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Fairweather Natural Foods celebrates 30 years

Store and cafe has evolved to meet locals’ needs

Fairweather Natural Foods cafe kitchen lead Abbey Dering grabs a handful of carrots as she prepares a juice for a customer during the morning business hours. Fairweather celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.
Tanzi Propst/Park Record

The pearl is the traditional gift for a 30th anniversary, while the diamond is considered a contemporary gift to mark the occasion.

While pearls symbolize purity and wisdom and diamonds refer to lasting durability, both can be applied to Fairweather Natural Foods, which is celebrating 30 years in Park City, because of owner and general manager Jen Rattay’s vision.

“We offer nothing that is artificial, and I try as much as possible to supply organic products,” Rattay said. “One of the things I am passionate about is the sustainability of our planet, and I believe how we grow our food is important.”



Rattay is also passionate about health and healing oneself.

“So we also specialize in health supplements, because what we put into our bodies is important as well,” she said.



Fairweather, located at 1270 Iron Horse Drive, has also evolved over the past three decades to meet the various needs of its patrons, Rattray said.

“Initially we served only soups and sandwiches, and now we have a juice bar where we make smoothies,” she said. “We also make organic salads, and some grab-and-go dips and spreads.”

A large portion of the food, which also includes wraps, in-house baked goods and fruit bowls, are vegetarian, with vegan and gluten-free options, according to Rattray.

Jen Rattray, owner of Fairweather Natural Foods and Cafe, left, and Anne Vetterli, front of house management, stand in front of the store's wide variety of supplements.
Tanzi Propst/Park Record

“Whenever there is a new trend, we try to be up on it,” she said. “We want to support people who want to eat healthy, and we have something for everyone here.”

Rattray already had an extensive background in health foods before she moved to Park City in 1992.

Right out of high school, Rattray worked at a natural foods diner in New Jersey.

“The owners made everything from scratch, including their own bread,” she said. “That gave me a good foundation about the importance of natural food.”

While living in Boulder, Colorado, and Santa Cruz, California, Rattray was introduced to holistic wellness and supplements, as she worked in natural food stores’ supplement departments and year-long apprentice programs in various nutrition courses. So she was prepared when the opportunity to take on Fairweather as full owner and manager came her way shortly after she moved to Park City.

“I grew up at a time when health food stores were like Fairweather, and for me, it’s been important to keep it as a small and unique store,” she said.

Keeping Fairweather Natural Foods a small and unique store is a goal for owner and general manager Jen Rattray.
Tanzi Propst/Park Record

Keeping things small doesn’t mean Rattray is opposed to trying new things.

“Even though we expanded the cafe in 2000, I honed in on what I think are high-quality products for those who want to be healthy,” she said. “We are also able to answer people’s questions about supplements, diet and other things to support their health.”

To do this, Rattray tries to keep up on the health-food trends and developments.

“I read a lot of studies and newsletters, and I go to trade shows to see what the new things are,” she said. “I’m also constantly talking to our customers and getting feedback about what we can do to better serve them.”

The past year with the coronavirus pandemic proved to be a tough storm for Rattray and her staff to weather, but she had help from Paycheck Protection Program loans and support from her clientele.

“Although we cut back on dine-ins at the cafe, we did make an effort to stock all the nutritional supplements that people asked for,” she said. “We made it work, because we’ve been somewhat fortunate to be in business for so long. I think this past year would have been so much harder if we had just opened up without the strong loyal following we have.”

Getting to know her customers over the years has been a treat for Rattray.

“I’ve watched children of customers grow up and become parents themselves,” she said. “It’s amazing how time flies by, and it’s kind of hard for me to believe it’s been 30 years. But I’m proud of the store, the people who have collaborated with me to be part of it. And I’m grateful to all the customers who have supported us throughout the years.”

Fairweather Natural Foods

Where: 1270 Iron Horse Drive

Hours: 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. on Mondays-Fridays; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays

Phone: 435-649-4561

Web: fairweathernaturalfoods.com

 


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