The Taste of Life natural foods store began in the garage of the Poelstra home in 1997. Donna was looking for a more economical way to purchase healthy foods for her family. The first item she found was the wonderful chicken that we still sell today. In order to get a wholesale price, she had to purchase a 40 lb case. She just zippy-bagged it up, and was set for quite awhile. Well, as she shared her good find with friends, they wanted to get a 10 lb. bag and help her out by not having to keep so much for herself. By word of mouth, more and more moms contacted her and wanted in on the great price she could get for the all natural chicken.Eight years later, she was emailing over 500 families and taking orders every 3 weeks.
Donna's philosophy has been to feed her family the best organic or all natural foods, but to stay within her family budget. Most families can only buy what their checkbook allows. But, most moms really want to protect their family's health by staying away from all the pesticides, preservatives, and unhealthy processed foods. This can prove to be an interesting challenge as we all know how expensive organic buying can be.
Donna was homeschooling her 3 children at this time so "co-op day" became a schooling day for the kids of serving customers, doing math by tallying invoices, and learning to be entrepeneurs by assisting in the weighing of chicken, bagging produce and it became the Poelstra family business.
As our group of moms continued buying chicken together, we decided to branch out and find other meats. We hooked up with a family farmer in Iowa who sent us some samples of the best beef we had ever eaten. So for the last 7 years, we have dealt exclusively with Verity Farms beef and absolutely can't find anything else out there that compares to the taste. You can learn about Verity Farms by going to their website and reading about them.
Then we decided to find a buffalo company that would work with us in buying cases at wholesale prices. We found them in South Dakota and have been extremely happy with their products.
All of this was developing into quite a large "grocery market". We were getting organic produce and Donna was baking fresh whole wheat breads. We'd get specials on turkeys for Thanksgiving and lamb and prime rib for Christmas, and it just kept growing. When we were trying to get 150 cars through our driveway every 3rd Thursday, we realized that maybe we had outgrown our garage.
So in January of 2006 we opened up a market in the cute little yellow house in downtown Monument. Because this store had a kitchen we decided to start making family style meals with all of our natural foods. Now this has grown into an amazing side of the business. You can pre-order or just come in and see what's available. We have 3 sizes of meals to help busy moms feed their families. You can enjoy more time with your family by letting us do the cooking for you.
Six months later Ron, Donna's husband, came on full-time working at the store. Now two of the three kids are the main cooks and the third one is assisting in other areas. It truly has become a family business.
Who would have thought that 9 years ago this would have ever happened. Donna certainly had never dreamed of it. She just wanted good food for her lovely family. Join us at the store and see if this type of market suits your needs as well.
Come on in. We'd love to meet you and you don't even have to come to my garage now. We're open 6 days a week for your convenience. Some of our original "garage customers" still laugh about the times we'd be working in freezing conditions, not being able to feel our toes because it was so cold. I think you'll find the store much more warm now and hopefully a pleasant place to shop.