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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Back to Nature Organic Market

Jan 31, 2014 12:42PM

Ian Matthews, the new owner of Back to Nature, a local independent health food store in Cape Coral, didn’t have to read the latest report by The Natural Food Investor to know that there has never been a better time to invest in the expanding natural products industry. Because Americans are becoming more health conscious, especially due to scientific research proving that chemicals in food are the cause of many diseases, natural and organic health foods have become a driving force for an industry that Matthews is proud to be part of.

Matthews, who has had some positive personal experiences with natural foods and supplements, formerly owned an engineering business in the United Kingdom and built interiors for industrial buildings. After living for five years in the Bonita Springs area, he began searching for a local business to invest in. Since making the purchase in 2013, Matthews has not only been busy making aesthetic improvements to the store, he also has added new product lines and doubled the inventory to make sure customers can purchase what they need when they need it.

After tiring of conventional medicine and the pharmaceutical industry’s non-cures and long lists of cautionary instructions about side effects, Matthews is happy to explore a different territory. Relatively new to the industry, other than his personal experiences, Matthews prefers to let longtime employees and Cape Coral residents Erika Kopyta, store manager, and Maria Farmer, assistant manager, continue to run the store and help customers make their selections. “Their knowledge is impressive and they do a great job working with our loyal client base that has been shopping here for many years,” says Matthews, who has plans for expanding the store’s smoothie bar and adding the services of a massage therapist. He also wants to network with local health practitioners that can offer seminars and presentations such as the recent Wellness Social that he hosted for the Quality Health and Life Clinic.

“I like the idea of owning a business focused on wellness and prevention, which provides products and services that help other people,” notes Matthews, who jokes that he still enjoys an occasional dish of chicken wings and a cold beer. “I’m more of an ‘everything in moderation’ person, and I prefer to take care of the business behind the scenes. However, I do look forward to meeting and talking with customers.”

Location: 1217 S.E. 47 Terr. For more information, call 239-549-7667, visit or

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