Down to Earth Whole Foods is a family-owned and operated specialty grocery store located in Endicott, New York that specializes in healthy options specifically targeted towards customers with food allergies and sensitivities.
With food issues such as lactose intolerance, gluten sensitivity, and peanut allergies on the rise, Down to Earth is dedicated to offering the latest innovative products to meet their customers’ needs and attract new customers in the area. Read on to learn how Down to Earth’s buyer, Maureen Majernik, uses RangeMe to discover unique and allergy-friendly products for their store.
The lowdown on Down to Earth Whole Foods
When the Bergfjord family discovered that their son, Johan, had food allergies, they found the best way to manage them was feeding him high-quality, healthy food. In 1976, the family founded Down to Earth Whole Foods to ensure that all local families could enjoy the same nutritious, allergen-free diet. Fast forward to today, and Johan now owns Down to Earth.
Because Down to Earth is a small, family-run business, twenty-year veteran employee Maureen Majernik wears many hats, which is how she assumed her role as the store’s buyer. She initially took on the role to free up some of Johan’s time, and she has since grown to enjoy being a buyer, especially since joining RangeMe.
“I use RangeMe to see what’s new and exciting,” Majernik explains. When she finds a product on the platform that she is ready to stock, she will show it to Johan, who often shares her excitement. “He’s always very receptive and happy that I’m bringing in stuff that other places around here don’t carry,” she says.
What drew Down to Earth to RangeMe
Before using RangeMe, Majernik relied on product recommendations from Down to Earth’s distributor KeHE, as well as recommendations from suppliers who reached out to the store directly. When she learned about RangeMe through the Independent Natural Food Retailers Association (INFRA), Majernik was excited to have an additional channel for product discovery.
“I can find products that our competitors don’t carry.”
“I can find stuff from across the country that our reps don’t carry, and products that our competitors don’t carry,” she explains of her experience on RangeMe. She appreciates that RangeMe enables her to actively discover unique products on her own that she may not have had access to previously, especially because these products help give Down to Earth an edge over other stores in the area.
The convenience and user experience of RangeMe is also a huge draw for Majernik. She likes to peruse RangeMe even when she isn’t working, because, as she explains, the platform “is just like shopping online!” Using RangeMe allows her to “relax, check out products, and just have fun with it.”
How Majernik makes RangeMe work
In addition to using RangeMe for basic product discovery and sourcing, Majernik has made the platform work for Down to Earth’s customer base, always putting their needs first.
Majernik is dedicated to making Down to Earth’s customers happy with innovative new products, and she enthusiastically accepts product requests from customers. “I try to bring in all kinds of different stuff that customers want or need,” she explains, “and I am always looking for new things.” RangeMe helps her source these items that she may not be able to find through other channels.
Majernik also sources products seasonally to cater to the travel habits of Down to Earth’s customers. “Our customer base changes from summer to winter,” she explains, as a lot of Endicott residents go to Florida to escape the cold winter. “Customers will say that they bought a product in Florida, but they can’t get it here. So I try to bring it in so they can have it here.” She uses RangeMe to find these unique products, going above and beyond to delight Down to Earth’s customers.
What’s next for Down to Earth
Moving forward, Majernik is excited to continue using RangeMe to find new, exciting products for Down to Earth’s customers. She also hopes to continue expanding into beauty, health, and wellness categories. “Basically,” Majernik says, summing up her approach to discovering and stocking products, “I just try to take care of the customers.”
This sentiment is at the heart of Down to Earth Whole Foods’ philosophy. They are dedicated to stocking innovative, high-quality products that cater to food sensitivities and make their customers happy―and RangeMe is helping them achieve that goal.