Cottonwood Farm & Grocery Brings More Natural, Organic Offerings to Northwest Alabama

Indie partners with UNFI to add options for shoppers in Shoals region
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
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Cottonwood Farm & Grocery Brings More Natural, Organic Offerings to Northwest Alabama
Cottonwood Farm & Grocery is owned by Hope and Brian Williamson.

Cottonwood Farm & Grocery, a newer independent market in Florence, Ala., is now working with distributor United Natural Foods (UNFI) to broaden its offering of natural and organic products.

Located in the Shoals area of Alabama, Cottonwood Farm & Grocery made the move to provide more options and familiar natural and organic brands to consumers who might otherwise have to travel to larger cities to find such products.

“We don’t want people having to drive to Huntsville, Nashville, or Birmingham to get their groceries when we can easily provide those goods for them,” said co-owner Brian Williamson Jr., adding, “If there’s something you don’t see in the store but you usually pick up on your Whole Foods run, I guarantee we can get it.”

The grocer opened last spring, specializing in humanely raised meat and dairy products and fresh goods from its own farm and other nearby farms. In addition to its farmer’s market-style assortment, the small store is partnering with several local businesses to bring on their products, like baked goods from Oakland Bakery, olive oil from Tennessee River Olive Oil Co., and fresh-cut flowers from Sonlit Meadows, to name some examples. To create some buzz in the community and strengthen its brand, the Cottonwood Farm & Grocery recently launched its own line of merchandise, including t-shirts.

Providence, R.I.-based UNFI delivers a wide variety of products to customer locations throughout North America, including natural product superstores, independent retailers, conventional supermarket chains, e-commerce retailers and foodservice customers. The largest publicly traded grocery distributor in America, the company is No. 47 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. 

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