Meet Me at Whalley’s Corner – Part 2: Surrey Natural Foods
This multi-part feature series explores the Whalley historic district with stories about some of Surrey’s long-standing businesses and new comers who are making a difference to the city and its residents.
In this installment meet Dean Camfferman, owner of Surrey Natural Foods.
As you enter Surrey Natural Foods, you are enveloped by a pleasant mix of scents — spices, essential oils and natural soaps blending with the earthy aroma of grains and yeasts. You are likely to be welcomed into the shop by Scout, the official greeter — he is the sweetest dog you will ever meet!
The store is filled with shelves of natural and organic flours, teas, dried foods, and health products along with natural beauty and grooming products.
This locally owned shop has been serving the community of Whalley since 1972 — offering customers bulk products, essential oils, groceries, supplements, tinctures and more. Dean, the current owner, is a dedicated proponent of the natural food and health movement and is happy to help people learn about the benefits of embracing this lifestyle.
Over the course of 45 years, Surrey Natural Foods has acquired a loyal base of customers — and with the explosion of new housing in the neighbourhood, a new group of customers is building. As Dean says, “the young people moving into this community are interested in healthy living and increasing the demand for natural, organic foodstuffs, and health products.”
Dean agrees that the challenges for businesses in the area revolve around the increasing number of homeless people in the area and the drug and crime problems that any big city has. He is committed to keeping his business in the neighbourhood and helping to revitalize it through involvement with community organizations such as the Whalley Community Improvement Association. He believes that the city needs to work proactively with business owners to combat these challenges in a positive way to re-energize this historic area.
Despite these struggles, Dean sees Whalley’s Corner as home to his store and he is committed to growing his business for his customers and the neighbourhood. “The gratification for me,” he says, “comes from knowing that we are helping people live healthier, happier and longer lives.” He points out that, while Surrey Natural Foods has online shopping through the website, he feels that he and his staff offer the advantage of personal expertise and knowledge. As he says, “You can buy remedies and products online, but being able to get answers to questions in person is very helpful and making that personal connection is important, too. The store also stocks books and other resources for detailed information about natural health products.”
Dean has plans to connect with different health care professionals in the industry, such as naturopathic physicians, massage therapists, and nutritionists. Ideally, he will have a space in-store for natural health care providers to hold appointments with customers for consultations and treatments.
Come to Surrey Natural Foods for everything from chemical-free toothpaste to organic lentils. And remember to say hello to Scout!