Editor’s Note: We spoke with Larry LoRe to learn more about Richard’s Foodporium, the recipient of dozens of awards for its retail expertise and community engagement. The company has stores in North Port, Englewood, Venice, and Port Charlotte, as well as five stores in the Sarasota Bradenton area. Store hours are 9am to 6pm every day and 11am to 5pm on Sunday. RichardsFoodporium.com.
Larry, what’s the brief history of Richard’s Foodporium?
Richard Downey opened the first store in Sarasota as Richard’s Whole Foods in 1979. The six-store chain expanded and evolved over the years until a restructuring sale in 2019 between Moecker & Associates and Bulk Nation LLC. Currently, Richard’s Foodporium operates 10 retail locations in various southwest Florida markets.
What’s the company mission and focus?
We’re all about natural foods and that includes providing our customers with bulk foods, specialty products, supplements, gifts, and more. Our mission is to provide an inspiring shopping experience with one on one support from our team members. Our core values are captured in these words: Character, High Standards, Satisfaction, Service, and Sense of Community. We pride ourselves on being your local neighborhood store. This commitment to our local markets is illustrated by our amazing staff and long-term employees. That includes Betsy in Port Charlotte (30 plus years), Craig in North Port (30 plus years), and Karen in Englewood (20 plus years).
How about special orders?
We do our best to help our customers find the products they are looking for. We have built a substantial network of specialty companies that enhances our efforts in supporting special order requests. Plus, we offer an additional 10 percent off on any case of the special-order item you are seeking.
How does your Fan Club work?
Our Fan Club is an email-based system where we keep our customers informed about upcoming sales and events. We also provide coupons to provide additional savings.
What’s your history with Richard’s?
I started as the Store Manager in Port Charlotte more than three years ago. I was promoted in less than a year to Retail Operations Manager where I oversaw operations of all of our stores. After our company was purchased by Bulk Nation, I transferred into the role of Project Manager and resumed my prior position as Store Manager in Port Charlotte.
Where are you from originally and what are some of your other interests?
I moved to Florida from New York after serving in the United States Marine Corp. I wanted a change in scenery from the cold weather. I enjoy spending time with my fiancé and 4 dogs. That includes visiting the beach, hiking and other adventures.