customers, we aren't allowed to eject them without getting approval from the Isely family.

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    Advice to Management

    To the Isely's: stop pretending you know everything. Listen to the founding principles and actually give employees "good pay and excellent benefits". Listen to your employees and customers when they tell you things are wrong and actually work to solve them. Stop understaffing your stores!

    Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage2019-05-29
  5. Helpful (4)

    "Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Dallas, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great Pay. Great Perks such as Birthday Pay and Vitamin Bucks Card

    Cons

    Horrible Human Resource Department, Company Threatens Managers doesn't support them, Colorado stores are ran different than all others, constant turn over in home office, Outdated POS and ordering systems

    Advice to Management

    Hire a new human resource department and get rid of some of the ones you have promoted up that are underqualified and operate as bullies. Get a new program for customers the N Power doesn't work and it makes customers angry and they don't come back. Update your Programs in the Texas stores we have computers crashing all day and are having to re-boot during business hours. Give Managers more support.

    Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage2019-03-01
  6. Helpful (20)

    "Worst retail experience ever"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Store Manager in Dallas, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Vitamin bucks are nice Discount is pretty generous on most things "Two days off in a row" (though in store management you're practically never off)

    Cons

    - You're always ridiculously under staffed. It's basically the Wal-Mart of health food stores for this reason. You're lucky to be able to have 2-3 cashiers the entire day and the way they make you promote 5 different things each transaction makes each customer take forever. You spend up to 75% of a given shift being a cashier even as a department or store manager because there's no labor to actually have dedicated... cashiers. - The store is expected to look like grand opening every day/all day even if your entire staff has spent the majority of their time cashiering. The regional will jump down your throat when your truck isn't thrown, this doesn't get done and that isn't finished...but never really offer to help and you have to somehow get it all done on a bare bones staff who will spendmost of their shifts cashiering as well. - They advertise 45 hours per week with good work life balance as a manager, but you'll get yelled at for working anything less than 50 hours a week with the suggestion that you put in 60+ hours. No matter how many hours you do put in, you'll never be able to get everything done because you'll just be trying to keep up with your department managers jobs while they're forced to cashier all day because there's no labor budget. - HR makes it impossible to get rid of crappy employees who are stoned at work, call out twice a week and are late constantly and talk back to you, but your staff can make up false rumors about you to HR which are taken as fact and your job gets threatened. - Horribly outdated technology which constantly crashes and has issues. The rewards program Npower will always crash and the coupons almost never work. - Most of your customer complaints are just damage control of stupid corporate decisions, the technology crashing, and out of stocks because they contract with the cheapest and worst suppliers in the industry. - If you get a job in store management, expect to not have a life outside of the store for horrible pay. They wanted 60 hours a week on a salary of 48k per year. Sorry, I can make 48k per year at 40 hours a week at any of your competitors, which I left to do. - Home office team is used to running a smaller business, not a growing corporation and they constantly mess up. - The opportunity to move up is always there, but it's only because everyone realizes the scam they got into when taking higher positions. - One of the guys at the training center actually said "don't read the glass door reviews, they aren't true." Yes they are man, yes they are. - I could go on but it's not worth the effort.

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    Advice to Management

    Get the executives to actually read the reviews here and you'll learn a bit about how your company functions at the bottom level. These recruiters who respond are just trying to do damage control and I'm not sure they actually know what goes on in stores. Support your stores outside of Colorado...Those are the only ones that get a good labor budget plus free labor from managers in training, so they're the only... truly functioning stores. You'll lose out to whole foods, sprouts and trader Joes easily. A single sprouts makes 4 times what a natural grocers makes per day. There's no surprise why that is.

    Show More
    Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage2018-12-23
  7. Helpful (13)

    "Not worth it... apply at Whole Foods instead."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Produce Manager 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Awesome people, vitamin bucks and Paid holidays off.

    Cons

    The cons outweigh the pros. Wages are awful, you can make more flipping burgers down the street than being an Assistant Manager at Natural Grocers. People are worked to death because nobody wants to work for a company that barely pays you to feed yourself, let alone pay your bills. So basically 2 people will be running the whole store for half a day, get used to that. Home Office would rather print up a ton of... stupid flyers to hand out to people that are gonna be thrown away anyway over paying people more money.

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    Advice to Management

    Raise the wages and appreciate the people making you your money instead of working them to death with no help. Stop the greed and go back to your roots!

    Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage2018-08-27
  8. Helpful (12)

    "DONT WORK HERE!!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Store Manager in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Good discount but with everything being expensive, it balances even. An extra $50 on a store card to buy stuff, but you are taxed on it

    Cons

    Horrible HR department. Zero fair treatment across the board. Its widely known through the company, you only go as far as the people you know at home office. Zero work/life balance for management. Severely outdated computer systems and software which is not user friendly and deeply time consuming.

    Advice to Management

    Apply somewhere else. There is a reason why this company has a low rating amoung past employees. There is a reason why they require so little to become a store manager, BECAUSE NO ONE STAYS.

    Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage2018-05-10
  9. Helpful (11)

    "Cuts hours to save money, but can afford to hire merchandisers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Vitamin bucks are helpful for buying Supplements, they are willing to work with limited availability for scheduling, staff is great

    Cons

    The 5 Founding Principles obviously don't matter. They neglected their commitment to their employees when they started cutting hours. Yet they are bringing in merchandisers to move things around in the stores. Maybe stop sending out new products that don't sell. We are forced to move things around to accommodate new product. Which we are then stuck with and oftentimes are forced to get rid of products that do sell... to make room for ones that don't. We also have product put in places that don't make sense to customers, so we move them around. We don't need merchandiser to come & make everything cookie cutter, because often the way home office wants things doesn't make sense to customers or employees. Stop micromanaging your stores. We don't need crew binders, we don't need merchandisers. We need people to listen to our complaints and actually do something about it.

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    Advice to Management

    Remember why your mother founded this company. Maybe have home office people come and work in the stores for a few weeks so you can see the monster you have created. Rather than bending over backwards to pacify spoiled customers, realize you have created this by giving in to their every whim. Appreciate your customers, yes. But understand that most complaints are baseless. Be better about standing by your employees.

    Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage2018-04-06
  10. Helpful (4)

    "I generally enjoy my days at natural grocers. There are some really wonderful times and really terrible times."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Store Manager in Independence, MO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I like vitamin bucks, employee discount, the knowledge I have gained. I enjoy that many of my co workers feel like family.

    Cons

    Home office is constantly coming up with new initiatives that generally take more time than they are worth because they will come up with a whole new plan a few months down the road. They also make it very difficult for store managers to get rid of troublesome employees.

    Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage2018-03-16
Found 66 reviews