The Mustard Seed, a health food store in downtown Oswego, recently changed its name to Green Planet Grocery.
Owner Brent Lewis decided to change the name to match his other Green Planet Grocery store in Fairmount, which opened in 2010. He said after buying the Oswego location from his previous business partner in 2005, with whom he also shared a Watertown location, Lewis wanted to focus customers’ attention to the grocery aspect of the business.
“My goal is, even in a small location like Oswego, to put in a full service grocery store with fresh produce and a good selection of groceries so people can eat good food choices on a continuing basis,” said Lewis.
The name of the store officially changed in July. The owner also announced he wants to expand the store to include a conference room, an area for a nutritionist to meet with customers, a common area for talks and educational series and to possibly bring in a massage therapist. It now occupies 1,700 square feet of the Midtown Plaza on the corner of East First St and East Bridge.
Manager Eric Mena said the store will beef up its presence online as well.
“We’re about to launch a brand new and improved website,” Mena said. “It’ll have more features on it, better communication for the community. We have a better presence in social media, and it will hopefully allow us to continue to grow physically as the community becomes more aware of us and begins to purchase good quality supplements and groceries here,” said Mena.
The name change, he said, will cut down on confusion between the Mustard Seed in Watertown as well as several other Mustard Seed health food stores across the country. Mena said there was previously confusion among vendors, brokers and customers.
Because the health food store is constantly bringing in new items, the name change will cut out the frequent confusion of vendors who provide products to the store, he said.
The goal of the store is to be a unique destination where customers can find healthy, high quality foods and products. Lewis boasts that no product in the store contains high fructose corn syrup, the No. 1 empty calorie source, nor artificial preservatives or additives.
“My goal is that when people come in to shop, even if they’re picking up stuff at random, they will improve their diet and can improve their health,” said Lewis.
In the long term Lewis plans to franchise Green Planet Grocery to let other people open the health food store. He said the store will work well in small communities like Oswego, as well as larger communities like Syracuse.