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About The Big Carrot
Welcome to The Big Carrot Natural Food Market!
We are Toronto’s first health food store specializing in organically grown, non-GMO and environmentally safe products since 1983.
In December 2009, The Big Carrot strengthened its commitment to good organic stewardship by certifying our processing and packaging activities to the new Canadian Organic Standard. Ecocert Canada has certified The Big Carrot to process and package over 700 organic products in the juice bar, bulk, spice, cheese and produce departments. Our staff are now trained to handle organic food separately so that we can maintain its integrity. Our store offers a range of great services for our customers, including cooking classes, free nutritional store tours and free weekly lectures on health and the environment. Please contact our customer service department to find out more!!
Founded on cooperative principles
The Big Carrot grew from 9 founding partners back in 1983 to currently over 70 worker owners in 2012. The Big Carrot is run the same democratic way it was 30 years ago. Full time staff are eligible to join the business after one full year of employment before being voted into partnership. After an initial investment is made (the amount hasn’t changed since 1983) and a $1.00 for a voting share, the worker owner may then participate in committee work and attend business meetings to discuss store policies, capital expenditures, voting in new partners and general business operations. 70% of annual profits are shared by the worker owners based on the amount of labour hours worked. The rest goes back into the business with a percentage donated to other similar businesses and co-ops, sustainable agriculture and the community. If a partner decides to leave the business, they receive their initial investment back as well as any outstanding labour dividends that they have accumulated. No partner, at any time, may receive a portion of the net worth of the company.
What sets us apart?
Our purpose is to create a healthy society.
Our vision is to provide the communities we serve quality, sustainable food and exceptional customer experiences through an inclusive environment that promotes among staff and customer trust, integrity and awareness of healthy food and lifestyle choices. We are committed to supporting the production of organic, non-GMO and local food.
Mission: For natural food customer and those curious about becoming natural food customers, The Big Carrot provides complete one-stop shopping, by offering high quality products, friendly and informed service, competitive prices and ongoing public education to make natural food selection easy. We support the development of a healthy and sustainable food system by purchasing from small local, organic producers when ever possible and by ensuring each product meets a set of rigourous standards. All of this is supported by providing our team satisfying employment in a fair and productive workplace.
The Team members of The Big Carrot commit to conduct themselves according to the following core values:
Integrity – I do the things that I say I will do. I complete my tasks. When I can’t, I get the support I need. I promise what I intend to fulfill and I am clear when I am unprepared to commit to something, thereby ensuring I don’t over promise.
Courage – I do what needs to be done, even if it is frightening and difficult. I do the right thing and take care of the situation. I will proactively propose solutions to problems and speak out when I see we are out of alignment with these values. I will ask for help when necessary.
Passion – I approach my work with an open mind, positivity and enthusiasm. If something needs fixing, I move quickly to have it addressed, when something goes well, I ensure it is acknowledged and when someone deserves to be celebrated, I celebrate it. I look for opportunities to serve my fellow employees, customers and the community.
Inclusiveness – I look for and encourage the strengths of others. I consistently seek win-win solutions where everyone is heard. Where there is an issue to be addressed, I ensure that those affected are involved, consulted or informed, as appropriate.
Growth – I seek opportunities to improve myself and the environment. I move myself outside my comfort zone and continually try to educate myself in areas that might improve my performance or my happiness. I share and welcome the sharing of ideas.
Community – I consider the well-being of my communities – virtual or real – when making decisions and the impact my decisions may have on them. I strive to build positive relationships. I maintain the positive relationships I already have by practicing communication, awareness, listening, positivity, and treating others with empathy.
Productivity/Efficiency – I respect my time and other people’s time. I set priorities based on the most important and I seek the most efficient way of completing a task well. I focus on producing results not just activity.
Environment – I understand that my behaviour affects the environment so I do my best to create an environment that is healthy, thriving and fair for all. I seek the most environmentally sound and sustainable way to complete a task. I share ideas for systems that are more beneficial for the environment.
Source: The Big Carrot