Ozark Natural Foods won’t relocate, plans to stay in Evelyn Hills

Staff photo

It looks like Ozark Natural Foods will stay put after all.

The longtime local co-op and natural grocery store was pursuing plans to sell their current location, purchase the CV’s Family Foods building at 380 N College Ave., and move into the currently-vacant grocery store, but those plans have fallen through.

ONF board president Joshua Youngblood announced the decision in a video posted to the store’s Facebook page on Thursday.

“Unfortunately, our potential buyer is not going to be able to move forward for some unforeseen reasons,” Youngblood said. “The board has decided that it would place the coop in too high of jeopardy to own two buildings at this point.”

Ozark Natural Foods first began in 1971 as a cooperative buying club with food stored at the home of one of its members. Soon after, a retail space was organized in the back of Highroller Cyclery on Spring Street. From there, the co-op moved to West Avenue and then to Rock Street before settling on Dickson Street in 1993 inside the building currently occupied by Puritan and Fayettechill. The store moved to its current location at 1554 N. College Ave. in 2000. A purchase of the building was initiated in 2008, and the final mortgage payment was announced in 2012.

“We are still looking forward to the future,” Youngblood said. “We are very excited about our rebranding exercises, and all the exciting changes that are going to happen at the co-op.”