Store owners celebrate 35 years of natural food sales in Bath

Louanne and Mark Schoninger, owners of Bath Natural Foods, continue a 35-year legacy of health food stores at 36 Centre St. in Bath.
Alex Lear | The Forecaster
Louanne and Mark Schoninger, owners of Bath Natural Foods, continue a 35-year legacy of health food stores at 36 Centre St. in Bath.
Posted Dec. 11, 2013, at 12:20 p.m.

BATH, Maine — The City of Ships has also been a city of health food for 35 years.

Louanne and Mark Schoninger, the owners of Bath Natural Market, operate the third in a line of health food stores at 36 Centre St. Mark Schoninger has held the reins for nine years, and was joined by his wife when they married a couple years ago.

The Grainery opened there on Dec. 5, 1978, followed by Morning Glory from the 1990s through 2004.

“This is a great store, and it’s a great community,” said Schoninger, who grew up in Florida. “I feel pretty lucky to have found something that I could carry on that was so beloved, and hopefully it’s just as beloved, and remains a stalwart part of our community for many years.”

While there are many things that pull people apart and isolate them these days, Louanne Schoninger said, local organic foods bring them together.

“We thank all of the people in our midcoast community who have supported these stores over the years,” the Schoningers wrote in a letter announcing the anniversary. “Among our supporters are the many customers who have shopped here, the many superb employees who have worked here, the great farmers and local manufacturers who have produced many of our products, our fellow local merchants, and both the city of Bath and Main Street Bath who have inspired our community towards greatness.”

In their letter, the Schoningers thanked the Grainery’s many owners — Taffy and Eliot Field, Bob Kalish, Linda Harris, Paula Green, Pam Kenyon, Mandy Kenyon, Nathan Kenyon, Grace Goldberg, Muriel Hendrickson and John Ferdico — as well as Susan Tarpinian and Craig Urquhart, who owned Morning Glory.

“It has been a great and storied history here at 36 Centre Street,” the Schoningers wrote. “We hope we are able to continue for many years to come.”

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