Located at 1035 Mulligan Dr., Bradley, Kankakee Natural Foods is an independent, family-owned business supporting our local community by providing healthy foods and quality vitamins and offering a wide variety of therapies designed to help people with their health.
“People are often shocked when they come in,” says owner Delbert Wingert, “to find so much here.” The store, he says, adds new products constantly.
Wingert and his wife of 33 years, Pamela, own Kankakee Natural Foods. The business was founded 50 years ago by Delbert’s parents, Harland and Berdell Wingert. They had a big family, eight children. Concerned for their health, they often traveled to Chicago to shop for healthy foods and vitamins. That gave them the idea to start their own health foods business.
Delbert became involved with the business at a young age, right out of high school. He’s been running the store for over 40 years. Pamela’s been involved for over 25 years, too. The couple have two children, Nathan and Emily.
Delbert says that when Kankakee Natural Foods first started it was a pioneer in the business, “an oasis.” In the 50 years since, many of the supplements and therapies offered have become “much more mainstream.” Organic foods, gluten-free foods, vegan foods are now more common and accepted.
Today, Kankakee Natural Foods stays ahead by working to educate the consumer,” Pamela says. They teach clients what the various supplements do. The idea is to promote wellness, staying healthy. Pamela says Kankakee Natural Foods participates in health foods trade groups and stays up to date with certifications. She is a certified Health Practitioner.
Delbert says that Kankakee Natural foods prides itself on carrying the top of the line when it comes to supplements and vitamins. For example, there are different kinds of Vitamin C in different dosages. Today, while every grocery store has a vitamin display, Kankakee Natural Foods meets with its customers one-on-one.
The store also goes out into the public to give presentations on health and nutrition. Kankakee Natural Foods also participates in the life of the community, supporting many worthwhile activities.
They get lots of questions on coping with stress and, in the midst of the pandemic, on building up a person’s immune system. If you have trouble sleeping, there may be a reason and a natural solution. The addition of Zinc, Vitamin D and Vitamin C helps your immune system, Pamela says. They can also teach a great deal about the ingredients in food, such as MSG and what does it do?
Kankakee Natural Foods is a go-to place for folks on specialty diets. They sell organic foods, vegan foods and foods that help with diets because of allergies. They are a place for gluten-free, nut-free and keto-friendly diets, among many others. Relatively new, a keto-diet is high-fat, high-protein, low carb, often used by athletes or people working to control their diabetes. The store supports and stocks local vendors.
One of the advantages of shopping Kankakee Natural Foods, Delbert explains, is that those products are gathered in one convenient spot. The gluten-free items are in a single section.
Kankakee Natural Foods has a Bioenergy Center, housing a variety of machines designed to help you feel better. Various therapies help with relaxation, circulation and managing pain and inflammation. Among the many devices are a zero gravity chair, massagers, a device that simulates acupuncture and an oxygen bar. The center has a series of discounts. You can lower the per visit cost by visiting more frequently and using multiple machines.
Among the things you might not expect at Kankakee Natural Foods are natural cosmetics and healthy foods for your pets.
Kankakee Natural Foods has a frequent buyer Health Rewards program that goes into action. When your name goes through their cash register, coupons, points and birthday rewards are loaded onto your account.
Delbert and Pamela, along with their team, invite you to stop in to visit and join them in celebrating 50 years of healthy business.