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    Natural/Organic E-tailer Seeks Independent Retail Customers

    LAFAYETTE, La. -- WellnessGrocer.com, an e-commerce company here, is extending its new direct-to-consumer service to independent retailers. The Web site, which went live in June, will seek to supply retailers with hard-to-find orders of organic, natural, and gourmet products that aren't always available in large distribution houses.

    LAFAYETTE, La. -- WellnessGrocer.com, an e-commerce company here, is extending its new direct-to-consumer service to independent retailers. The Web site, which went live in June, will seek to supply retailers with hard-to-find orders of organic, natural, and gourmet products that aren't always available in large distribution houses.

    "Knowing where the organic and natural foods industry is headed, the research we put together indicated there was a void among small, independent grocers that could be filled," said Charlie Hohorst III, c.e.o. of WellnessGrocer.com. "The large distributors might not carry entire lines of products. So we form a partnership with manufacturers to bring in these entire lines. We don't require minimum orders, as most suppliers do."

    To cut down on costs, the company sends frozen product via ground delivery, using dry ice, Hohorst explained. "Small grocers don't have as much freezer space, so they can order one case from us at a time."

    WellnessGrocer currently has partnerships with more than 200 suppliers, including Fillo Factory and Brave New Shrimp, he said.

    Hohorst was formerly international brand manager for Tobasco and started up several e-commerce companies before forming WellnessGrocer.com

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