Meet the Staff
At Cambridge Naturals, we're all about the people.
Our friendly staff are here to answer your questions and help you find the right products, just for you!
Michael Kanter and Elizabeth Stagl, Co-Founders
Michael and Elizabeth have, since 1974, held the vision for Cambridge Naturals. Michael, CVO, is our Chief Visionary Officer. He is a consultant to businesses within the Natural Products Market and speaks at natural products trade events about the rewards and the struggles of running a locally-owned community-oriented business. Elizabeth is a Certified Nutritionist with a Master’s degree in Nutrition Science. She consults with customers on issues of health and wellness using evidence-based science for nutritional supplementation.
Emily, Second Generation Co-Owner & marketing lead
Emily has a background in sustainable food systems, entrepreneurship, community engagement, marketing and design, and brings that expertise to her role at Cambridge Naturals. Before returning to Cambridge Naturals, she lived in Portland, OR with her husband Caleb, and directed a local hunger relief non-profit. She also worked in local food systems finance at both Community Sourced Capital and Beneficial State Bank. In 2014, she received her MBA from Pinchot University. Prior to living in Portland, Emily was the Programs Director at SBN Massachusetts, where she helped to found and launch the Boston Local Food Festival. Emily has also lived abroad in the bustling metropolises of Buenos Aires and Taipei, teaching English to children and adults. In both countries she observed local food cultures and witnessed first-hand the detrimental impact of western globalization on indigenous diets. Emily has a deep understanding of the natural food industry – her parents are Michael and Elizabeth, the founders of Cambridge Naturals. She has early memories of being plopped into a milk crate in the middle of the bustling grocery store, and watching daily business unfold. Emily is passionate about creating strong local food systems that benefit the entire community.
Caleb, Chief of Staff
Caleb serves the role of chief of staff and is responsible for staff wellness and engagement. His background is in design, community development, and organizational consulting. He has been passionate about the intersection of community, business, and sustainability throughout his career. In 2008, he built and managed a co-working/incubator office space in his hometown of Shelburne Falls, MA. He then moved to Oregon in 2010 and worked at a non-profit that helps solve naturals resource conflict in rural communities throughout the west while he got his MBA in Sustainable Systems at Bainbridge Graduate Institute at Pinchot University. In 2012, he started an organizational design firm, Owl, Fox & Dean, and in 2014 he and Emily moved back to their home state. When Caleb is not at the store, he is consulting with a wide range organizations, is working with the Design Museum Boston as Advisory Council Chair, and/or is teaching at the Boston Architectural College. He's really proud to be part of such a long-lasting locally-owned family business.
Zack, store manager & Supplements Lead
Zack, a Cambridge native, grew up in a home that was abundant in natural healthcare (especially homeopathy). An artist at heart, he has a BFA in photography and has worked in education, fine dining, and retail fields but his true passion lies in homebrewing and cooking. His current goal is to eventually attend a professional brewing school and enter the brewing industry thereafter. A strong proponent of the medicinal power of food, he spent time volunteering on organic farms in North Carolina where he gained a deeper connection with and understanding of medicinal plants and herbs. He is excited to be part of the wonderful staff at the store and when not at work you can find him wandering the local farmers markets or cooking up a storm in his kitchen.
Alex, store manager & staff development lead
Alex began exploring natural health as a teenager after deciding to try out a vegetarian diet. This interest grew while working in a tea shop and learning about the health benefits of different teas and herbs. So it is no wonder her favorite department is Grocery! She thinks it is the most fun department to be a part of. Although Body Care is very interesting to her too, having a very long time ago been issued a Cosmetology License in the sunshine state of Florida. Alex's favorite thing about working at Cambridge Naturals are the people she gets to work alongside of everyday! Being able to help cultivate a fun, friendly and team oriented environment keeps every day interesting and inspiring. In her free time she enjoys hugging animals, especially ones with smooshy faces, collecting houseplants and drawing with black ink, lots of black ink!
Brenden, Store Manager & Grocery Lead
Brenden's interest in natural foods developed thirteen years ago when his parents forced him to apply at a unique grocery store near their home in Columbus, OH (The Heart of it All). Little did he know he would find himself happily working in the industry years later. After his years as a band geek in high school, he attended The Ohio State University where he studied Communications and unofficially minored in photography. In 2007, he decided to move to a city he had never been to, landing in the Boston area and never looked back. His interests include experimental music, cooking, and bicycles. He is the tallest staff member in the history of the store.
