Natural Grocers Employee Reviews

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2.0
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Good culture, poor structure
Produce Manager (Former Employee) –  Vancouver, WADecember 29, 2018
I enjoyed working in the health food industry and appreciate the food ethics and education that Natural Grocers implents. Unfortunately they have a poor structure for a grocery store. We we’re consistently staffed at the bare minimum. Promotions happened rapidly and often prematurely without proper training. Compensation was poor compared to other health food stores. My responsibilities were not reasonable.
The ordering system crashed frequently and the sale prices were not consistent with the register.
Pros
Discounts, co-workers, good food ethics
Cons
Poor management, poor training, skeleton crew
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3.0
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A fine in-between; Not a career
Produce Assistant (Former Employee) –  Dallas, TXJanuary 25, 2019
I had a really fun time working for Natural, especially when I first started. I was with a great team and encouraging managers. It took a downturn as management switched up. Eventually, I was running a deparmtent alone, overworked and underpaid. The regional manager had no intelligence or forethought when it came to hiring. I saw many employees come and go the last 6 months I worked there, even store manager(s). The job is enjoyable enough, the pay is decent, and you can create great relationships with your coworkers and customer base.
Just don't take it too seriously.
Pros
Amazing Discount, Good People, Benefits
Cons
Inconsistent Schedule, Company Culture
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3.0
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Was good before going public
Receiving Manager (Former Employee) –  Tulsa, OKNovember 17, 2018
I started with NGVC in 2013. I've worked in retail for over 16 years. They used to make employees feel like they cared, sent birthday cards and gave regular raises. Going public was a poor choice.

If you have NO experience in retail, you can move up quick. They value inexperience and incompetence. They have an awesome idea, but need to follow their founding principles. That's what drew me to their company. Expanding too fast and without trying to market their existing stores.

Rundown and treat good managers badly. Poor managers get treated well. Highest turnover I've ever seen at 1 location.
Pros
Casual cloths, good starting pay, store credit
Cons
Stress, raise incentives, poor management from outside of store
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3.0
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Very relaxed and productive
Produce Clerk and Cashier (Former Employee) –  Longmont, CONovember 9, 2018
Matural grocers wad a very nice job for someone looking for flexible hours and a chill environment. Management however was very aggressive and unflexable about pay raises and promotions.
Pros
Free produce
Cons
Bad managers
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4.0
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Better than most grocery stores
Crew Member (Former Employee) –  Denton, TXFebruary 4, 2019
The pay is slightly better than a lot of grocery stores, and you learn a lot of useful information that you can use outside of work. Wide variety of customers; some were very elitist and picky, but the majority were very cool. Coworkers were easy to get along with for the most part. No dress code other than an apron over your regular clothes. Pretty laid back environment all around. The employee discounts were the best out of anywhere I've ever worked, which was awesome because some of the stuff they sell can be very pricey.
Unfortunately they decided to switch their insurance to a less desirable one than they previously had, which caused a lot of employees with medical issues to have to leave. After people started leaving, they made up for this by giving the lower level workers a 50 cent raise, but raises in general were always slow to come. I think the owners are starting to get greedy and just want to build as many new stores as possible as fast as possible and decided to fund their little expansion project by cutting costs on employee benefits.
Pros
Great employee discounts, many opportunities for personal enrichment
Cons
No set days off, schedule changed frequently, inadequate insurance
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5.0
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Lovely Environment
Cashier (Former Employee) –  Parker, COJanuary 5, 2019
I was a cashier at Natural Grocers for only a couple of months. I had to quit because I moved cross country, but I would have loved to stay here as long as I could. Every employee I met was very friendly and patient with me. My training was flawless and I felt confident knowing that my trainer had years of experience there. My manager was super kind and understanding, I never heard him so much as raise his voice at an employee. The best part of working here was the discount on groceries and I was paid a dollar an hour in just store credit. I would not hesitate to apply here if you are thinking about it.
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1.0
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One of the worst jobs I've had
Assistant Store Manager (Former Employee) –  Santa Fe, NMDecember 14, 2018
Poor training, minimal at best communication from home office. Unrealistic expectations based on poor training. Inconsistent and never-ending hours for salary management. Hypocrisy is rampant across the entire store, its core beliefs, and eveything Natural Grocers supposedly stands for. Unless you want to be given vague instructions and through into a meat grinder day in and day out, held accountable for things that are outside your control, and be told on an almost minute to minute basis why the store sucks and why you suck by customers then by all means apply.
Pros
Vita bucks and discounts
Cons
Just about everything else
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4.0
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My favorite job yet but not without its flaws.
Assistant Manager of Produce (Current Employee) –  Reno, NV 89509December 2, 2018
Natural Grocers is a great place to work for innovative, ecologically sensitive and health oriented individuals who want to be part of improving American standards of product quality. From 100% organic produce (no one else can claim this!) to cruelty and chemical-free body care and beauty products this store has the highest level of ethical integrity I've ever encountered. The benefits, discounts, paid holidays and "vitaminbucks" (1 hour worked = $1 store credit) shows appreciation and sensitivity towards its employees.

