Custom Collaboration - Amaranth Foods - Guest Blog by Brendan Klatt

On this guest blog we hear from Brendan Klatt, second-generation owner of one of the first natural health food stores in Calgary, Amaranth. They support all things local and sustainable so we were thrilled when they reached out to us to redesign their team uniforms with Canadian made garments. Here is Brendan talking what it was like growing up in a natural food store and what community means to him. 

Koala Krisp and Almond Milk was a staple for me growing you could say I was a health foodie from a young age. My parents started the store when I was two… so really I don't remember a time without the business and the health mindset in our lives. All of our weekend family trips were preceded by stocking up on snacks at Amaranth (#BarbarasPuffs), and my play was defined by roughhousing around in the back-loading area of the very first store in the Crowfoot mall. 

With the dawn of the 2000s, the decision was made to build our own store in Arbour Lake. My farewell memory of that space was rollerblading around the concrete floor in the empty old building.

The business has always been a family affair. Therefore, at the new location, we started hosting pancake breakfasts. The lead-up days were spent with me taping up napkins with forks and knives and then handing them out to the lineup of hungry patrons. 

In high school, I worked at the store as a cashier and grocery clerk- stocking shelves, moping and cashing customers through. I loved the customer engagement and the knowledge that in some small way each day I was making a difference in supporting individual’s health journeys.

Around this same time, I was undergoing my own personal health struggles around eczema. I quickly found the medical advice to just keep increasing the strength of the steroid cream to not be a good fit for me. I discovered a healthy diet was truly the best way to reduce and eliminate my symptoms while using coconut oil and natural creams. This, along with so many customer stories, led me to be convinced that natural medicine and a healthy diet could (and should) have a place beside conventional medicine to optimize our health. 

After a brief stint in aviation as a pilot, I decided to come back to the business and work with my Dad. We are now focused on evolving the business and growing it to be better for our customers.

What I get to do is awesome! I get to ‘juggle’ multiple things each day that excite me. As a born and raised Albertan, working in a local family run company- I get to live my values and make a difference.

As a buyer & marketer, I am always on the hunt for new local businesses creating great products. I have the opportunity to visit farms, meet the farmers & animals as well as see where our goods come from. There is a story behind each item we carry, and I am honored to bring that to life in our stores and through our marketing. To have seen where the products come from and have met the producers of what is on my dinner plate is an incredible feeling. I want to create that same feeling for our customers.

With the daily challenges, successes, connections and an ever-evolving market I know that I made the right choice.  It’s powerful for me to be able to connect to other local entrepreneurs and partner with them. I leave work feeling I have made a difference in our local food movement, our economy and our planet. And in my more introspective moments, I too realize that I definitely spend much more time with my Dad and for that I am grateful.

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