By Epiphany Communications and Coaching*
Justin Yono is no stranger to the food retail industry. He grew up watching his father own and operate retail businesses for several years. However, his path to owning his own business was not a straight shot out of high school. He ventured into other professions before he set his eyes on an existing business and he quickly realized it was a “natural” fit.
Natural Food Patch is in downtown Ferndale. The 5,200 square-foot business has been serving the community and the surrounding areas for nearly 25 years. When the opportunity to purchase the business surfaced, Justin Yono jumped on the chance. Right out of college, he ventured into corporate finance and then spent around seven years working in the commercial real estate industry, “but I always had that entrepreneurial itch,” he said. “Many say I’m going ‘back to my roots’ as my father was in the grocery industry for 40+ years and served as chairman of MIRA previously.”
Justin’s father, Nabby, is a long-time MIRA member and was the chairman in 1994 and 1995. He is still very involved in the association today and often consults on industry issues and sits on Midwest Independent Retailers Foundation (MIRF) board.
Today, Nabby also consults on his son’s new business. “When he approached me about the business, I encouraged him to buy it,” said Nabby. “Currently the commercial real estate industry is struggling a bit. I knew he could do both businesses. He consults with me almost daily on products, services, and equipment. I still have knowledge of the industry even though I have been out for while now. Many of my friends are still owners and operators and I am in contact with them often about industry issues.”
For Justin, the business is not just about selling products. “We actively educate our customers on quality natural and organic health foods, which is an increasingly growing segment year-over-year,” said Justin. “We carry the best brands and have phenomenal prices on vitamins and supplements, organic produce, bulk foods, frozen foods, grocery, health & beauty and much more. We are a completely natural foods grocery store and take it to heart. Our prices remain affordable, because we feel that healthy living doesn’t have to break the bank!”
Justin and his wife Kayla have been married for two years. When he is not working, he enjoys exercise, traveling and spending time with his family.
They have several future growth plans in the coming months to better serve their great customers. “Stay tuned for updates,” said Justin.
*Writers with Epiphany Communications and Coaching are content creators for Bottom Line.