Founded and local since 18tindale's, Martindale's Natural Market is known as the first health food store in the United States. Clarence Saunders opened the first Piggly Wiggly in September after some construction delays, which is why the company celebrates its anniversary on the 6th and, therefore, pioneered a self-service model that was drastically different from the way things were done for a long time. In an old-style grocery store, customers would pass a shopping list to an employee, who would then gather the items for the shoppers in a bag. At Piggly Wiggly, on the other hand, shoppers made their own choice and the products had to do the tempting thing.
The first health food store I visited was in Panorama City, in the San Fernando Valley, and it was in 1952 when I was here to visit my father. Martindale's Natural Market enjoys the distinction of being known as the country's first health food store. The standards set by health food stores represent the “last line of consumer product quality defense” (see Jim Morano). Erewhon is another pioneering health food store in the United States and soon served as a model for many other similar health food stores across the country.
Opened in 1933 by John Denis, a former seller of stone mills, it began as a general store specializing in freshly ground grains and baked goods. The store still has regular customers who have been customers since the 70s, 80s and 90s, but every week Watkins detects new customers, who find the store through online resources. The success of supermarkets continued to bear fruit during World War II, when thousands of small grocery stores had to close when their employees went to war. I was a small child, and I had just arrived from Florence, where they didn't run to health food stores, although they did have herboristeries.
The store was named after Naturopata de San Juan and my mother gave me a carob bar and told me it was chocolate and she took home a big bag of granola (I swear it came with twigs and varied vegetation). Many of the ranch markets, such as Bill's, which formerly occupied a corner in Glendale in Glenoaks and Alameda, sold natural food and produce, many of them from local producers in the 1960s. I lived in Burbank and shopped there regularly. It became increasingly absurd as the story went on and on with my obvious eavesdropping stuck in the store (I wasn't soft enough to come out and say, “Okay, I'll be back”).
And right next door was the health food store that sold a lot of things that weren't available in the normal market. In the early 70s I worked for an accounting firm and one of my clients was a newly opened health food store. But instead of supplying him with the usual healthy foods, he added fresh produce, animal products, bakery products, etc. At that time, the store had a full service; customers would hand over a list and wait for workers to fill their order.Martindale's Natural Market is an iconic pioneer in America's health food industry.
It has set standards for quality that are still followed today by many other health food stores across the country. It has been around since 18tindale's and continues to serve its loyal customers with fresh produce and other healthy products.