QI Group’s vegetarian organic health store chain in Hawaii – Down To Earth, was recently named Vitamin Retailer’s 2013 Retailer of the Year. The magazine has always honored healthy people, animals and environments, and decided to announce DTE’s win on the cover page of it’s August issue. The cover shot features Mark Fergusson, Down to Earth Chief Organic Officer (CEO/CFO), Cliff Hiller, Down to Earth General Manager and Carmela Wolf, Wellness Manager at the King St. store.

DTE was conceived in 1977 by a group of like-minded friends in Wailuku, Maui who turned their enthusiasm and passion for organic and natural foods—and their vegetarian values—into a small retail store. Inspired by Hawaii’s state motto, “The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness” (Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ‘Aina i ka Pono), the staff at Down to Earth Organic & Natural envisions a Hawaii where all people “cherish the land and live in health and harmony” (E Malama I Ka `Aina, E Ola Pono).

“These Hawaiian language messages are an important part of our culture, and reflect Down to Earth’s values,” said Fergusson.

From the time it was established, DTE has grown to become an important part of Hawaii’s community with five stores throughout the Aloha State: Honolulu, Kailua, Pearlridge and Kapolei on the island of Oahu, and a newly renovated and expanded store in Kahului on Maui.

To find out more, read the full article online.