However, store manager level and higher needs to seriously get its act together. How many of these reviews state this same problem? Too many to excuse and high turnover will continue to be a problem until this is met. For examples of how poor leadership is crippling employees at the store level see below:





Our store does not have hot water.

We had so few shopping carts (due to theft and unexplained delays) that in the most active times of the day customers coming in to shop would not have a cart to shop with.

We haven't had a motorized cart available for the disabled since April (it is now December).

Our front doors are still broken.

Requested time off needs to be three weeks in advance but our manager already has our schedules set four weeks in advance.

Crew sizes are kept cruelly small so each employee is expected to do the work of three people for the salary of one. 8 hours are expected if not mandatory.

Thorough and equal communication is nonexistent and employees concerns and suggestions are not heard by management or home
  more... office.

I am being paid $12/hr at manager level. Fast food employees make this amount upon hiring in my area. Instead of living "healthy, balanced lifestyles" my fellow managers and I would mention how we went without furniture just to "make it".





These complaints are embarrassing. Most of all because they could have so easily been prevented. I sincerely hope they keep to their standards and continue to improve. But if they're not careful Natural Grocers could lose its soul and become just like every other job.
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Pros
Paid time off, paid holidays, insurance, discount, bucks, environment, quality products, great ethics, great team
Cons
30 min lunch, understaffed, underpaid, overworked, no communication, supply issues, lack management
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4.0
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Great company with good values, but can be stressful
Crew Member/Cashier (Produce Assistant Manager) (Current Employee) –  Multiple locationsOctober 7, 2018
Great company to work for if you can handle the stresses of retail. Work days would vary from stocking and being a backup cashier to being primary cashier. Generally there is only one person at the register, so there are many occasions where a second cashier needs to be called up.

While there are tons of opportunities and materials to learn from within the store, there has been - in my experience - minimal effort to educate employees on supplements inventory, which is a major focus of the company. The exception is when a Nutritional Health Coach is available. I only was useful in that department because of my own interest and research on my free time.

I really did enjoy working with others at these stores. The culture seems to attract people who care about something real and who want to get engaged with a more conscious approach to work and the environment. My favorite part of the job was stocking. When there are enough crew members, this task is quite fun and you get to see all the cool products the store carries. It's nice to just arrive and go to work without direction, but that isn't always the case.

The management has been really understanding and caring in each store. They have almost all been good people. It was a delight to see them grow in their roles and an even greater one to watch the stores evolve within their community. Perhaps the most rewarding part of the job is to see customers come in for the first time and feel at home, excited to return. To help educate them on making better health decisions with their diet, lifestyle and teaching them about supplements.
  more...

The hardest part was having to juggle multiple things at once while assisting customers. For example at the register: The phone is ringing, someone is asking me a question, I'm trying to find the PLU codes for these apples, and I'm supposed to upsell some hot item or event, oh but the apples are priced wrong, etc. Some people can handle that, some people cannot.

