Ocean, NJ; Basking Ridge, NJ—Hurricane Sandy wasn’t very kind to Dean’s Natural Food Market, New Jersey’s largest organic grocer with locations in Ocean, Shrewsbury and soon-to-open Basking Ridge. The 7,400 ft2 Ocean location was hit hardest by Sandy, with power outages and store closures for 10 days, says owner and founder Dean Nelson.
Long Beach, NY—The aftermath of Sandy left Long Beach, NY looking like a scene from a disaster movie. This is what Bob Binder, owner of Bob’s Natural Foods in Long Beach woke up to weeks ago. His normally below-average blood pressure skyrocketed as he surveyed the damage of his own home and business as well as everyone’s ruined belongings scattered around him in his once quiet, happy seashore town. Faced with a devastated home and store flooded with three feet of water and no electricity, heat or clean water, Binder went to work gutting everything he owned in hopes of salvaging his house and his business.
Spring Lake Heights, NJ—Located a mile off New Jersey’s coast, Nature’s Corner Natural Market faced the effects of Hurricane Sandy along with many neighboring stores. With 18 years experience providing healthy, local and fresh natural foods for their community, their mission is to benefit the wellness of their customers and their families.
Woodbury, CT—Throughout the past year, Connecticut’s New Morning Market was still feeling the financial effects of the three major storms they faced last year. With Hurricane Sandy approaching, founder and owner John Pittari prepared by having all perishables items moved into his walk-in freezer.
Oceanside, NY—After two weeks without power and losing five of 30 employees to displacement after the storm, Howard Chasser, owner of Jandi’s Natural Market, had no problem rolling up his sleeves and jumping on the register to ring-up and listen to his customers’ horror stories.
We’ve all heard the numbers: millions on the East Coast go without power for weeks in the wake of Super Storm Sandy. But, there are real faces behind these figures, and many of them are our friends and colleagues in the natural products industry.
What’s Selling is our monthly review of what retailers nationwide say is selling well in their stores. This month, we’ve compiled all of the data from October until the end of the year for the final quarter as well as looked back at all 2012 data.
Growing up in the New York /New Jersey area, as well as the natural products industry, has taught me many things. First, we are tough survivors and will do what it takes to overcome. With that in mind, we were tested again with perhaps one of our biggest challenges last month when Super Storm Sandy hit our area. Many people lost their homes, cars and items of sentimental value. Relief workers are helping them, but it is not enough.