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Wild Oats Natural Foods makes Small Biz 100

One of Bristol’s oldest health stores, Wild Oats Natural Foods, has been named as part of this year’s Small Biz 100. This national campaign highlights some of the UK’s most inspiring small businesses over the course of 100 days, leading up to Small Business Saturday on the 5th December. In our latest blog post, Mike Abrahams of Wild Oats describes his motivations and the benefits of community-centric retail.

We’ve been dedicated to promoting a healthy you from the inside-out since we opened our doors in 1981. Our ties with the local community are strong, but this kind of platform means we get to reiterate how important it is to take care of our health to even more people.

It’s incredibly important to me personally as I found that changing my diet over the years dramatically improved my health. But it wasn’t until I started supplementing with additional vitamins and minerals that I really managed to find what I’d call optimum health. As a nation today, we find ourselves not knowing the importance of wholefoods and nutrition. We’re seduced by taste, colour and the price of whatever we choose to put in our mouths, without much thought at all to the effect it has on our health. We need to ask ourselves how it all could affect us in the long-run?

By far the majority of disease today is degenerative – in other words, the body is breaking down. It’s seen most clearly in heart disease, stroke, cancer, mental illness, obesity and asthma. Then we take into account the lack of proper food, excess junk and over-sanitisation that has arguably caused a big drop in the nation’s immunity. Low immunity leaves us open to almost anything that comes along, which also explains why so many people find it difficult to recover from COVID-19, as well as other infections.

Many degenerative diseases are simply due to a lack of adequate nutrition and excess destructive junk and can be reversed by choosing a more supportive lifestyle. And that’s where we, an independent health store, step in. We’ve found our niche and over the years we’ve helped hundreds of people rise to higher levels of health and happiness. In the spirit of Bristol Going for Gold, we at Wild Oats are motivated by the knowledge that those little choices you make every time you shop for food and drink can contribute to making a food system that’s good for people, planet and our city. The importance of connecting with the local community is absolutely at the heart of our business, so winning this award means so much to us.

We want to encourage you to find health and happiness by visiting our store and taking advantage of the free expert advice our amazing team offers. So, when Small Biz 100 shines the spotlight on us on the 8th October, we’ll be placing Wild Oats gift vouchers at a handful of Bristol’s landmarks for you to spend in store. We’ll give clues on our social channels @wildoatsbristol as to where the gift vouchers will be in the lead up to the 8th October, so if you’re in the area that day keep an eye out and you could be in luck.

Take part in #BristolFoodKind – follow the hashtag to get practical ideas on how to shop locally, reduce food waste and grow food at home in a way that is considerate to yourself and the wider community. Post your own your ideas and tips using #BristolFoodKind to inspire others.

Visit Bristol Food Network for more information and resources on Bristol’s good food response to the pandemic.