DENVER and FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., July 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, (NYSE: NGVC) is opening its first of three stores in Arizona today in Flagstaff. The two additional stores are planned for Sedona and Prescott. Natural Grocers is a regional grocery chain with a focus on natural, organic, and affordably priced products. This new Flagstaff location brings an even broader selection of healthful, fresh, organic and natural food and products to local residents. As part of its mission, Natural Grocers offers only USDA certified organic produce and all natural meats from animals naturally raised without the use of antibiotics or hormones. Also the grocery chain has an extensive supplement and body care department, a large selection of gluten-free products and other special dietary need products. In addition, the store offers an extensive bulk department – including serve yourself bulk peanut butter, almond butter and cashew butter – as well as a huge selection of organic and natural groceries free of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and hydrogenated oils. For more than 55 years, the Isely family has managed Natural Grocers. Part of their commitment to maintain a true natural foods store is to avoid selling any products that contain artificial ingredients such as sweeteners, flavors, preservatives, hydrogenated oils or produce grown with synthetic pesticides. See "What We Won't Sell and Why." ( www.naturalgrocers.com/products/what-we-wont-sell-and-why) Today, the awareness of the benefits of eating natural foods is higher than ever and continues to grow, helping Natural Grocers expand to 56 stores in 12 states. " Flagstaff residents have a strong commitment to healthy lifestyles, both in their enjoyment of the activities in the northern Arizona mountains and their desire to embrace natural foods, like those offered in our store," said Kemper Isely, Natural Grocers co-President. "We expect summer visitors, skiers, college students and year-round residents to quickly realize that Natural Grocers offers excellent value and selection." Nutritional CounselingIn addition to only offering foods that meet the Isely family's high standards for quality and health, Natural Grocers also offers free nutritional coaching - from individualized sessions, to meal planning, to general questions about nutrition and health. Every Natural Grocers has a credentialed Nutritional Health Coach in-house and all of the stores' staff is trained to help shoppers find products and resources to support optimal health. The company also offers free seminars and speakers of interest to the community (schedule available in the store and online at http://naturalspeakers.com.) Eco-friendly conceptTrue to the Natural Grocers philosophy, the new store was retrofitted for use at 503 W. Clay Avenue – the Flagstaff Armory building. It was designed with a variety of energy-efficient features including motion light sensors, 100% post-consumer content tiles, polished concrete flooring and commercial-grade LED lights. In addition, Natural Grocers is 100 percent shopping bag free (no paper, no plastic). In the event a customer forgets to bring their reusable bags, Natural Grocers offers free recycled boxes, but of course, they do sell inexpensive reusable shopping bags as well.