Saturday, May 28, 2022

Pioneer in NJ history of Natural Foods and Organic Produce #GardenCuizine @SouthJerseyMag @EatRight_NJ

Diana Wind, RDN
South Jersey Pioneer Woman in history of Organic Produce

The recent news of my sister and nephew taking jobs in a company selling organic produce is heartwarming. Our mother, in heaven must be smiling! The late Junetta S. Mehl and I were leaders in bringing organic produce to South Jersey. 

The demand for Organic produce appears strong. Even with the higher costs and inflation related to the pandemic.

Now, having worked for over 10 years in each career, my journey from business owner to Registered Dietitian Nutritionist feels like it has come full circle! My business Garden of Eden Natural Foods and Country Kitchen, Inc. was among the first places in South Jersey where the community could buy a variety of organically grown produce. 

Junetta, Diana and Mayor; ribbon cutting

We sold all kinds of organic fruits and vegetables from organic kale to organic carrots. Organic carrots were a popular feature in fresh squeezed organic carrot juice at our juice bar. Customers in the Garden's 60-seat restaurant loved the 100% pure fruit smoothies!

I remember the days driving to Kennett Square to Albert's Organics to pick up cases and 50 lb bags of organic produce. I would take my dog Aspen on the drive too. Those were the days!

Upon arrival to Albert's, sometimes I'd have a chance to chat with Albert and his wife, Claris. They were from LA. He opened Albert's in 1980. This was back in the day before Whole Foods opened in Marlton, NJ. Albert's Organics grew into the largest wholesale distributor in the US.

In 1987, Garden of Eden was the hub for everything natural and organic. During the 1980's demand for natural and organic foods was rapidly growing. So was the explosion of technology. The Internet was born around 1983!

When Whole Foods did arrive in town, they started out as Fresh Fields. Natural Foods sales became big business. According to Natural Foods Merchandiser (The Evolution of an Industry), natural foods sales in the US grew from 1,900 million in 1980 to 4,640 million in 1991. 

Related Links

Growing Organic Demand

Photographs and blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved. Portrait photo of Diana Wind (C) Harry Wind. All rights reserved.