44 of 50
BACKNEXT
Sioux Falls, SD
Sioux Falls, SD
Steve Gratzfeld
Meadowsweet Market

Health food was a personal interest of mine at an early age -- I was about 13 when I knew this was a passion. I went on to do anything but health-related occupations. I got a degree in civil engineering, started a computer business, then moved back to South Dakota and went back to what I enjoyed.

Starting a health food store 12 years ago in the Midwest, among cornfields, was a little on the edge. I made it more palatable to the local folks. We don't burn incense, we don't have beads hanging from our doors. Your average middle-aged mother of three is not really comfortable with nose piercings and orange spiked hair. You have to be conscious that you create an environment people are comfortable with, because you're asking people to cross a threshold in terms of what they choose to eat.

My previous business experience helped me, but this was my first time in a retail business. Management of inventory continues to be a challenge -- we have 7,000 products on our shelves. Keeping track of which are selling and making sure you don't have product that doesn't move is tough. It's like owning an apartment building with someone not paying rent.

Competition has been steady, and increasing. There was a big-box retailer across the street that had a natural foods section within the store. Walgreens carries organic products.

I think we do have a niche now, and that's providing food for allergen-sensitive people. In the last three years customers have asked us for wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free products. Demand has just really expanded a lot. -Rachel Kaufman

See complete data for Sioux Falls, SD

NEXT: Tulsa, OK

Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
LAST UPDATE: Oct 20 2009 | 9:39 AM ET
Best launch spots: See all 50 Growing economies, great workers, stable housing markets -- these metro areas have what entrepreneurs need to thrive. More
Tax havensWant to keep more of your profits? Check out these 5 states, where taxes are low -- and in some cases, nonexistent. More
5 deadly spots Every restaurateur knows about Cursed Locations. Here's a look at 4 trying to break the streak -- and one that failed. More
Sponsors

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.