Sarah H, foH Manager, lifestyle dept lead & Merchandising Lead
Sarah joins us here in Cambridge via NYC (and several years in Maine). She discovered the health food industry in college while working in a juice bar in a yoga center/health food store. From there she worked her way to assistant manager of the store apothecary and studied nutrition and alternative healing along the way. She attended Heartwood Institute where she studied hands on healing and massage modalities and most recently has been working in the spa industry on the management and business side of things. Although the shore of Maine holds a sacred place in her heart, she is excited to return the bustle of city life and to be back in the industry she loves. You may find her dreamily gazing at the jars of herbs or, more likely, neatly arranging vitamin bottles as she finds this quite a useful form of meditation.
Ilse, Customer Service Specialist & lifestyle buyer
Ilse's interest in a sustainable lifestyle began when, as a young child, she decided to follow a vegetarian diet and became obsessed with tropical rainforests. She acquired a BA in Human Ecology due to an interest in everything, and she is still trying to figure out what human ecology is. In her spare time, Ilse bikes around town, knits, plays mandolin, attempts to write fantasy novels, contra dances, improvises comedically, cooks strange and wonderful things, and pokes interesting plants. She thinks that all plants are interesting. While she still hasn't managed to Save the World, Ilse is pleased to exercise her extreme retail skills at a store which meshes with her outlook on life.
Miles, customer service specialist & Supplements Buyer
Miles grew up with some influence from his father, a mad scientist who invented new vitamins in the home kitchen. The death of his mother from chronic illness further propelled Miles toward his life-long goal of understanding health and disease at a fundamental level. In high school, he launched a personal crusade against aspartame being sold at school lunch. Miles pursued a self-designed course of study titled "Pathochemistry" for his BSc at the University of Massachusetts. Following that, he moved to Quebec to pursue his MSc in Experimental Medicine at McGill University, where he studied novel mechanisms of antioxidant expression in lung disease. Deeply appreciating the experience of science education yet completely burnt out from academic laboratory research, Miles rediscovered his roots at Cambridge Naturals. You can see him on floor telling you about the biological facts behind the bottle of 'Grape Seed Extract' that you just put into your hand basket or kvetching about the shelf stability of methyl-B12.
Jennifer, Customer Service Specialist & Receiver
Jenn, a native of Somerville, first became interested in the field of natural medicine when as a teenager discovered that she was overly sensitive to most traditional pharmaceuticals. Jenn has been a vegetarian for 11 years and is a currently a student at Mass Art studying Industrial Design and Sculpture. Jenn is huge advocate of permaculture and hopes to combine this passion with her passion for design to create more symbiotic environments. She is excited to be apart of the team at Cambridge Naturals and to learn more about the wonderful world of natural medicine. In her free time Jenn enjoys traveling, nature excursions, cooking, and immersing herself in maker/builder projects.
Vicky, local grocery brands coordinator | Grocery Team
Vicki graduated from Suffolk University with a degree in business. Sometime during college, she decided it was time to end her destructive behavior with food, and that it was time to learn about healthy eating. One day, she got whiplash, and while healing she was told to go to a yoga class. This accelerated her interest in being present and showing compassion towards people (and it gets deeper and deeper). She works full time at Cambridge Naturals, and on her days off she works for a few individuals; fitness instructors, mental health counselors, and yoga teachers - helping them out with business, marketing and general administrative support. She has a passion for herbalism (super newbie), mindfulness, and funniness. She is addicted to buying books, and really enjoys giving gifts. Also, she serves tea with her friends at gatherings!
Kristina, Customer Service Specialist & Body care buyer
Born and raised in Cambridge, Kristina attended the University of Massachusetts in Boston where she majored in English Literature & minored in Italian. She moved to San Francisco, lured by the sunny outdoors & year round blooming season. Reveling in the Pacific landscape and biological diversity she gained an overwhelming interest in botany and plant medicine. It started after beginning a job at Nantucket Natural Oils learning about essential oil aromatherapy and perfumes. She then managed a housewares shop that specialized in culinary herbs, ferns, succulents & orchids... "Once I learned that one of my favorite ingredients; Vanilla, is derived from an orchid plant, I began learning about horticulture and holistic medicine." Kristina received a certification from National Holistic Institute-College of Massage Therapy in 2010 and has worked in various spa atmospheres practicing acupressure, trigger point therapy. She also enjoys discovering new plant, touch, ice and heat therapies. In her spare time she is songwriting original music, saving seeds and tinkering with two wheel modes of transportation.
