Humble Beginnings

The heritage of Clark's Nutrition & Natural Foods Market can be traced to the early days of ‘mom and pop’ health food stores. Jim Clark, the company's founder, purchased the first Downtown Riverside location in 1972.

In those early days, the public often thought of health food stores as a source for date shakes, carrot juice and hippies.

As the store began to take flight, Jim, who was gifted in public relations, could be found each day at the counter, drinking coffee and greeting customers with a smile.

The Riverside store featured a sit down style restaurant. Jim’s daughter-in-law, Carol, was the waitress. Carol’s mother, Verda Bradshaw, was an amazing cook, so she took the helm as chef. Verda would arrive daily at 4 am to grind the grain and make 3/4” thick homemade bread for her Cream Cheese and Olive sandwiches. Her homemade pies were the best in town. In fact, we still have customers that ask for Verda’s recipes!

The restaurant was voted one of Riverside's best in a Press Enterprise newspaper poll. However, the demand for supplements and natural foods grew. The store was forced to close the restaurant in order to make room for the increasing demand of nutrition. This would add another opportunity and a second generation of family to this exciting adventure!

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