Wild Oats Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Wild Oats Celebrates 40th Anniversary
29/12/2020 Mike Duckworth
Wild Oats store front in the 1980s

Wild Oats Celebrates 40th Anniversary

A brief history of Wild Oats

In late 1979 Mike and his Dutch girlfriend Loes were both working at the European Space Technology Centre in Noordwijk. A desire to make a living in a more sustainable and environmentally sound way spurred them on to take over a small health food store in 1980. A store that is regarded as a Bristol institution and a pioneer in its field, Wild Oats Natural Foods.

Fast forward to January 2021 and we’re celebrating our 40th anniversary. So how have we grown from a small delicatessen to the health hub of the community we’re known for today?

Making our mark as an independent health store

Mike and Loes have always had a passion for good nutrition and wholefoods so their knowledge of health products was second-to-none. But there weren’t many health shops around when they took over Wild Oats in 1980, so navigating that gap in the market was no easy feat.

Before our opening in 1981, we closed for 6 months while a team of friends and family worked tirelessly to refurbish the store. Shelves were stocked with natural foods mostly imported from Holland as they weren’t readily available in the UK at the time and a pioneering self-service area was handbuilt. This self-service area meant customers could fill their own containers to reduce waste, and now even the big supermarkets have followed our lead by installing their own self-service areas.

Over the past 40 years we’ve welcomed people from all walks of life, and as well as providing a vast range of healthy foods and products, we’ve helped countless people with a plethora of conditions that conventional medicine and diets have failed, not to mention the various local charities.

We even have our own success story, with Mike himself managing to recover from a debilitating illness utilising the wide range of natural foods and products from the store. We continue to be a vital part of the local community, serving both the people of Redland and Clifton and in running various talks and workshops about health and natural medicine alongside helping local suppliers and businesses grow far beyond the local area.

The Larder shop front
Loes Abrahams on The Larder shop floor
Wild Oats self service area 1981

Where we are today

We’ve grown but still maintain the same original ethos and now, more so than ever. We’re here to help everyone by offering free dietary and nutritional advice that gives you the power to take responsibility for your own health.

During COVID-19, we set up a local delivery and collection service to ensure those who are unable to come directly to store can still access their essentials, likewise our newly revamped e-Commerce site is available to help those around the country.

We continue to pioneer new tastes and trends in the health food market and we’re already preparing for the future. As we see the world adapting, we will be there as we have been for 40 years, to help those on their journey. Whether it’s for Veganuary, ethical or dietary reasons, we will help you live better. So, drop by and see why our fantastic independent business has been an institution for Bristol’s Vegetarian and Vegan community for so long.

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