Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

December 9, 2011

Family Nutrition Center now 40 times larger than original

With move to old JC Penney building, store brings foot traffic to Nolan River Mall, new customers

Co-owner of Family Nutrition Center Natural Foods Market David Adams said there has never been a down year in the company’s history since the store first opened, albeit under different ownership, more than 20 years ago.

The store most recently sat across from Chili’s on Henderson, occupying 7,200 square feet. Since Aug. 30, the Family Nutrition Center has been at the west end of Nolan River Mall, inhabiting the old JC Penney and Goody’s location. Through Sunday, the store is holding its grand opening event in the 33,000-plus square foot location.

“There’s a couple of different facets,” Adams said of the company’s gains. “First, I give God the credit. We have never had a down year since I’ve been here in 1998.”

There were years when the store fell flat, he admits, thanks to the implosion of the then-popular, low-carbohydrate diet. But, thankfully, he said, the natural food industry seems here to stay.

“Our industry as a whole has continued to grow each and every year,” Adams said. “More people are becoming aware of it, turned on to it, becoming interested in it. People are wanting to live a healthier lifestyle.”

According to the Natural Products Association, the U.S. nutrition industry reached $117 billion in 2010. Natural and organic food sales grew by 8.3 percent alone.

Supplement sales, though trailing behind natural and organic foods by about $10 billion, saw a 4.4 percent sales growth in 2010.

Adams says he has the largest selection of supplements in Johnson County. He and his team work with more than 300 companies to bring a wide selection of grocery items, bulk food, produce, bulk herbs and some meats. The store was vegetarian until several years ago.

“We literally have a huge multitude of different items,” Adams said. “And that’s intentional. Very intentional.”

To move all those items took some legwork, Adams said. The store was only closed for one day as it moved across the street.

“When we first opened, on Aug. 30, we did not have the smoothest of transitions from one store to the other,” Adams said. “It was complete chaos. The store today versus where it was when we first opened over here is just a night and day difference.”

The natural food fad has even helped other stores in the west end of the mall.

“I’ve talked to several managers in the mall,” Adams said. “They were extremely happy. They were in desperate need of bringing some stability to the mall. Our clientele is probably greater than the entire mall on any given day.”

Next door to Family Nutrition Center, a business that’s been around for three years is seeing new faces stop in.

“I’ve had probably 20 people come in and say, ‘We didn’t even know you were down here,’” said Attie Majerus, manager of the Shoe Dept.

“It has helped bring people into this end of the mall,” she said. “They’re getting ready to put some other stores down here too. I believe it’s a rue21 [clothing store].”

Majerus said there is another benefit to having a new neighbor: safety.  

“They’ve added lights down here,” she said. “They’ve redone a lot of the parking lot. We’ve been very fortunate. It used to be just so dark out there; now, it’s more open.”  

The Family Nutrition Center Natural Foods Market is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; frp, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (6 p.m. during Daylight Saving Time) Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday It is closed Saturday to observe Seventh-day Adventist Sabbath.

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