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Grocery Stores

Herbs & Nutrition

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on February 6, 2011

Herbs & NutritionHerbs & Nutrition just opened its newest space in Toronto, and the store is huge. All that room means lots of healthy, organic products, and tons of selection and variety.

The store opened on Bloor just west of Bathurst in December, but it has yet to have its official opening (look out for specials and demos). They're waiting on two things, the owner's son and store manager Ken Hur tells me; the creation of a DIY lotion and beauty products station, as well as a sprouting station. "We're hoping that will be ready sometime in March," he tells me.

Qi Natural FoodIn the meantime, the Annex seems to have already discovered the vast selection and great prices at Herbs & Nutrition. "We really try to keep prices down," Hur says. "We deal with the farmers or companies directly to keep costs low." And it's not hard to spot the deals. The centre aisle always has products on special (today it's Almond Breeze for $1.99) and there are other sales scattered throughout the floor.

Qi Natural FoodHerbs & Nutrition is affiliated with Qi Natural Food which was started 15 years ago Ken's mother, Hei Joung Hur, who began her career as a pharmacist before opening Qi on Bloor near Christie, as well as Roncesvalles and Eglinton Ave. West. "She has always been about maintaining a healthy lifestyle," Hur tells me as he walks me through the store. "That's why she wanted to start this up."

The space has cottage-like wood everywhere, an earthy-green ceiling, and the family's collection of antique cameras and farm equipment mounted on shelves above the groceries. The most impressive feature, though, is the wall of Herbs & Nutrition's 300 different types of herbs, bagged individually and organized in custom wood drawers designed by Hur's father. There's everything from Bayberry Bark ($6.49/bag) to Dandelion Root ($4.99/bag) to Strawberry Leaves ($3.99/bag) and Lavender Flower ($1.99/bag).

Qi Natural FoodThere's also a huge selection of supplements, cereals, hygiene products and some fresh produce. You can also grind your own peanut butter (creamy or smooth!) right in store. And for information on any of the many 'superfoods' in stock, just ask one of the staff. "Here's a good example," Hur says, leading me to a bin of Golden Berries (13.99/bag). "These are really high in anti-oxidants, really good for you." The store contacted the consulate in Peru to find a farmer who could ship directly to them. "That keeps the cost down," Hur says. Other body-boosters include pomegranate powder and tiger nuts. When in doubt, look under the big "Superfoods" sign.

Herbs & NutritionHerbs & NutritionHerbs & NutritionPhotos by Dennis Marciniak

Discussion

26 Comments

n / February 6, 2011 at 12:41 pm
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The prices are great at Qi but I think the customer service needs to improve to make the place a bit of a friendlier atmosphere to shop in.
n / February 6, 2011 at 12:41 pm
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The prices are great at Qi but I think the customer service needs to improve to make the place a bit of a friendlier atmosphere to shop in.
Cal / February 6, 2011 at 01:35 pm
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Second the comment above - the staff is oddly indifferent towards customers. Once they get that fixed and add to their product selection (it's spotty here and there), it will be a great place to shop!
Peanut butter / February 6, 2011 at 02:31 pm
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Creamy or smooth? Oh boy!
Veronica / February 6, 2011 at 04:35 pm
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I love the Roncesvalles Qi. Love love love.
Jessica / February 6, 2011 at 05:33 pm
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Love this place I'm literally in there almost daily b/c it's so close to me. Seriously the prices are better than any other health food store in the area.
Johnny / February 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm
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People need to get over customer service. Every comment on this site revolves around a bunch of babies complaining that they didn't get treated nicely. Grow up. Get healthy. End of story.
Keith / February 7, 2011 at 07:55 am
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Don't know about downtown location, but this store on Eglinton is not very good (by combination of factors: choice, prices, and the fact that more than once they checked out a wrong price for me, and mistake was not in my advantage of course)
Laz / February 7, 2011 at 05:45 pm
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What? I find the service here to be fantastic! Much better than the pretentious vibe (and inflated prices) at almost every other health store I've entered. Plus, if all you really want is great prices for a superior selection of good natural foods than this is the place to go. I personally love this store and have been delighted with the stellar deals I've found on every visit.
Alex / February 8, 2011 at 03:21 pm
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Popped in for a quick look, and I was pretty satisfied with the place. Nice selection, decent prices. Nothing stellar, but it's pretty conveniently located for me, and I appreciate their tidiness and general upkeep. The stocks seem to run out a bit early in the day, and the staff essentially ignores you, but I kind of prefer being left to shop on my own.
herisson / July 9, 2011 at 02:37 pm
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staff (the cashier) is quite ill-informed in terms of giving product information that is inaccurate and hence irresponsible to say the least. prices are slightly better than health food shops in kensington market where i've been patronizing for the last several years.
CJ / December 11, 2011 at 02:07 pm
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Customer service? Just as, they help you. They are all Korean .I have shopped there many times, Soya Milk $ 1.99 - vitamin prices are great. Can not bargain though.
Catrina / March 12, 2012 at 02:36 pm
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This store was recommended by my son's Naturopathic Doctor and I have to say it was well worth the trip. The prices are low and I didn't have any problem with customer service. They were busy so I had to wait to get some help but my experience was very positive. After trying some of the products I will be going back regularly.
Stevie / May 20, 2012 at 03:14 pm
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I love this place. I think it's what Whole Foods aspires to be.
Impi / October 28, 2012 at 08:45 pm
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I love this place. Prices are good. Better than anywhere else in the city. I am not sure why people are complaining but I do not find a problem with the customer service. The staff and friendly and courteous.

