This year I nominated Marlene Beadle of Marlene’s Market and Deli for the Natural Products Association (NPA) Socially Responsible Retailer Award, and to my great delight (but not surprise), she won! As a long time customer and business associate of the stores, I believe that Marlene’s not only embodies, but exceeds all of the requirements listed for the recipient of the award: community involvement, education of employees and the community at large, living wages and benefits, donation of goods and services, and involvement and support of the natural foods industry. Not only that, Marlene’s offers so very much more!
When I moved here several years ago, the first thing I looked for was the local natural foods store. I knew that was where the center of my community would be, and Marlene’s did not disappoint! For years, Marlene’s has been my local natural foods store, and I am so grateful for all the services they offer. At Marlene’s I’ve attended and given lectures, learned cooking and healthy eating and living tips, tried yummy new foods and products at demos, indulged in foot reflexology and massage, shared meals and tea, had business and personal meetings, gotten involved in political action, benefited from education and personal enrichment, sent my friends there to shop and participate, and have even received donation items for various non-profit organizations. Last, and most importantly, I even met my very favorite Reiki and spirituality teacher at Marlene’s!
Marlene’s has provided all these benefits to me – just by buying my family’s food there on a regular basis. I had the pleasure of sitting with Marlene one night at a conference, and overheard her tell a beginning health food owner from a small store in Oregon, “We have to do what the big stores do, only we have to do it BETTER!” From my personal point of view, Marlene and her staff achieve this daily. I’m so pleased to see them get the recognition they deserve for running a local and community supportive business! Thanks to all of you and congratulations on winning the NPA’s Socially Responsible Retailer Award Marlene’s Market and Deli!