In 1978, husband and wife team, Margaret and Phillip Nabors, started a home-based natural foods catering business with $60.00 and a cooking pot. The couple catered many weddings and events for friends and customers who had difficulty finding healthy eating options in the Northeast Ohio area. The business thrived and three years later in 1981, Margaret opened a small (2,000 sq. ft.) health food store in Akron’s Merriman Valley. They named the store Mustard Seed Market. Then, as now, Mustard Seed Market was committed to helping individuals enjoy healthier lives through healthier eating habits; Margaret and Phillip even offered cooking classes out of their home. A wide selection of natural foods, supplements, teas, books and health and beauty items were made available to a loyal following of customers, many of whom traveled long distances to reach the store. Margaret added a small menu of prepared foods when customers had a sampling of the catering offerings.
In March of 1989, Margaret & Phillip relocated the store to an area that offered easy access from the freeway, I-77 and Rt. 18. The new 9,000 square foot store housed a 60-seat restaurant and a wider selection of natural foods, all free of artificial colors, flavors, harmful preservatives & additives, saccharine and aspartame. Reaching out to a broader customer base, the couple included a new addition to their product mix, a fresh seafood case that offered the freshest fish in town. With the addition of the restaurant, critically fresh fish & seafood, business grew. At the request of their customers, Margaret and Phillip found poultry that met their stringent standards (antibiotic- and cage-free) and added a 10-foot ice case. Realizing that their mix of healthy, high-quality products were attracting and converting mainstream conventional grocery shoppers, they decided to offer a small meat department, ensuring that all the meats are naturally raised and free from hormones and routine antibiotics. In 1992 they added an educational program on Monday evenings that consisted of either a natural foods cooking class or a lecture relating to natural health.
Business boomed and in September of 1996, Mustard Seed Market & Café completed the expansion of its current location to create a 31,500 square foot shopping and dining area. The expansion resulted in a 14,000 square foot retail space, a 120-seat restaurant, 20-seat bar (offering wheatgrass juice to alcohol), and a banquet facility with a capacity of 120-150 people. Continuing its commitment to helping individuals live healthier lives, Mustard Seed Market & Café expanded its education program both on and off site.
The success of this one-stop shopping concept led to the opening of the second store in October 1999 located in Solon, OH, (Rt. 91 & 422). This 56,000 square foot facility boasts a whole grain bakery, a main floor Bistro offering fresh juices and a cappuccino bar with a dining area for our extensive prepared foods section, and generous banquet facilities.
Mustard Seed Market & Café is a locally owned family business and is committed to honest and fair dealings with its customers, its employees and its suppliers. Mustard Seed Market & Café is thoroughly committed to helping individuals, their families and our communities enjoy healthier lives. This commitment includes purchasing from as many local vendors as possible, supporting sustainable agricultural practices and ecologically safe products, and providing great-tasting foods, as well as offering their customers a variety of educational programs at both locations.