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In 1970, New Age, the first ever natural foods supermarket opened in a closed Purity Market on California Ave in Palo Alto. In 1971 a group of friends who wanted to invest in the burgeoning natural foods movement opened Earth Sign Natural Foods, a small natural foods store with a distinctive natural wood floor and paneling in Menlo Park. When New Age closed, the owners of Earth Sign opened Country Sun Natural Foods at 364 California Ave. It had a juice bar in the back, houseplants for sale in the front window and shelves full of natural and organic foods. Business was brisk and the store was bursting at the seams so when a storefront down the street became available, Country Sun moved to its current location.

After hundreds of employees, scores of managers, and thousands of customers, the opening of the first Whole Foods outside of Texas near downtown Palo Alto, the recession, and more -- Country Sun continues to thrive.

Every Sunday, all year 'round from 9am to 1pm, there is a fabulous Farmer's Market out on the avenue in front of Country Sun, featuring an abundance of local organic produce plus other comestibles like fresh bakery items, fresh fish, prepared food and more!

Organically grown food is good for our health and good for the planet. Organic growing methods keep chemicals out of the air, water, soil and our bodies while promoting biodiversity. It reduces farm pollution, protecting farm workers and the surrounding environment. Organic food tastes better and has more nutritional value.

GMO's and Organic Foods
The use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is prohibited in organic products. This means an organic farmer can't plant GMO seeds, an organic cow can't eat GMO alfalfa or corn, and an organic food producer can't use any GMO ingredients. To meet the USDA organic regulations, farmers and processors must show they aren't using GMOs, and that they are protecting their products from contact with prohibited substances, such as GMOs, from farm to table.
Many (but not all) products that are non-GMO carry the "Non-GMO Project Verified" seal.

Fair Trade is an international movement ensuring that disadvantaged artisans and farmers worldwide get a fair deal -- a fair price for their goods, safe working conditions, long term contracts; and support to gain the knowledge and skills to develop their businesses. There are a number of Fair Trade organizations including Transfair USA which certifies Fair Trade products (though not all products that are made or grown using Fair Trade practices are certified). Country Sun supports Fair Trade by offering an increasing variety of Fair Trade items including:

  • Bananas
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Teas
  • Gifts (bags, scarves, jewelry, baskets & more)

We've been committed to the health of the environment since we opened our doors. We recycle cardboard boxes and packing materials. We encourage our customers to use reusable bags, whether paper, plastic or cloth. We sell cotton string bags, nylon Chico Bags, and cotton canvas totes. We also carry a variety of eco-friendly products from dishwashing and laundry soap to paper towels made from recycled materials.

Country Sun is very pleased to have two exceptional creations to share with our community:
Suns Flowers
Artists Jeffrey Reed and Jennifer Madden, installed in 2002. Sculptural California poppy "umbrellas," spiraling like lazy pinwheels, rise from the earth to shelter bistro tables while breezes catch at them to create movement. Once night falls solar batteries hidden in the up-lighted canopy will power dozens of sparkling lights, suggesting a grotto in which to enjoy a bite to eat or to drink.
Funded by: City of Palo Alto Utiltities, Country Sun Natural Foods, CAADA (California Ave Area Development Association), Palo Alto Public Art Commission and Private Contributions

Under the Sun
In 2004, Mohamed Soumah, a talented artist from Guinea created an elaborate California-inspired mural that graces the side of our building to the delight of people of all ages. Funded by City of Palo Alto Art in Public Places, Country Sun Natural Foods and CAADA.