Pamela and Stephen Dutka

Niantic, Connecticut, United States

Natural Food Store Owner, Organic Food Store Owner

When you are the owner of a health food store, you do it ALL. From the first "setting up of the store,” you will begin choosing and controlling inventory, dealing with wholesalers and reps (and there are many) ordering, pricing, designing displays, talking to customers, hiring, bookkeeping, promoting your business and maintaining your equipment.

We opened The Natural Food Store in 1985. Our store is 3,000 square feet, and we have 12 employees, including my husband and me. The natural food and alternative medicine industry is a constantly moving, vibrant and rewarding career. As a NFS owner, you are on the leading edge of new trends in foods, supplements and body care. You are up-to-date on the conditions of our food supply, i.e., pesticides, genetically modified foods, BPA and irradiation. You are the first to hear about and try new products.

Here’s just a bit of what we can cover in our PivotPlanet session(s):
• How to choose and buy the best foods, supplements and body care from the
best suppliers for the best prices. Simply, what makes money and what doesn't.
• How to create a niche market. In the age of giant retailers and the Internet,
what makes a customer get in his car and drive to YOU?
• How to manage your payroll and navigate local, state and federal mazes and
• How to set and display your inventory to maximum advantage. If you live in the
world, you already know how important this is.
• How to acquire the alternative medicine knowledge you will need and the
understanding of the regulatory issues that apply.

We are a nation disenchanted with traditional medicine - we want to be and stay healthy longer with far fewer drugs, tests and procedures. We want to pass these lifestyle habits on to our families. We can help people do just that as well as earn a good living while helping to make people well and happy. What could be better?


We are proud and thankful to have clawed our way to the top of the hill in a difficult and competitive market. Our first year in business the store grossed $53,000. In 2013, we did $1.3 million.

We are proud that local doctors (and not so local) send their patients to us, knowing we are knowledgeable, reasonable and reassuring. But most of all, our satisfaction comes from our "extended family" of customers. They have made us a part of their lives, visiting weekly and sometimes daily. They tell us every day how important our business is to them. They feel better; maybe they have avoided a surgery or a medication or perhaps they have gotten through a patch of bad health. They see results, and they are smiling! That’s what keeps us opening the door every day.