“We work together:
to sell the finest, cleanest food,
to support our local farmers and producers,
to teach and give great Hospitality and Service to our guests, staff, vendors and truckers,
to enrich the communities we love,
to energize everyone we meet”!
What We’re All About
Healthy Living is a family business at its core. It’s a place where our love for beautiful food is informed by our respect for local farmers, and producers. It’s where an empowered staff provides exceptional service and hospitality to guests, vendors, farmers, and truckers. It’s where, together, we strive to enrich our community in ways that are relevant, but also fun — even exciting. Our aim, above all else, is to promote healthy, joyful living and to energize everyone we meet.
In 1986, with absolutely no knowledge of business, my then husband, Peter Goldsmith, and I started a tiny market located in the Blue Mall, Dorset Street in South Burlington, Vermont. I had been an English teacher, a psychotherapist, a mother… so why not “branch out” into the world of groceries and business ownership (looking back, it seems crazy!)? One of my motivations for this decision was finding really good, clean food for my family. I had been raised in a home where bread was baked, meals were made from scratch, and the enjoyment of food was very important. Back in the 1980’s more and more processed foods were filling the shelves of supermarkets. I truly wanted to feed my family differently, and different choices seemed very hard to come by. I also had memories of the food markets I knew growing up; I remembered them as community meeting places, where neighbors ran into each other in the aisles. They seemed like much happier places to shop than the sterile, harshly lit supermarkets I visited each week. So, why not own a tiny food market that was dedicated to exactly the kinds of things I was searching for?
Those first few (like 10) years were difficult and rocky for me, but my passion for good food, community, and the mysteries of business drove me on. Fast forward to 2007 after a series of moves and expansions, I made a major leap and broke ground on a 35,000 square foot store. By then my son, Eli, had decided to make Vermont home again, and after college came back to work with me to design and build the new Healthy Living Market.
Two years later my daughter, Nina, graduated from college and then culinary school, and joined us at Healthy Living. Nina brought energy and passion for learning and teaching, and founded the Healthy Living Learning Center, an innovative program of classes and demonstrations that help customers connect with their food through education. I now find myself working side-by-side with my kids, which is really a joy and makes Healthy Living a true family business.
What a journey it’s been! I went from myself and one other person on staff to currently almost 300, from 1,200 square feet to 35,000, from putting away the entire order by myself to having a team of grocery folks attacking it en masse, and from basically knowing zero about business to being pretty darn good at it! Our second store in Saratoga Springs, New York, opened in 2013. I find I still love the everyday routines, the customer interactions, the new product excitement, the seasonal changes, and the learning process. All I’ve learned over the years about running a business translates to taking care of people… delivering exceptional hospitality, which is, I believe, a good way to live!
Outstanding Food: All-natural, organic, responsibly produced, simply delicious food is our passion. Our Category Managers (or Buyers) curate our shelves with amazing products; our creative cooks and bakers make every scrumptious dish from scratch. Great food was the impetus for opening Healthy Living over thirty years ago, and it continues to be what drives us.
Our Guests: Each and every person who shops with Healthy Living is important to us, which is why we focus on providing exceptional service and hospitality to our guests. What does that really mean? Service, to us, is how we deliver our products to you; it’s the speed, efficiency and accuracy you experience getting what you need in the aisles, at checkout or online. Hospitality means feeling and knowing that we’re on your side, that we listen to you and that when you’re done shopping, you leave the store feeling good. Bottom line, we want you to feel the love!
Our Staff: It’s one of our greatest joys and achievements to employ over 300 people and to create a community of bright, talented, and motivated workers who enjoy serving each other, our vendors, truck drivers and our guests. Providing good jobs where people can learn and grow is one of the best things about running a business, and we are proud to say we have a team of inspired people who like to come to work!
Our Community: Healthy Living’s Community Outreach Program has been an integral aspect of our business, since our earliest days. Today, we proudly support more than 150 local, not-for-profit organizations every year. Food drives, donations, partnerships with local organizations and schools, staff volunteer days, community use of our Learning Center and conference room….all these initiatives and more are a big part of our support for the community we love.
Our Environment: Environmental stewardship is a tenet to our business that we’ve taken to heart for over thirty years. In a world where environmental catch-phrases abound with little-to-no meaning, we are deeply committed to putting our care into action with products, programs, and projects that affect meaningful environmental change locally and globally. Read more about our environmental vision, here.
Our Bottom Line: We are dedicated to making a profit competitive with our peers in the natural foods industry. Profits are necessary for responsible change and expansion.
Each Other: We pride ourselves on fostering a workplace where people feel a deep commitment to each other; where they work together harmoniously, getting the job done happily, and find ways to support each other every day. In our own little corner of the world, we are creating a happy community in the hope it will affect the larger community around us. The ripple effect starts here at Healthy Living!