In the mid 70’s the young couple, Gilles and Louise Roy, moved back to Sudbury. Gilles had been transferred from Ottawa, where he worked as a tax auditor for our nation’s government. They had become accustomed to the lifestyle of our Capital city and found when returning to Northern Ontario that they missed some things. Organic foods and natural supplements were not readily available in our northern mining town at that point in history, and the Roy’s decided that maybe this was a gap they could fill; they decided to open a health food store of their own in downtown Sudbury, Ontario.
They found a space, spent months renovating, stocked the shelves, and opened for business in 1978. They soon found that the infrastructure to run such a business was somewhat lacking in the north, so Gilles created a partnership with a store in Parry Sound and they opened their own trucking business to get products north in a timely manner.
They hired a woman with many years experience in the health industry to work in the store and make sure their customers got the best possible advice while they themselves were learning their way around health care issues. A few years later Gilles’ brother Ray joined them and he has worked as store manager ever since.
Over the years the Roy’s have opened other branches of Durham Natural Foods and they opened the health conscious restaurant The Green Leaf Cafe. Changes in building ownerships and their own growing family obligations all culminated in the restaurant being sold (to become Sweet and Savory) and Durham Natural Foods moving to its current location near the corner of Montrose Avenue and LaSalle Boulevard.
The Roy’s studied hard in those early years and hired the most qualified staff available; they continue that tradition today and keep their knowledge fresh with seminars, trade shows, industry training, and related magazines and journals.
Our staff are encouraged to seek health related training and that training is subsidized by the Roy’s so that customers can depend on getting up to date and helpful information.
The store is still run day to day by the well-known and highly respected General Manager, Ray Roy. Gilles and Louise work part time, and three other staff members make up the bulk of the running of the store, with contract workers and occasional help coming in as needed.