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Eden Foods began in Ann Arbor in the late 1960s with friends sourcing natural food. Youth motivated by a study of a worldwide phenomenon centered upon macrobiotics: eating a diet of whole grain and seasonal local plant foods that are not nutrient depleted and without toxic chemical adulteration.
Natural foods were simply not available at the time, so they started the Eden food co-op to bring them in. Their initial $200 orders to Erewhon in Boston and Chico-san in California were well received and caused a local stir. This lead to co-op members traveling rural roads, knocking on doors looking for farmers to grow food using organic methods.
The Eden co-op grew into a natural food store offering whole grains, beans, soyfoods, sea vegetables, miso, cereals, vegetable oils, seed and nut butters, and the like. It expanded adding a cafeteria, bakery, and books, and became known as the Eden Deli. It was one of very few places in the U.S.A. where you could get natural, organic, macrobiotic food.
Folks came from near and far. Health food stores called asking to get the foods we were carrying. An EDEN brand began to take shape.
In 1972 Eden opened its first warehouse and established relations with artisan Japanese traditional food makers. Imports of sea vegetables, teas, miso, shoyu, umeboshi plums, kuzu root starch, rice vinegar, rice bran pickles, mirin, etc. followed, and this solidified Eden as an important natural food source for the United States and Canada.