I believe in this company and its growth, but I feel it has a lot of room for improvement. Mostly in regards to how it is managed. I would highly recommend this job to anyone who enjoys or can tolerate retail experience. 4/5 stars
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Pros
$1/hr store credit, great discounts, laid back and accepting environment, plenty of opportunities for growth
Cons
short breaks, no part-time health benefits, low staff volume
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3.0
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Not a bad place to work
Assistant Manager Vitamins (Former Employee) –  Aurora, COOctober 24, 2018
Great co workers. Pay is not nearly enough for the cost of living in Denver. I never got a raise. I do like the cross training and the teaching style.
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3.0
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Loved the Job; At First
Cashier (Former Employee) –  TexasFebruary 6, 2019
At first, this job was great Easy going. Great atmosphere. Then they made me do an allergy test. Come to find out they do not take very well care of their employees with food allergies.
Pros
Great benefits
Cons
Better not have food allergies
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5.0
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Great Employer
Department Manager (Former Employee) –  Norman, OKOctober 9, 2018
Great place to work. Offered many employee perks and benefits. Work schedule flexible. Very good with policy and procedure. Great staff and upper management. I would recommend this job to anyone.
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4.0
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decent place to work
Department Manager/Manager on Duty/Buyer (Current Employee) –  Longview, TXSeptember 16, 2018
They provide great Training, great benefits and have some of the best customers! Encourages a healthy lifestyle and eating habits.. Enjoyed my fellow employees.
Pros
Employee Benefits
Cons
Management was not professional
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3.0
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Great job
Produce Assistant Manager (Former Employee) –  Cedar Rapids,IASeptember 18, 2018
I enjoyed this job within a month of me being there I was promoted from a good for you crew member to a produce assistant manager. The management was not good they seemed to favor only a few departments when it came to cleaning and facing the store.
Pros
Benefits, great pay, loved my coworkers
Cons
Poor management
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3.0
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My experience thus far.
Produce Clerk/Good 4 You Crew (Current Employee) –  Flagstaff, AZJuly 31, 2018
I have worked in grocery/retail for the last eighteen years, I started right after I graduated from high school. I eventually learned to run nearly every different department in my store, and in 2005 trained as a 2nd ASM (Assistant Store Manager). I wasn't chosen for the position at the time, but I did become my stores first PIC (Person in Charge) a manager without the title or salary. I was passed up twice more in my time there, both times to people without my knowledge or experience.

Fast forward to today and I have been with Natural Grocers for nearly three months. When I signed on I was told that there is plenty of opportunities within this company to promote and move into management, especially with my experience. A few weeks in and my assistant manager told me the Dairy manager position would soon be open and that he would let me know when I could apply for it. A few more weeks pass and my store manager then tells me she just posted the grocery/dairy/bulk foods assistant manager position. She tells me to apply for it and to let her know as soon as I do. So here I was thinking I might have an actual shot at being promoted this time, boy was I wrong. Several weeks go by with no word about my interview or anything related to either position. Then on a certain Tuesday I asked my manager about my interview, she tells me we will do it that Sunday. On Friday (my manager was off that day conveniently), my assistant manager calls me to the office. Long story short he tells me that my interview will not be happening, because both he and the store manager thought that I
  more... wasn't ready for the responsibility, that I had things to "improve". One thing in particular was that I didn't finish my work in produce fast enough to help the other departments out. Even though, conveniently they are too busy to help me out. My manager would later add that while my work was "good", it wasn't "great". I wasn't exemplary, or didn't think like a manager should. When I'm caught up in the produce department, I should be looking for something else to do elsewhere. Or try to finish my work early to be able to help everyone else out. She also said that because of my "apparent" shortcomings that she could not honestly recommend me for promotion.

