Dale Reece Awarded for 150-Year-Old Store
Dale Reece, primary owner of Martindale’s, accepted an award at a retailer’s national conference in June. INFRA (Independent Natural Food Retailers Association) surprised him in Minneapolis with the 2019 Legacy Award. Fellow independent natural stores honored him on this sweet occasion. Generous conference attendees acknowledged the longevity of Martindale’s Natural Market. The store still stands after 150 years in the Philadelphia area. Shopping local comes with a little help from our friends.
Honestly, some credit for our store’s journey must be attributed to lessons learned alongside fellow independents. Moreover, much of the magic, and encouragement like this, happens at the annual national conference. Dale, an independent natural food market owner since 1991, enthusiastically supports the food retail association.
INFRA stands for Independent Natural Food Retailers Association and its members are wholly independent shop owners. We have been members since the summer of 2007. Martindale’s opted in early under Dale’s leadership. The retail organization, founded 2004, exists to share resources while retaining the indie’s personal space and strategy. Specifically, the organization’s membership focuses on:
- operational excellence
- marketing ideas
- joint purchasing
Practically speaking, independently owned natural stores collaborate together to reduce costs and help each other succeed in a big-box world. Currently, INFRA membership represents over 225 independent retailers with over 350 store locations.
Martindale’s is a cheerful and committed member of INFRA. Whole-heartedly, owners and key staff members attend local and national conferences to better hone our craft of serving the customer first. It was at one of these national conferences that the unexpected award occurred. What a surprise to receive recognition for the store’s 150 years in business. Dale, with fellow staff members, relished the moment. Amidst roaring applause, Dale was called up to the platform to accept the plaque from INFRA CEO Corinne Shindelar, and also a friendly board member pictured below.
“You don’t look like you’re 150 years old!” some noted. Dale happily retorts that good organic food keeps him young.
This is the year we remember the founding of what is known as the 1st US health food store in 1869. Thank you to our fellow retail independents as we help each other build a sustainable future. We will add this award to others we’ve earned.