The Seeds Natural Food Market will celebrate a special landmark next week, as the Cumberland grocer reaches its 10-year anniversary on March 10.
Former owner Tina Willard-Stephan said the store began as “a sort of selfish idea,” but has ended up becoming an integral part of the Cumberland community.
“We were frustrated that we couldn’t buy a full range of groceries in our own town,” she said. “We felt it was really important for Cumberland residents to have access to services in their own community.”
The Seeds Food Market opened its doors in downtown Cumberland in March 2008 with many empty shelves — each with a sign on it that read ‘this is your shelf – tell us what you want.’ Ten years later and Seeds is continuing its mission to provide Cumberland with the quality groceries that it asked for.
longtime employee and manager Patricia Leeson says that it’s been a privilege to provide Cumberland residents with wholesome food.
“The best part about working here is the friends I’ve made in both co-workers and customers,” she added.
The grocer has picked up several awards and nominations during its first decade, including a Chamber of Commerce Customer Service Award in 2009. The store was also a finalist for several Island and Province-wide awards. These included a nomination for the BC Small Business Best Employer in 2010, Community Impact for 2011 and 2012, green business in 2013 and a Comox Valley Record Readers Choice Awards nomination in 2016.
Seeds changed ownership in 2015 when new arrivals to Canada Kevin and Sarah Li took over. The new owners say they are excited to get to know the community. They have not only continued all the great Seeds traditions but have added a whole new Asian foods section and have some other plans in the works, including a new online ordering system set to launch this spring.
Seeds will be celebrating this milestone all March with lots of in-store specials and prizes to thank the community for its continued support. The store will host a one-day-only gift basket draw on March 10. A cake will be cut at 1 p.m. to recognize the grocer’s milestone.
The Seeds Natural Food Market is located at 2733A Dunsmuir Avenue in Cumberland.