We are proud and excited to share with our stewards, customers and community that Ellwood Thompson's is now a Benefit Corp.
Ellwood Thompson’s is now part of a small group of companies leading the way to hold “for profit corporations” accountable to social consciousness and environmental responsibility. This designation, by the State of Virginia, is our stated commitment to a material and positive impact on society, the environment and our community as a whole. We like the designation because of the legal framework that enables mission driven companies like Ellwood's to stay mission driven and do it's best to serve genuine human needs.
Other Benefit Corps and B Corps in Richmond:
“Aspiring to feed the heart and soul of our community through a strong commitment to local and organic foods.”
That’s the Ellwood Thompson’s mission statement.
We are a community that feels and values local and social connections. Our market provides an atmosphere for you to nourish your mind, body, and soul. A haven where you can slow down from the everyday grind.
Through community engagement, we believe we can inspire change in our city. We like to stay ambitious and aim to bring changes that start in Richmond, VA and spread throughout the rest of the world, like ripples of water.
We believe our success relies on our connection with you, on the happiness of our employees, and in our ability to build strong relationships within the local community. Ellwood Thompson’s vision is to grow by providing clean, high-quality products at reasonable prices in addition to friendly and knowledgeable customer service.
We are a mission-first driven business.
The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) defines organic as follows:
Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled "organic," a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.
The need to protect ‘organic’ is more dire than ever. Corporate interests, fraudulent imported goods, the inclusion of hydroponically grown produce, and the dilution of organic standards set forth by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) play a critical role in the quality of organic products available to consumers. Unfortunately for consumers, not all that is labeled ‘organic’ is created equal. More reports emerge weekly uncovering falsely labeled organic imports from China, Turkey and Ukraine. The NOSB, the gatekeeper for the organic practices, is stacked with corporate executives from ‘big organic’ brand whose profits stand to benefit from ‘more inclusive’ standards.
Our promise to you: We will be your watch-dog. We believe the solution, while multifaceted, lies in close relationships with our local growers and producers. They are our best alternative to large, corporate, ‘big box’ organic brands and products -- those that are at higher risk to contain fraudulently labeled ingredients. We agree with farmer Francis Thicke’s statement that “real organic farmers nurture complex biological systems in the soil, building organic matter and caring for the land.”
We do our homework to ensure the quality and cleanliness of the products entering our store meet our rigorous standards and will go beyond the label to investigate brands in question and seek alternatives should something fall short.
Want to participate in the conversation? Check our “Local Food Hub” in store and our Facebook page for real time updates, articles, blog posts and resources, and educational opportunities.
The foundation of our mission is our core values. They are values we believe represent us as a locally owned business. They are our culture and that of our employees - how we believe you discern us from other natural grocery stores. These are the core values we hold dear:
Product Standards: We provide you with a diverse selection of products with an emphasis on local, organic, minimally processed, and sustainable foods.
Food & Product Safety: As a customer and part of our community, we believe you deserve food and products with superior standards and clear labeling. We are a buying agent for you, not a selling agent for our suppliers. We prioritize keeping a healthy community above making profits.
Environmental Impact: We work to reduce the impact we have on the world - for our sake and the sake of all other species. Ellwood’s preserves the environment for the next generation by supporting sustainable agriculture, recycling, harnessing solar energy, composting, donating waste, and rewarding customers who travel in environmentally friendly ways.
Local Love: The great City of Richmond is our home. We work with local organizations, source local products, and encourage the buying of local goods throughout our community. Our market showcases local artists who share our social consciousness and add to Richmond’s rich historical culture.
Community Consciousness: We stay engaged by supporting the RVA community with events and causes that reflect our mission and lead to positive change. We promote sustainably produced products that add to the well-being of our city.
Animal Welfare: The rights of animals are especially important to us. We only buy from farmers who ethically and humanely treat their animals and do not use growth hormones, antibiotics, or irradiation in raising them.
Respect for Stewards: In this digital age with robots replacing human interaction, we focus on increasing staff and offering better salaries. Diversity, equality, and ethical treatment of employees is of utmost importance at Ellwood Thompson’s. A collaborative management style adds to the entrepreneurial spirit of our employees, breeding all-around responsibility.
Paying it Forward: The success of our mission allows us to give back to our community, support our employees, and provide you with high quality products and fresh, locally produced foods.
We believe in the customer’s right to privacy. At Ellwood’s we do not store customer’s credit card information. Our payment processing system is PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant, which means that we adhere to a set of specific security standards that were developed to protect card information during and after a financial transaction.
We protect our customer’s privacy while they are in-store shopping by not filming their interactions. At Ellwood’s our customers are our friends and family and we want to offer them a private shopping experience.
We do not collect and sell our customers email address for purposes of research or monetary gain. Our email database is a collection of customers who choose to opt in and receive our sales flyer and event/promotional newsletter.
Transparency has become increasingly important in our food systems.
Fillers, toxins, GMOs and preservatives have made their way into the products sold on conventional grocery stores shelves disguised as “Natural” and “Fresh” because there are no regulations on what food companies put on their packages.
We seek out and source the cleanest, minimally processed, healthiest products from vendors who are open and willing to share their processes and ingredients. Most of our vendors don't just say they are transparent; they obtain third part certifications or invite us to their farm or facility to see for ourselves. When there is nothing to hide its great to show it! We are committed to transparency. Please come in, ask questions, read labels, learn about certifications, and let us help you get to know, and love the products we choose to represent.