They have recently moved their store around and added more products. It is a great store, always clean...always!
Impi replying to a comment from Impi / October 28, 2012 at 08:46 pm
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I am talking about the Store near Bathurst and Bloor.
Daniela / November 28, 2012 at 04:16 pm
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This is actually the best place to buy all kind of natural products,prices are good and the workers are good as well!! Never had any problem!
T replying to a comment from Johnny / December 5, 2012 at 03:19 pm
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Grow up people. I dont understand why people think they should be treated like royalty. The people working there come from a different country in order to learn english and better their lives. Maybee thats why it may feel a little ocward. Plus a lot of people steel. So if they are keeping an eye on you, its because people like you steal. They dont have a magic crystal ball. Your in their store. They could do whatever they want. GROW UP!!!
Amelie / January 6, 2013 at 03:55 pm
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I've been to this location as well as the sister stores plenty of times and I enjoy the variety and prices of their products. Customer service is a lot better than other places that give the impression that they are better than you. The staff are friendly and informative. If one of the staff are unsure of a certain product, they would grab a colleague that does know more about the product.
I recommend this place as well as the Qi on Roncesvalles and Bloor st West (those are the other two i am familiar with going to and have not been to the other location)

Terence replying to a comment from n / January 19, 2013 at 06:06 pm
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Customer service sucks, no one speaks English. Really great selection.
Charles Molnar / February 17, 2013 at 02:33 pm
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I shop at Herbs & Nutrition, the prices are great as is the selection.
The customers service here is also really great.
I am welcomed by a smile and hello each time I enter.
Caryn / July 19, 2013 at 12:59 am
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I shop at the store on Eglinton west of Bathurst.
It's a great store with very reasonable prices.
The people that work there are helpful of you ask them a question. They are probably
just more introverted than the usual ...can I serve you....North American.
I like the atmosphere a great deal, although I miss the owner Joanne a lot.
She was and is extremely knowledgeable and was able to suggest products that were new to me
and actually worked.
You won't regret shopping at Qi.

Caryn
Prakash Mahalingam / October 29, 2013 at 03:48 am
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Dear Sir/Madam,

We have the pleasure to contact with you hopping we can establish a successful business in the field of the Medicinal herbs spices and seeds in bulk.

Also we can supply Garcinia Combogia,Boswelilia Serrata Moringa Oliefera (Moringa), Azadirachta Indica (Neem), Cassia Angustifolia (Senna),Sapindus Mukorossi (Soapnut),Shikakai, Brahmi, Bringraj, Licorice, Eucalyptus, Betel Nut etc…

For more details please visit www.mssasan.in

We are also exporting Herbal products – Cosmetics, ayurvedic medicines, cosmetics. For more details please visit www.zigmaherbals.com & www.zigmasiddhaayurvedaclinic.com.

If you are interested in any items pls. inform us about quantities you may need and the destination port to send you our competitive prices in good quality.

We will appreciate your kind reply.

Best Regards.

Mr. Mahalingom.
October 29, 2013

Our Contact Details:
......................................
M/s. M.S.S. Asan Exports,
12/1, South Car Street,
Nagercoil - 629 001 .
Tamil Nadu, India.
Phone: + 91 4652 225621 / 227422
Fax: + 91 4652 224373
Mobile: + 91 94863 56569, 94434 02767
email : mssasanexports.prakash@gmail.com
Web: www.mssasan.in & www.zigmaherbals.com

Mi replying to a comment from Terence / December 12, 2013 at 05:01 am
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Everyone working there speaks English well and you could see their smile, clean place and kind services. The price of each items is really nice :-)
J / March 20, 2014 at 12:27 am
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Okay, this is the first health food store I have been in as I am new to Toronto from the country and was so impressed by the cleanliness of the store. No grime or dirt or dust on anything, kudos to them! I found everything I needed plus way more that I didn't need, but had to have. I could have spent an hour walking around browsing all the selection of supplements, herbs, super foods and grocery. And might I add that I happen ton like that the staff isn't up your *** while I was in the store, they left me free to look around without feeling harassed or rushed. Will be back for all my needs and don't "needs".
Pam R. / May 20, 2014 at 10:02 pm
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love this place... great stuff and staff :) I was looking for papaya leaves wherein lots of health stores don't have it and they had it. Ken was helpful and answered all my questions with glee. Would def.recommend this store to friends and family.

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