Katy Lesser (center) and her children, Nina and Eli Lesser-Goldsmith, accepting the 2021 Multi-Gen Family Enterprise Award from the University of Vermont Grossman School of Business’ Family Business Institute
Healthy Living Market and Café has received the 2021 Multi-Gen Family Enterprise Award from the University of Vermont Grossman School of Business’ Family Business Institute during the 10th annual Family Business Awards. Eligibility for the award requires at least one generational transfer within a family of a business dedicated to sustaining and innovating. On hand to accept the honor last month were Katy Lesser, the teacher, therapist and mother who started the business 35 years ago, and her two children, Nina and Eli Lesser-Goldsmith, who are now its co-owners.
Since it was founded in 1986, Healthy Living has grown to a three-store grocery and wellness hub -- the latest location having opened amid the pandemic -- with chef-created takeaway foods, events and memberships to give back to shoppers, and an employee program that strives to treat all workers like part of the family.
Lesser now will serve as a judge in the 2022 award process. Other Vermont businesses that have received the award include the Trapp Family Lodge, in Stowe; Boyden Valley Winery, in Cambridge; and Lake Champlain Chocolates, in Burlington.
“We feel so fortunate to be able to put healthy food on local families’ tables day after day, year after year,” noted Lesser. “The fact that the business has stayed in our family for as long as it has is a testament to the community’s support and sharing of our values. I’m beyond proud of my children for leading Healthy Living and am grateful to be acknowledged in this way.”
Healthy Living is an independent retailer of local, organic and natural foods, with stores in South Burlington and Williston, Vt., and Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The grocer now employs 320 associates across its three locations.