Our Story2019-04-20T15:17:28-08:00

Our Story

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF ORGANIC ACTIVISM

Good Earth is an independent natural and organic grocer with two stores in Marin County, California. We’ve proudly served the Marin community since 1969.

We were founded with the dream of offering the highest quality organic food that we could find. From our early days on 123 Bolinas Road to today, we’ve remained committed to advocating for a healthier and more sustainable food system.

Organic runs deep at Good Earth.

We hold organic certification as our fundamental quality standard because of the protections it provides for both people and the planet.

Organic foods are grown without chemical pesticides so they are easier on us and the environment.

Studies show that organic agriculture sequesters far more carbon in the soil than conventional, making it a viable solution to slowing climate change.

Organic foods are also the best way to avoid genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

We believe that USDA Organic Certification offers the most transparent and trackable framework to help us monitor how our food is grown and processed. All of our buyers are tasked with seeking out the best organic products available while working with suppliers to communicate and educate around the importance of organic within our food system.

Throughout our stores, we offer foods grown and prepared using a minimum of processing and no chemical pesticides, herbicides, or food additives. If we cannot meet this ideal with a certain food item, we get as close as possible, and make as much noise as we can to change it for the better.

Good Earth: The Movie

Learn our story and what drives us in this short film by Oona Squire, daughter of Good Earth Partner Mark Squire.

Good Earth Timeline

1962

Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking expose Silent Spring is published.

Using research on pesticides and environmental poisons it inspired an entire generation to more closely examine negative effects and seek more sustainable food practices.

Rachel Carson’s work >

1969

Good Earth opens at 123 Bolinas Road in Fairfax, becoming one of the first Marin retailers to specialize in locally grown organic produce, lending support to local farmers.

Mark Squire, age 16, joins Good Earth within its first six months.

1971

Edwin Cariati moves to the Bay Area from New York. Begins working at Good Earth as a cashier.

1973

California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) formed

1974

Still no clear definition of “organic”

“We had suspicions that in the early days that some farmers we were dealing with were not honest about whether or not their food was organically grown. So organizations came into being that would scrutinize their practices. Ultimately a good thing came out of something bad.”. – Edwin Cariati

Warren Weber’s Star Route Farm in Bolinas begins selling organic vegetables to Good Earth

“Good Earth really was in the vanguard of bringing organic produce into stores in a consistent way.” ~ Warren Weber

Mark Squire & Edwin Cariati become owners of Good Earth.

1980

Good Earth begins profit sharing with employees.

1983

Mark, as a member of the CCOF, helps write the original organic certification standards that are still in use nationally.

1985

Good Earth starts making organic prepared foods and opens up their first hot bar.

1997

USDA publishes proposed National Organic Program standards that allows use of GMOs, sewage sludge, and irradiation. They remove these after receiving 250,000 comments from the public.

1999

Al Baylacq of Food Villa in Fairfax becomes 3rd Good Earth Partner.

2000

USDA Organic becomes a reality.

For the first time, federal organic standards and certification procedures, labeling are in effect across the United States.

2000

Good Earth moves to former site of Food Villa in Fairfax.

This greatly expands the selection of the highest quality and freshest organic and natural foods in Marin.

2002

Good Earth and others advocate for the Community Choice Law in Marin.

This later leads to the creation of Marin Clean Energy, transforming all of Marin County’s power generation toward more sustainable and renewable sources.

2003