2009 Existing Business of the Year

Nature's Way Health Food

  • Owner: Velma Diehl and Janice Olson
  • Nature of Business: Nutritional foods, supplements, herbs and spices
  • City: Garden City
  • County: Finney County
  • Phone: 620-276-2428
  • Business Structure: Sole Proprietorship
  • Business Began: 1983
  • Employees: 4
  • KSBDC Consultant: Patricia Veesart

Secret to Success:

"Customer service is first along with our desire to educate and communicate with them to meet their needs."

Velma Diehl has always been interested in nutrition. She had managed a health food store before, so when an existing business came up for sale in Garden City in 1983, she purchased it and ran it in several small storefront locations over the next 12 years. In 1995, she decided to purchase a freestanding building and greatly enlarge the footprint of her store. This is when she decided to seek assistance from the GCCC KSBDC. Patricia Veesart, regional director and business consultant for the GCCC KSBDC worked with her to write a business plan and to put together financial projections to take to the bank for financing the new venture. Velma's solid background in the health food industry and in local retail made her a good candidate for the bank's investment.

The business continued to thrive and her daughter, Janice Olson, joined her in the business in 1998. Janice brought additional business experience that has helped to further grow the enterprise. They listen closely to their loyal customer base and strive to fulfill their expectations.

Now, in 2009, they are again seeking to expand the company and have returned to the GCCC KSBDC for advice and guidance in updating their business plan.

"The KSBDC staff is always a great source of information for us," said Janice. "We know we can count on them for solid advice and we really appreciate their support."

Janice, at left, and Velma reviewing shelf stock.

"Be willing to seek help and advice with your business. Process the advice and stay focused on your goal."
Velma Diehl, Co-owner