New Leaf Community Markets is celebrating 30 years this month. From its early days as a neighborhood co-op on the Westside of Santa Cruz to today, New Leaf has stayed true to its mission: to nourish and sustain the community. This has been achieved in many ways: from valuing and rewarding employees; to supporting local farmers and local nonprofits; to providing customers with the best quality foods; to educating the community about topics, including organic, sustainable seafood and GMOs; to protecting the environment.
To celebrate the milestone, New Leaf will be giving a block party for the community on October 24 at the Westside store where the company first put down its roots. For the week of October 19 – 23, all New Leaf stores will be featuring a special 30-themed sale with 30% off 30 different product lines every day. In addition, three limited edition, commemorative items will be available for sale.
One of New Leaf’s hallmarks is its commitment to supporting the community. “When I founded the company in 1985, the first thing I did was start a program to give 10% of profits to local nonprofits. I thought the store could be a model of how to do business,” said founder Scott Roseman. “This is something that has always made New Leaf stand out, and one of the things I am most proud of,” he added. Since 1985 New Leaf has donated over $1.7 million to nonprofits.
One of the many beneficiaries of New Leaf’s giving programs is Second Harvest Food Bank. Willy Elliott-McCrea, the food bank’s CEO, stated, “To date, New Leaf has raised and donated over half a million healthy meals for neighbors. Our relationship with New Leaf plants the seeds for creating a brighter future for the next generation through good nutrition.” Another beneficiary is the Homeless Garden Project (HGP). “New Leaf’s contribution to creating a healthy community is so valuable, not just in the food and the products that support people’s health, but also to the health of the environment and the community overall,” said the HPG’s Executive Director Darrie Ganzhorn. “I’ve seen New Leaf innovate so much over the last 30 years and I’m really looking forward to seeing how it will continue to do so over the next 30,” she added.
Since its founding, New Leaf has served as a model of innovation for local businesses and the grocery industry. New Leaf was the first grocer in the county to be certified a green business and the first grocer in the state to be certified a B Corporation, meaning it uses the power of business to solve social and economic problems. New Leaf was the first retailer to actively promote local farmers, to offer an all-natural meat counter in Santa Cruz, and to launch a program to reduce the use of shopping bags. New Leaf was also the first retailer in the country to make a very strong commitment to sustainable seafood. The grocer helped pioneer FishWise™, the most comprehensive sustainable seafood education and sourcing program used by retailers across the U.S., and is the only retailer on the Central Coast that carries only sustainable seafood.
New Leaf’s community block party will take place outside the 1101 Fair Avenue, Santa Cruz store on Saturday, October 24 from 4 pm – 8 pm. There will be live music, local beer and wine vendors, local food vendors, arts and crafts for kids, an in-store tasting fair, a raffle, and interactive, do-it-yourself education booths for health and wellness.
During the week of October 19 – 23, all New Leaf stores will be offering 30% off 30 different product lines. New Leaf will also be selling three commemorative items created by local vendor partners while supplies last. The first is “Dirty 30,” a unique ice cream made by Mission Hill Creamery that blends their organic vanilla ice cream base with a caramel swirl, Black China Bakery deluxe chocolate cake, and chocolate Newman-Os, which are chocolate cream-filled cookies made with organic flour and organic sugar. The second item is a canvas reusable bag made by local nonprofit Bagito, and the third is a special edition, stainless steel 16-oz drinking glass made by Klean Kanteen. These useful items are emblazoned with “30 Years Rooted in the Greater Good.”
For more information about the 30th anniversary celebration, visit www.newleaf.com/30years