MEET THE NEIGHBORS ~ SHOP LOCAL at Nature’s Food Patch
Meet the Team at Nature’s Food Patch:
Sean Balsley, General Manager (Clearwater & Dunedin)
“My hippy parents raised me as a vegetarian.”
Sean started at Nature’s Food Patch in 1989. He moved to Clearwater and started working at Nature’s Food Patch as a cashier and has done many jobs since being at The Patch. Sean enjoys the relationships that he has forged with the customers and the great people that he works with. Sean enjoys coaching his son’s soccer team and being with his wife and 3 children. He also plays basketball and enjoys going to the beach whenever he can.
John (“JK”) Klein, Customer Care Manager (Clearwater)
“I love assisting customers and working in a positive and happy environment.”
John has been with Nature’s Food Patch since July 2010. He has over 30 years of experience in the food industry, with customer service being one of his specialties! John loves playing pool, golfing and teaching himself how to play the guitar.
Michael Henkel, Store Manager (Dunedin)
“As a customer before working at The Patch, I could see myself being here.”
Mike started at Nature’s Food Patch in 1998. He loves learning about organic foods and making a difference in people’s lives. Having worked in many areas of the store, Mike says he enjoys the diversity of his current role as Store Manager, which allows him to interact with the staff, customers and food on a regular basis.
Nature’s Food Patch: Their Business:
When a new customer walks through the front doors, they’re greeted by a warm, welcoming environment, an array of fresh, vibrant organic produce and a staff that is incredibly helpful, enthusiastic and friendly. Nature’s Food Patch values quality, education, service and integrity. These are aspects the customer will see and feel from their shopping experience, both in the environment and products carried. You may walk into one of the stores feeling completely new to you, but by the time you walk out, the hope is that you’ll walk out of The Patch feeling like family.
One of the ways The Patch does this is by keeping customers ‘in the know’ about upcoming savings opportunities and new food trends. Starting Monday, Aug. 5, The Patch will offer Bulk Discount Days on the first Monday of the month at both locations. Customers can get 10% off packaged bulk and bulk bins (Clearwater), excluding sale items and without double discounts. Seniors also receive special savings on vitamins and supplements on designated Wednesdays as part of Senior Days. Customers also can arm themselves with the latest product information as part of Tasty Trends Tuesdays and specifically, new fresh products on Fresh Finds Fridays.
Their Story at Nature’s Food Patch: :
Nature’s Food Patch began in 1987 when founder Donald Amort decided to tackle one of the hardest battles of his life – a cancer diagnosis – by turning to a macrobiotic lifestyle. Filled with a desire to help others improve their health, he refurbished what was once the Clearwater Community Co-op and created The Patch. His support for the natural foods’ movement lives on as his children preserve his legacy and continue to inspire the community through knowledge and nutritious foods to create a healthy lifestyle.
In August 2018, The Patch opened its second location in charming Downtown Dunedin and made a whole new set of friends and neighbors. For years, this unique, close-knit community had been asking for a “Patch” of their own, something that would be convenient for foot and bike traffic without the size of the main store yet maintaining core offerings for specific dietary needs such as gluten-free, vegan and organic. By placing the Dunedin location right on the Pinellas Trail, cyclists can easily travel to and from the store. Like its Clearwater counterpart, it offers organic produce, grass-fed meat, fresh juice/smoothie bar, organic and fair-trade coffee, craft beers including locally brewed, freshly-prepared sandwiches, wraps, salads and soups, wine and beer and the popular reverse osmosis water machine.
Educating Pinellas Communities:
Nature’s Food Patch: Partnering with Clearwater and Dunedin Neighbors:
Nature’s Food Patch has always made education a focal point of its stores, with free classes offered monthly and staff dedicated to providing top-notch customer service to answer questions and help visitors navigate The Patch to best serve their needs.
The store was at the forefront of a movement away from plastic shopping bags when it launched its own Bring Your Own Bag campaign on Earth Day 2008, one of the first in the Bay area to advocate the ban of plastic bags. By encouraging customers to bring their own re-usable bags and offering a 5-cent donation per bag to a different charity each month, Nature’s Food Patch did more than talk about making change — they put it into action.
With the addition of the PaTcHwOrKs community room at the Clearwater store in 2015, the store invited the community to stop by more often to learn from experts on a variety of health and wellness topics. In the first year alone, the community room hosted 193 free classes with everything from healthy cooking and clean eating to family yoga and song circles covered.
Partnering with Clearwater and Dunedin Neighbors:
Nature’s Food Patch is, and always has been very community centric, driven by a vision to serve and inspire the community to build a healthier world. This has been demonstrated as local leaders of the organic, healthy and clean eating movements. The Patch was the first reliable resource the community could turn to for organic produce and continues to support customers in their dietary choices by providing access to the best resources available.
As a local neighbor, The Patch has built relationships to benefit those in need including sponsorship, monetary contributions and meeting space for the Clearwater and Dunedin Community Gardens; support of the Clearwater Beach Aquarium by regular donations of lettuce, kale, cabbage and other produce to feed the Aquarium’s turtles; and donating all leftover food weekly to the Homeless Empowerment Program.
The store has been an active member in local business
chambers and taken part in supporting major events in the community including
The Clearwater Jazz Holiday, local businesses’ health fairs and as a provider
of raffle items, baskets, donations, speakers and other resources to support
other area organizations including the YMCA, Suncoast Animal League, Big
Brothers, Big Sisters and more for their own fundraisers and awareness events.
Stay Engaged at Nature’s Food Patch!
Throughout the year, The Patch takes part in various community events – everything from Beer Fests and Veg Fest to local beach cleanups, teacher appreciation breakfasts as well as Earth Day and health and wellness-centric events. Both stores also serve as hosts for fun and informative events each month including Dunedin Food Tours, Downtown Dunedin Merchants Association 2nd Fridays, free yoga every Saturday at the Dunedin store and free store tours for both adults and kids. On August 14, the Dunedin store celebrates its first official birthday. (Details coming soon!)
Check the online monthly events calendars for both stores regularly to stay informed about upcoming free classes, special events, guest speakers and savings opportunities! Click here for a peek at The Patch’s current calendar.
You Can Find Nature’s Food Patch Here:
1225 Cleveland St., Clearwater, FL 33755 727.443.6703
966 Douglas Ave., #106 Dunedin, FL 34698
Or Visit our Website at: naturesfoodpatch.com
For another fun place to visit in Dunedin check out the Dunedin Brewery here.