The success of Natural Kitchen Inc. in Kingwood has been aided by the business’ adaptability, owner Judy Redding said.
When Natural Kitchen opened in 1979, Redding sold some vitamins, fresh produce and natural kitchenware—essentially everything people need to begin stocking their own natural kitchens, she said.
Thirty-seven years later, the merchandise has adapted to the needs of consumers, which has grown to include gluten-free products and organic hair care items.
However, her passion for health and diet has not changed, Redding said.
“I think the key to [Natural Kitchen’s] longevity is that we focus on each person that comes in, not just, ‘Oh here’s the latest project, we’re going to sell three cases of it tomorrow,’” Redding said.
Natural Kitchen is not the only business in Kingwood offering healthy options; big grocers like H-E-B and Kroger sell organic food and specialty cookware. However, Redding built a steady consumer base and is a certified clinical nutritionist, which keeps her competitive among the health community, she said.
Natural Kitchen offers vitamins and supplements, healthy snacks, organic eggs, organic frozen meals and essential oils.
“A lot of times, customers don’t really know what we’re selling here because of the name,” employee Denise Boyd said. “But once you get in here and see what we’re about, it keeps you coming back.”
That is not to say the past few years have been easy, Redding said. She was forced to move Natural Kitchen to its location on West Lake Houston Parkway when she and most of her employees became sick from an unvented sewer line at a previous location. After the business relocated in 2000, some customers believed Natural Kitchen went out of business, which made it challenging to gain a strong client base again.
Although Redding said she is getting close to retirement age, she still sees herself owning Natural Kitchen for at least five more years.
“For 37 years, it’s been a nice journey,” Redding said. “We’ve gone through two recessions, chemical exposure, the loss of a spouse; but I love the business, and I love the people.”
Natural Kitchen Inc.
4145 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Kingwood
Hours: Mon.-Fri.10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., closed Sun.