021 - Independent Retail with Lisa Gebhardt of Marlene's Market & Deli


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Despite decades of ascendancy, the health food market still has elements that make it niche and non-mainstream. Marlene's Market and Deli is a shining example of an established, independent store that has a committed customer base in its community, with a strong set of core values and goals.
Lisa Gebhardt is the daughter of the founder of the company and is now the owner and general manager of this inspiring business. She joins us on the show today to share her journey as well as the history and hopes for the future of Marlene's. We speak about the ins and outs of running an independent, family-owned business, and the impact that the pandemic has had on their operations. The conversation also covers their business priorities as well as the focus on education and learning around health.
Listeners can expect a personable reflection on 45 years in the health retail business, as well as some inside information on how Marlene's has become such a mainstay!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • What it means to be an independent, family-owned business in a connected community.
  • Lisa's mom Marlene's beginnings in the natural food movement 45 years ago!
  • The close relationships that Marlene's has with its local suppliers and vendors.
  • Shifts and pivots that Marlene's made in response to the pandemic.
  • Lisa's advice to retail brands and anyone considering opening a similar type of business as Marlene's.
  • The natural process of Lisa's involvement in the business over the years.
  • Priorities for stocking at Marlene's; non-GMO, organic, and sugar parameters.
  • Changes that occurred in Lisa's home towards better ingredients and healthy options.
  • Lisa's thoughts on trade shows, reps, brokers, and customers for sourcing new products.
  • Decisions around products that Marlene's produce themselves.
  • The future of Marlene's and the impact that the pandemic has had on their strategy.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Marlene's Market and Deli

Know Your Nutrition

Adelle Davis

Evolve CPG

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