Location: Concord, MA
Founder and CEO
“In 1957, the family dentist begged my mother for two loaves of her seed bread — he offered her $40 per loaf. My interest in food took a serious turn, and I’ve never looked back,” says Debra Stark, founder and CEO of Debra’s Natural Gourmet, which produces Stark’s TV show, Eat Well Be Happy. Stark says her mother also was the inspiration for her attitude toward food. Stark grew up drinking fresh carrot juice daily, chewing on rose hips in the back yard and learning about herbs. Stark’s upbringing is the basis for her company’s vision: to make organic eating easy and user-friendly.
Quick Tip: “Work towards something you believe in, something that will make the world a better place.”
Debra’s Natural Gourmet fosters relationships with customers through a beloved store newsletter and its evening talks on topics like osteoporosis and sustainable fishing. That’s why, when the company’s lease was up eight years ago and its landlord decided to sell the space, Stark knew that even though the price tag was large, the company couldn’t lose its home. In fact, one customer told Stark’s son that she viewed the store as an anchor in her life and a safe space.
Debra’s Natural Gourmet is committed to enhancing its community in other ways too. The company inspired the West Concord downtown business district to host Give Back Day, which raised money and awareness for 16 nonprofits. Additionally, Debra’s Natural Gourmet was a founder of the annual Stone Soup Dinner in Concord, a fundraising dinner to support local agriculture.