Gastonia, NC—Since 1993, Organic Marketplace, known as OMP to happy customers, has been supplying its community with high-quality products and services for healthy lifestyles. The store is owned by Renée Southard, who has shared, “I initially opened an 800-square-foot supplement shop in Gastonia, NC, and quickly understood that supplements did not fully address the needs of my customers. After working with customers and listening to request from the community, I brought in organic foods and HABA to more adequately address healthy living, which resulted in relocating Organic Marketplace to a 5,000-square-foot location in 2003.” 

Today, that space is newly renovated and offers a vast selection of nutritional supplements, bulk foods, home goods, beauty products, pet products, wine and beer, and more. For those with dietary restrictions, OMP provides a variety of free-from foods, including non-GMO, gluten free, wheat free, low sodium, and low sugar options. 

Supporting the local community is key at the store. Along with helping area residents with their health journeys, OMP carries a wide selection of locally sources products. How many? “As many local products as we can find,” the marketplace shares. “You will find local produce, cheeses, soaps, and many specialty items at OMP.”

OMP is also home to Sprouts Cafe, where hungry shoppers can enjoy organic foods, juices, and smoothies.

As the store celebrates its 30th anniversary, it continues to keep things fresh. OMP recently re-branded its private label, with seriously eye-catching tye-dye labels. Those are found on shelves along with leading industry brands to help consumers meet all of their wellness needs and goals.

Protecting the environment is a core focus of the operations of Organic Marketplace. As Southard recently told the local publication Natural Awakenings Charlotte, “We have been bag-free for eight years and always look for minimal packaging...We've also always been a sustainability leader in our community. We talk to schools and serve on the board of Keep Gastonia Beautiful.”

For Southard, there is another cause that is of significant importance: supporting independent natural products retailers. She does that through her role as President of SENPA. On SENPA's website she shares that the organization's grassroots outreach throughout the southeast focuses on empowering Independent retailers with up-to-date product awareness, legislative awareness, and marketing tools that are crucial for competing in the competitive market we face. Nothing will ever replace the interaction of a knowledgeable staff member and their loyal customer, Southard asserts. “It is the role of Independent Retailer.” 

In the November issue of WholeFoods Magazine, learn more about OMP, and join us in honoring their efforts!