Health store opens new location in Prince Albert

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Health store franchise, Sangster’s, celebrates the opening of its first organic market in the Cornerstone Shopping Centre on Saturday. 

President and CEO Darryl Sangster stands in the new Sangster's Organic Market store location in Cornerstone Shopping Centre on Friday. Herald photo by Kristen McEwen

Health store franchise, Sangster’s, celebrates the opening of its first organic market in the Cornerstone Shopping Centre on Saturday.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., staff will welcome new customers to the store with a barbecue.

“Our store’s not for everyone but it is for those who are looking to be healthy, plain and simple,” said Darryl Sangster, the national president and CEO of the company.

Opening a company-owned location in Prince Albert was the perfect opportunity to launch a Sangster’s Organic Market store.

“We’re excited about what we’re doing here.  This is the company’s first organic market,” Sangster said. 

The most noticeable difference between Sangster’s Health Centres and the Organic Market store is the availability of organic food. While the health centres mostly carry supplements, the new organic market store carries organic baby foods, healthy dinner choices, gluten free products, local organic meats, natural and eco-friendly cleaning supplies as well as natural body care products, sports nutrition, vitamins and herbs.

“Supplements are the big key but they’re not the end all be all,” Sangster said. “Our mission, and what we’re trying to accomplish as a company, is whole body health. Everything from natural and organic body care to all your foods and baby foods and stuff like that. If a person is looking for natural health, that’s what we’re trying to provide.”

The new store also provides free information about health and the products the store sells.

Sangster said the health store company decided to open organic food stores because it had to adapt to the ever-changing industry. 

“It has to evolve and move with the times and the trends,” he said. “In the ‘80s the company was very bulk foods/health food type store. (In) the ‘90s and 2000s, it really moved into supplements. And now the consumer trend is certainly whole body and healthy living.”

There has been a store location in Prince Albert for 17 years. The former location used to be a franchise store in the South Hill Mall until its recent move to Cornerstone.

Sangster’s is the longest running health and nutrition franchise in Canada with 38 store locations across the country.

In 1971, Roy Sangster — Darryl Sangster’s father — started the company in Yorkton. After he retired in 2008, the health store company was sold a number of times before Sangster and his wife bought the company in 2010.

“It was an extremely ironic and unplanned turn of events the way that happened,” Sangster said. “When my parents sold it, I was too young and couldn’t afford it and I wasn’t mentally prepared …  All those years later, I was prepared to take that role.

“(It was) born and raised as a family business and now it’s a family business again, and we’re very proud of that.”

Sangster said the company plans to use the feedback from the Prince Albert store to determine what is being done right — and wrong— before opening organic market stores in other cities such as Saskatoon.

“If you’re looking for healthy choices in Prince Albert this is it,” he said. “It’s not just supplements and that’s where Sangster’s Organic Market is designed to go.”

Organizations: Prince Albert, Cornerstone Shopping Centre

Geographic location: South Hill Mall, Canada, Yorkton Saskatoon

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