When John and Wilma Snyder began Foods For Living in 1997, it was a small operation—a few islands of produce, a smattering of supplements, and John’s charm were the main offerings. But East Lansing was clear about what it had been missing, grocery-wise. Business was too good for the tiny space the couple were renting, and they had to think big, and quickly.
John and Wilma decided to build the business they had always wanted, from the ground up. John was a fourth generation grocer; family and grocery had always been one and the same for him. He made Foods For Living employee-owned, expanding his family to anyone wearing a green apron under our roof.
Over the past twenty years, our family has included hundreds of people from the local community. For some, FFL is a career. For others, it’s a first job, or a middle chapter in their life story; FFL alumni have gone on to become doctors, dietitians, radio personalities, and painters. No matter what adventures our employees pursue, their path always seems to lead back to us, whether for groceries, a life update, or just to listen to the jams and eat the samples.
As much as we love our regulars (and that’s a lot…it’s almost weird), we love meeting new people too. Recently diagnosed with a food intolerance? Trying to find the right protein powder? Want to talk about skateboards over a kombucha? (At twenty years old, we’re no longer a teenager, but we’re still going to talk about skateboards). Our twentieth birthday is the perfect time to get acquainted. Even if you’re just passing through East Lansing and want some local food to prove to your friends you were really here, we can hook you up.
Whenever, wherever we can, Foods For Living always goes local. We donate to local charities, host local musicians, and, of course, carry as much Michigan-based food and drink as possible—and then some. We’re proud to offer Oh Mi Organics chocolates, Addictive Granola from Crooked Tree Breadworks, Maggie’s Socks, LorAnn Oils, ELT oils, local honey from Champane’s Bee Company, mead from Saint Ambrose Cellars, and more Michigan beer and wine than is reasonable. It always smells good in here, but right now it smells extra good, because we’re offering local flowers from East Lansing’s Petra Flowers.