(Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

New owners of Vernon health food store devoted to all things local

The Grant family became the owners of the 40-year-old grocery store in May 2020

A health food store with a 40-year history in Vernon has new set of owners, whose focus is to help people stay healthy while championing the idea of shopping local.

When Cameron and Oryana Grant purchased Simply Delicious Natural Health Food Store on May 15 this year, they wanted to retain its value to the community from decades past. To that end, they took the time to learn about its history.

“We wanted to find out what kind of business it was, because we wanted to run it like a local family health foods store that is Vernon-only, with products as local as we can,” Cameron Grant told the Morning Star.

It is likely the oldest health foods store in the city, with its origins dating back to 1980 when Norma and Verna Nelson opened shop under the original name of Tammy Bulk Foods.

The store has since changed hands several times: it was sold to Eric and Ann Reich and was run by members of the Frankiw family for roughly 35 years. In 2016 it was purchased by the Roland family before the Grants became the newest owners last month.

Simply Delisious has a tradition of being family-run, and with two of the three Grant children already working at the store, that tradition will carry on.

Cameron Grant is a chiropractor while Oryana is a registered massage therapist who completed her schooling in Vernon in 2002. The two met in 2000, and they’ve been on a mission ever since to find health solutions in their own lives while spreading those benefits to others.

In that respect, running a health foods store was a natural next step.

“We have always been interested in helping people live healthier lives and buying a health food store was a natural extension from our current careers,” Grant said.

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Over the years the store has built relationships with a number of local vendors, many of which can be found at the Vernon Farmers’ Market. Having their products on the shelves at Simply Delicious means they have a place to sell them year-round.

“We’d like to continue some of the relationships with some vendors that have been with the store from the start. They’re a part of Vernon too,” Grant said.

The adverse effects of COVID-19 have put an emphasis on shopping local, and while most businesses have been hit hard by extended shutdown periods, Grant hopes the pandemic will demonstrate some of the hidden values of maintaining local supply chains.

“With recent interruptions in supply chains we think it is more important than ever to offer as many local products to the people of Vernon as we can,” he said.

As an added benefit, locally sourced products make for a more environmentally friendly operation.

“We are also interested in lowering our impact on the environment, and selling local, healthy, organic foods helps limit the pollution caused by transporting foods from other countries and also limits the amount of unknown pesticides used in countries with less strict rules.”

The store is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily with pandemic safety measures in place. Customers who may have concerns about being in a public area can also cut down on their time in the store by calling ahead to put their grocery bags together over the phone, then pick them up and pay at the front.

“We are proud of the history of Simply Delicious and proud of the great products and services that have been offered by all of the previous owners in the stores 40 year history.”

For more information on changes to the store’s operations during the pandemic, visit its website at simplydeliciousvernon.ca.

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Brendan Shykora

Reporter, Vernon Morning Star

Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com

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