Naturally Rockford: Rockford now has 'choices' for healthy eating

Grand opening of new organic grocery store set for Sept. 8

Sodium nitrate, hydrogenated oil, nitrosamines, monosodium glutamate, acetic acid, isobutyl butyrate, RBGH hormones, maltol, methyl benzoate… and the list goes on. There are 70,000 chemicals allowed to be processed into the foods you eat.

That’s why Bob and Karen King are celebrating the grand opening of their new organic grocery store, Choices Natural Market, at 6551 E. Riverside Blvd., in Rockford on Thursday, Sept. 8. At 11 a.m., consumers can partake in cooking demonstrations, tasting the difference between regular and organically grown chicken, as well as beef kabobs and organic yogurt. Busy parents can see what convenient and healthy foods can be put into their kids’ lunch bags. And the local farmers who supply the organic meats and produce the market carries will be on hand to answer questions.

“Five years ago, we didn’t think the timing was right for our business,” said Choices Natural Market owner Karen King. “But now, it is.”

According to a 2004 Consumer Trends study, 10 percent of consumers shop almost every time or at least fairly often at a natural or organic food store. That amounts to roughly 20 million people, and the number is growing. Choices Natural Market offers organic meat, produce, flour, dairy products, baker items, baby foods, health and beauty products, vitamins and more. It is the only supplier of locally raised and certified organic beef, pork and poultry.

“We can actually tell you what the cows ate for dinner last night!” King extols. “Our customers love the fact that when they buy organic foods, they know exactly what’s on their plate and what’s going into their bodies.”

King even has several doctors who are customers and recommend organic foods to their patients.

“We have new customers in here every day,” Karen King said. “Whether they want to feel better, have more energy or are battling a health issue, they are nutritionally savvy, environmentally aware and health-conscious, spanning all walks of life.”

King, herself, suffered from migraines and exhaustion before switching to all-organic foods. She and her family feel better because of it.

“The mark-ups on our foods are very low because we philosophically believe it’s important for everyone to be able to afford organic foods,” King explained. “My family feels so much better since we began eating an all-organic diet, and from the chicken to the grapes to the cereal and cookies, it all tastes really good, too.”

King sells more than 2,000 different organic items in her store with more arriving every day. Her store hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, go to

From the Sapt. 7-13, 2005, issue

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