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Business

March 30, 2013

Green Earth about much more than food

(Continued)

“We have been very fortunate to have so many people, both suppliers and customers who are committed to eating well,” Dean Roberts said.

On a recent Tuesday afternoon, a woman walked through the door carrying a flat tray of organically grown spouts. Rebekka Schecter of Sharon Springs explained to the Roberts her method of growing the spouts. Dean Roberts talked about the possibilities of carrying her produce with one of his employees, Bob Berglewicz. They decided to try the spouts and began talking about obtaining locally grown wheat grass.

“These are amazing people,” Berglewicz said. “It is nice to be a part of something that I believe in. I have worked in jobs that I felt compromised my integrity, and I decided I would not do that anymore.

“A lot of people who come in here are looking for an alternative — healthy eating or supplements — I believe the food industry is controlled by big business. It is nice to have an alternative, to know where your food comes from.”

The Robertses bought Green Earth from Gary Schroeder in 2008. Dean Roberts had been retired from a successful business for about 10 years when the opportunity became available.

“We were interested in eating well and we had farmsteaded for about 10 years when he decided to close it,” Dean Roberts said. “We were friends and we talked about buying it.”

The business was not very robust when the Roberts purchased Green Earth, but there was a loyal following. Over the past five years the husband-and-wife team began to build the business with an eye to service. They now employ 10 people.

Green Earth has expanded and added several new walk-in refrigeration units and new freezers. The café offers soups, sandwiches and beans and rice as well as coffee and tea. Patrons are often found lingering over lunch at one of the several tables set up in front of the big picture windows.

Their new endeavor is a partnership with Johanna’s Raw Foods, a line of organic, gluten-free snacks that are heated to no more than 115 degrees to preserve the raw nutrients. Green Earth employees manufacture the snacks after closing the store to the public.

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