Michael Kanter co-founded Cambridge Naturals in 1974 with his wife, Elizabeth Stagl, when they were 23 years old. The original vision, then and now, was of a locally owned, thriving, unique, and ethically run independent natural foods store. Now some 43 years later, Cambridge Naturals has evolved into a vibrant natural products retail business with a focus on nutritional supplements for health and wellness, clean body care products, organic foods and many other items. As Chief Visionary Officer, Michael has driven Cambridge Naturals’ commitment to sourcing products locally, organically, and ethically via fair trade and direct trade channels, and to donating a portion of profits to social and environmental organizations that impact the local community.
Michael is involved in related causes, including Business For a Fair Minimum Wage and is a founding and board member of Cambridge Local First a network of almost 400 locally owned and independent businesses.
Cambridge Naturals is a member of INFRA, the Independent Natural Foods Retailers Association and Michael was recently elected to the board of directors. (Cambridge Naturals was named INFRA’s store of the year for 2016!) Cambridge Naturals continues to experience substantial sales growth, and is now co-owned by Michael and Elizabeth’s daughter Emily Kanter. Also working with them is Emily’s husband, Caleb Dean. They are actively researching ways to grow the business for the next several decades. Michael is convinced that locally-owned and independent stores can, with the best practices, position themselves for significant sales success.