Smaller scale health food store packs plenty of advantages

Service. Selection. Knowledge. Price.

These are four benefits to customers who choose 12 Baskets Nutrition & Health Co. at Blundell Centre over shopping at larger retailers.

“What sets us apart is the fact we operate like a small, local health food store when everything else in the marketplace is going the way of big box stores,” says Christina Liu, 12 Baskets’ sales and purchasing manager. “The advantage of us being smaller is our staff have more time to talk to the customers, find out why they came in and help them find what they need.

“Customers come in here, and we can educate them and make recommendations.”

Plus, 12 Baskets is price competitive.

“You get premium products for the best possible price,” Liu says.

There are a total of four locations, one in Burnaby, another in Vancouver, and two in Richmond - at Blundell Centre and on Cambie Road.

All four pride themselves in not simply selling products to customers, but taking the time to understand why they came in.

“We look at their lifestyle,” Liu explains. “We educate them on what to eat and what not to eat, basics like that.

“We learn about their history. It’s not just a matter of having someone walk in, and we sell them a product.

“There’s much more to it.

“We look at general health and prevention,” she says.

“Customers can go to a doctor and get medicine to treat their symptoms. We want to help treat the underlying issues.”

In many cases, especially at large stores, there can also be an overwhelming volume of products that customers may end up having a hard time choosing the one that’s best suited to their condition.

At 12 Baskets, regular training keeps staff up-to-date with what will be the most effective for customers.

“And customers are getting the opportunity to talk with someone who is knowledgeable about what they are recommending,” says Liu, who is trained as a holistic nutritionist and uses that education when it comes to purchasing products for the store.

“I will not carry every brand out there. Plus, I want to ensure what is on the shelves is backed up by scientific studies and will be effective for our customers,” she says. “That way, they can purchase items with confidence.

“Ultimately, we want customers walking away from the store feeling better,” she says.

For more information about 12 Baskets Nutrition & Health, visit

© Richmond News