So here I am playing second fiddle again, the thing that irritates me the most is the scheming behind the scenes. If they didn't want me to apply, why tell me in the first place. Or if there are things they think I need to work on, let me know beforehand. But don't tell me to apply if you have no intention of even interviewing me for the position. I spent the better part of two decades working for a company that screwed me every chance they got. Now I have a feeling it's starting all over again. So I cannot honestly recommend working for this company.
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Pros
Employee incentive program "vitamine bucks"
Cons
Petty management, lack of actual training
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2.0
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Could be an amazing company
Good4U crew (Current Employee) –  Highlands Ranch, COAugust 1, 2018
I love the idea behind this company and the fact that it has so much potential, but is utterly heart breaking to see how the owners and upper management are executing their poorly thought out business plan. Management is inconsistent and if you are a dedicated employee you will get treated like absolute dirt. The more effort you put in, the more you are expected to be a door mat. This is due to the majority of staff being slackers and not giving a care about their job and it all comes down on the hardest working people. Management is an absolute joke and the worst part is that it comes from the top down. The training provided to managers is more along the lines of how to become a dictator as opposed to being a true leader. The majority of upper management are hired in their twenties and lack the work and life experience to understand how to truly lead. The pros of Natural Grocers are awesome and include $1 per every hour worked in vitamin bucks, which can be spent in store on the high quality products, health insurance and 401k plan. Every employee has great intentions, but squandered when they go unrecognized and abused. Employee input is disregarded and in fact, if you have an opinion or suggestion you are essentially exiled and put down, and you will be written up because the owners are so deep in denial about how the daily operations of their own company and are driving their company into the grave. They recently raised the starting pay to $11.00/hour, but failed to raise the pay for the people that have put years of dedication and hard work into the company. To put it into  more... perspective, I have been with the company for a total of 5 years and I make $1.00 more than the new hires. I go for days without eating and have to have 2 jobs just to get by. Pay your employees enough to live a good life. We are struggling! Listen and take our suggestions to heart. We are on the front lines every single day. Take our feedback to heart. Your employees are your greatest asset, invest in us and your return will be astounding if you do so. You have many excellent employees who only want to see the Natural Grocers thrive, myself included. It's incredibly disheartening to be treated so horribly. We are literally screaming out for your support. It's a great start to raise the starting wage, but what about your employees who have dedicated years to your company? Those are the people you need to pay attention to. Moreover, be upfront and honest in interviews about the demands of the job. What I was told in my interview was not in alignment with the actuality in the slightest. Here's a couple more suggestions you should take seriously:

- Hire people to be JUST cashiers. This will enable your managers and other Good4U crew to get their job completed. If you pull people in hundreds of directions, nothing will get done, resulting in product sitting in the backroom for days, equating to lost sales.

-Reimburse your employees for education. I'm sure you're aware this is to your benefit as well as you can claim a substantial amount on your taxes!

-Get out of denial and get real with yourselves and your expectations. Everyone will be better off.
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Pros
Vitamin bucks, 401k plan, health insurance
Cons
Awful management, poor pay, horrible daily operations, lazy, careless employees, horrible owners
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Worked my butt off. It was never enough, never acknowledged and never appreciated.
Store Manager (Former Employee) –  Omaha, NEJune 23, 2018
Started out well, but went downhill fast . Corporate politics galore. Favoritism, cut throat bias abounds. Horrible high school level mentality and emotional maturity in district manager. Started out working there with a positive attitude. Kept giving and giving, but it was never enough. Would nt even recommend working there to my worst enemy. Don’t even know how they stay in business with the way they treat employees. Such a healthy place to shop but the most unhealthy place to work.
Pros
Benefits, salary
Cons
Management, HR Dept
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5.0
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A great place to work with plenty of room for advancement.
Produce Manager (Former Employee) –  Dallas, TXJune 15, 2018
I truly am heartbroken about losing this job as I planned on making it a career, but unfortunately they were not willing to forgive my mistakes that did not take place in the work environment.
Aside from the HR department's lack of personal interest in the employees, the company is decent and I still believe in it and hope to be able to return someday.
Pros
2 10 minute breaks and one 30 minute lunch, great hours, benefits, accrued PTO
Cons
HR department is not personal and lacks humanity.
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4.0
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Good company to work for
Assistant Store Manager (Former Employee) –  Grand Junction, COJune 24, 2018
This company has high standards as to the products and information available to customers. Respectful working environment. Great benefits. If you are able to relocate - this is a good company to work for.
Pros
Great benefits
Cons
Hours and the company doesn't invest much in their older stores.
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5.0
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Amazing place to work
Cashier/Customer Service (Former Employee) –  Colorado Springs, COJune 2, 2018
I loved working here! Great pay and benefits. They treat employees very well. Management was very helpful and listened if there was a conflict. The hardest part of the job was dealing with snooty customers and the most enjoyable was the greatful and kind customers.
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3.4
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