CWE’s Golden Grocer will expand offerings with move to Forest Park Southeast in October

Golden Grocer has announced it will move from its longtime location on Euclid Avenue in the Central West End to a larger spot at 4501 Chouteau Ave. in Forest Park Southeast in mid-October.  

The move offers the natural health food store increased retail space and more accessible parking options for customers. It will also enable new proprietor Jamila Owens-Todd, who has recently taken on ownership from founding owner John LaRico, to bolster the business into education and dine-in options, including a café and expanded juice bar.  

The increased capacity and accessibility factors were equally important in the relocation decision. Owens-Todd, who is also a naturopathic doctor, wanted to be sure that any patients who stopped by the store were easily able to access the space. When the pandemic accelerated demands for the store’s specialty offerings, moving to a new space that offered both more room and greater accessibility made sense, said Owens-Todd, who added that the “new level of autonomy” she has with the space has brought her much joy.

The new space, designed by local interior design firm Mwanzi Co., will feature an open concept with custom wood features and furnishings. A garage door will open up to an outdoor seating area where customers can enjoy a drink from the newly expanded juice bar or dishes from the new café.  

On Sundays, there will be a guest juicer on hand to offer special, custom blends. Similar plans for pop-ups in the café featuring guest vegan chefs, who will also offer signature items like vegan cheese or salad dressings to go, are also in the works.  

A primary focus of the new café will be to assist customers with weekly meal prep needs. In her practice, Owens-Todd observed that patients would often struggle with sticking to a healthy meal plan throughout the week. She hopes to help alleviate some of these pressures for customers and that they will feel a “sense of safety, knowing there will be quality, plant-based organic meals” available. 

Owens-Todd is also enthused to use the new space to showcase more Black-owned businesses and smaller companies that are “high quality, well-marketed and have great packaging” but can be hard to locate in larger stores. She also envisions expanding the store’s bath and beauty sections, with plans to carry more plant-based, cruelty-free makeup options.  

Golden Grocer’s official grand opening is planned for Oct. 16 and 17, featuring live music and samples of foods and juices.