Natural Foods Pioneer
Sandy Gooch, is a natural foods pioneer, and the founder for one of the first natural foods markets, Mrs. Gooch’s. Before pioneering an industry ahead of her time, she was a homemaker and former grade school teacher. Gooch became interested in natural foods after suffering severe allergic reactions to antibiotics and chemical additives in food. She joined forces with Dan Volland, who operated three health food stores, to open the first Mrs. Gooch's Natural Foods Market in West Los Angeles in January 1977.
Within a year, the second market opened in Hermosa Beach. Over the next decade, new markets were launched in Northridge, Sherman Oaks, Glendale, Beverly Hills, and Thousand Oaks. Mrs. Gooch's held its suppliers to rigorous standards: no harmful chemicals or preservatives, no artificial colors or flavorings, and no white flour, refined sugar, alcohol, caffeine or chocolate. With its consumer education programs, the company helped fuel a growing demand for natural foods in southern California. Whole Foods Market acquired Mrs. Gooch's in 1993.