Over the past 30 years, Nutter’s has evolved into a truly unique food retailer combining a commitment to the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle with exciting in-store merchandising.
From humble beginnings in 1982, in a small 900 square foot location in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Nutter’s Bulk and Natural Foods has grown to over 25 locations, from Manitoba to British Columbia and one store in the United States.
In 1982, Dr. Jim Cranston and a local partner saw a need in Western Canada for a new concept in food shopping. After the first year of business, it was apparent that consumers were ready to adopt the idea of shopping in bulk and the new variety of products it offered. In 1983, the partners had made the decision to move their small bulk food store into a 5,000 square foot, high profile, location in Medicine Hat, Alberta. The rest, as they say, is history. With the new visibility and influx of customers came the requests for franchise information.
In 1984, Nutter’s Bulk and Natural Foods officially began franchising and after two years of business, had opened 11 outlets in Alberta and Saskatchewan. With growth, came the need to make administrative changes and Dr. Cranston and his partner recognized the need for strong, full-time leadership of the company.
In 1984, Dr. Cranston’s nephew, Donald Cranston, purchased the shares of Dr. Cranston’s original partner and began what has been a 30-year evolution of the Nutter’s operating system.
Through the leadership of Donald Cranston, and Lynn Cranston (daughter of Dr. Jim Cranston) with input from a very experienced head office support staff and franchisees from diverse backgrounds, the Nutter’s Bulk & Natural Foods concept has seen incredible change from the original concept. The evolution of the business has taken us from a traditional bulk food store, to seasonal gift tray programs and now, health and natural food centres.
The changes in our stores have been the result of reacting to our customers’ need and our ability to recognize that in order to survive in today’s marketplace, you must stay one step ahead of consumers’ needs.
Some of the staples you found years ago are still there. Quality bulk foods, the basic ingredients of “home baking and cooking” that families enjoy daily. But, you’ll find natural and organic products are a big part of every Nutter’s store today, along with vitamins, supplements and other healthy lifestyle products, including gluten free products. In addition, Nutter’s has developed ongoing training programs with a view to offer ‘product knowledgeable’ staff that can assist customers in making the desicions best suited to their lifestyle.