Anyone that cares about eating natural foods and using natural products feels a certain sense of dismay at what the big chain “natural foods” stores have become. As Whole Foods aggressively bought up smaller natural foods stores, we saw more corporate and less natural. Then Amazon bought out Whole Foods and took it down another notch in terms of being a natural grocer.
When I stepped into Lassen’s on Hillhurst Ave in Los Feliz for the first time I immediately felt I had returned to the roots of the natural food industry. It’s a small store and the isles are narrow, but you can tell in an instant that every product has been carefully vetted by the store to ensure it contains only what is good for you.
Small though the store is, the supplements and natural body care section is much larger than you will find in Whole Foods (which has been continuing to shrink it’s supplements and natural body care products section on an ongoing basis for years). All of the difficult to find health care products that I have been ordering online due to availability issues in stores are on the shelves.
All of the produce is organic and locally grown. In fact the store has a strong local commitment as well as a commitment to smaller vendors that produce quality products. Storewide, 98 percent of all products sold are organic certified or non-GMO.
It is easier for smaller producers to get into Lassen’s than Whole Foods or Sprouts. For you, the consumer, it means you can find the kind of quality products you have been looking for that simply aren’t available elsewhere.
Unlike the large corporate chains, Lassen’s has kept it’s ties to the community. It seems to recognize that the store and the community have a symbiotic relationship (something long ago forgotten by our large modern corporations) and do their part to ensure the food, service and education programs they put on benefit the community as much if not more than themselves.
We can’t recommend Lassen’s Natural Grocers enough. They currently have 10 stores. In Los Angeles there are stores in Echo Park, on La Brea and Hillhurst. Outside of Los Angeles there are stores in Bakersfield, Fresno, Oxnard, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Santa Maria, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and Ventura.