Aptos Natural Foods started in 1990 and the current owner, Gene (Dario) Dickinson became General Manager of Aptos Natural Foods in 2012, while still the General Manager at the Food Bin/HerbRoom. In 2015, Dario had the opportunity to purchase Aptos Natural Foods and bought it from the previous owners with the help of his father and Sports Psychology Professor, Dr. Vern Dickinson.
Dario is from Southern California. He originally came to Santa Cruz in the early 1980s to attend UCSC. Through his friends at school, Dario learned about the Kresge Food Co-op on campus. He became involved with the co-op, eventually becoming the manager. He left school at one point to travel the world, then returned to finish his degree, graduating Cum Laude with a degree in history and a focus on world religions. Post graduating Dario began to work at the Food Bin/Herb Room, where he spent the next twenty-five years as the store General Manager.
The vision of ANF is to support small, local businesses and carry products made by companies that demonstrate a high degree of integrity. As one of our employees expressed it, "they walk the talk." He went on to say that it's good to work for people who are trustworthy, authentic, and use their energy to create a good atmosphere for the employees and customers.
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