Natura SMA eight-year anniversary
By Carroll Burritt
On July 18, Natura SMA, San Miguel’s pioneer natural foods store, will celebrate its eighth year providing the San Miguel community with fresh organic produce and locally produced artisan foods and health products, and you’re invited.
Natura SMA , 8-Year Anniversary Celebration, Wed, Jul 18, 6-8pm, Natura SMA, Ancha de San Antonio 39, 154-8629
The vibrant local “green” community, which includes organic food stores, the weekly organic market and the many local food artisans, has only grown up recently. Eight years ago, when Jorge Catalán stepped off the bus in San Miguel, there were hardly any organic products available in town. He had agreed to move here to become President of the Board of the Permaculture Institute of Mexico, from Mexico City, where he was used to shopping at a large natural foods store called The Green Corner. He was not about to switch back to non-organic foods and so he began to “import” the foods he wanted from Mexico City. Soon friends began to ask him if he would also bring them organic items they wanted. It wasn’t long before he needed a space to receive and distribute the larger and more frequent shipments, and this is how Natura SMA was born. From those humble beginnings Natura has grown into a five-person business that today provides a complete selection of local and regional organic produce and a wide assortment of food products produced by local artisans. Along the way, Jorge has personally inspired and encouraged many of these artisans.
Cristina Gerez, a local artesan maker of goat cheeses and yogurts, describes Jorge’s role in the local food movement this way: “Without the initial support in retail sales from Natura, El Capricho would not have been able to create the client base and recognition it now has. Thanks to Jorge specifically for believing in small producers and creating a storefront for all of the exceptional local products that are crafted here in SMA.” Gil Doron also appreciates Jorge’s support. “Natura was and is the only organic store in SMA that encouraged and supported my new business of raw goat milk products from the beginning. Without Jorge and Natura, I would probably have ended up doing something else. So all of you who enjoy my products just remember to thank Jorge.” In response to customer requests, Natura also began to offer prepared foods for those on special diets, such as gluten-free, sugar-free, raw, vegetarian and vegan. This service has become so popular that today “Natura’s Kitchen” offers an extensive menu of ready-to-serve, seasonal organic dishes and salads, for all tastes, prepared with the highest quality ingredients. On any given day you can take home soups, quiche made with organic eggs and vegetables, falafels (organic chick peas cooked in organic coconut oil), hummus, guacamole, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and/or teff tabouleh salads and basil, parsley, cilantro and chive pestos, to name just a few items. A recent addition to Natura’s Kitchen menu is a selection of live fermented foods, including sauerkraut, curtido and kvass. The probiotic benefits of adding these foods to one’s diet are immense, especially for people prone to the many intestinal conditions common to foreigners living in Mexico. As Natura SMA continues to grow, so does Jorge’s vision of contributing to the health of the planet. He recently became head of the first Mexican chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation and is completing a Masters Degree in Sustainable Development from Gaia University.
Come celebrate with all the friends of Natura SMA on Wednesday, July 18, from 6 to 8. You can taste samples from Natura’s Kitchen, meet local food artisans, watch a felting demonstration from Felpa Felt, learn about essential oils with Young Living and enter a drawing for a gift basket of local providers’ products. For more information about Natura SMA visit naturasma.com or call 154-8629.