Bex, supplements buyer & floor supervisor
After surviving a childhood plagued by Puff the Not-so-magic Inhaler and Mr. and Mrs. Antibiotic Overload, the fog lifted and there Bex was, growing up in Vitamin D-laden Los Angeles, mecca of the conscious, organic, natural, yoga, juice and wellness world! She tirelessly started using herself as a test-subject, studying alternative healing methods—cleansing, retraining, reconstituting, revitalizing and ACTUALLY GETTING BETTER. Bex’s professional background is in writing, editing and marketing on behalf of brands and projects that improve the world and help people thrive. In addition to founding a ghostwriting and editing business, Bex has worked as an actor, director, yoga instructor, massage therapist and fledgling kombucha company owner. A Middlebury College alum, Bex certainly had selective memories about the New England winters (which mostly involved speedy skiing and fireside lectures)--but she couldn’t have found a better cozy haven than Cambridge Naturals, where she is thrilled to: join a team of inspirational superhero co-workers; fortify her potions, brews and goos; heal her crackly winter skin; and most importantly, offer you her presence, perspective and smile.
Caitlin, body care department lead
Born and raised in South Boston, MA, Caitlin found her way to Cambridge Naturals seeking a career that aligns all of her passions: sustainability, safe ingredients and great-tasting food! Caitlin’s love for learning about sustainability and wellness evolved during her time as a student at UMass Dartmouth, where she was awarded a social justice prize for her research and advocacy for healthier, plant-based options across campus. Caitlin implemented a system offsetting food waste on campus and catering to specific allergen and dietary needs. After graduating, Caitlin’s experience as a restaurant manager allowed her to become more conscious both as a customer service provider and as a consumer. Over the past few years, she has developed a true passion for the ingredients we fuel our bodies with and put on our skin. As a consumer, Caitlin finds it extremely important to educate herself about ingredients so that she can share her knowledge with others. She is passionate about women’s health and empowering each other to make smarter decisions that ultimately affect our health. When Caitlin isn’t at Cambridge Naturals, she can be found thrifting (pretty much all of her belongings are secondhand!), browsing aisles of specialty stores, skimming through her massive collection of wellness-related books or watching documentaries regarding health, sustainability and consumerism.
Nick, Receiving & Inventory Lead
Nick doesn’t like to talk about himself so this is going to be short. He was born and raised in a small seaside town in Rhode Island. After high school he moved to Boston. He worked for 12 years at an art store single-handedly keeping that place afloat. Now he works here and so far he is pleased. Outside of work he likes to cook, draw, and sit next to his cats.
Mary, body care buyer & Blog Contributor
Mary grew up on the Northshore of Boston in a small town by the beach, often traveling in to the city to play dress up at Betsey Johnson and attend shows at what used to be the Axis. After high school she moved to Los Angeles to study fashion design and spent some time working in the industry. And yes, it is just like that Devil Wears Prada book-turned-movie we all know and love. While living in LA, the land of macro-biotic diets and soul cycle, she frequented Erewhon markets where she discovered the remarkable benefits of natural health and wellness. She realized she was spending more time blending the perfect superfood smoothie than she was catching up on the latest issue of Vogue and decided it was the perfect time to go back to school. She recently earned her BS in Nutrition and Food Science from University of Vermont where she was able to complement the chemistry heavy course load with classes in herbalism, mindfulness, and food writing. When she’s not raving about the importance of adaptogens down the aisles of our supplements department she can be found shopping for vinyl records, practicing yoga, and plotting to steal Anthony Bourdain’s job.
John B, Customer Service Specialist | grocery team
John's passions for studying literature and critical theory are matched only by his passion for travel, whether it be touring with rock bands, moving cross-country on a whim, or living with a 150-person travelling circus. It was while working for the circus as a prep cook and meal coordinator that John developed a love for fresh, whole-food ingredients and nutrition. This love was bolstered by a year spent living and working in the world-famous Portland, Oregon food scene. Years of mixed results treating anxiety with mainstream pharmaceuticals led John to an interest in more traditional medicines and mental/spiritual practices. He continues to develop this interest in his role here at Cambridge Naturals. When he's not at work, John can be found reading, hiking, and making music on a variety of instruments.
Helen, Customer Service Specialist | Lifestyle Team
Helen has been expressively dancing and performing since she could walk. In 2014, she graduated from Lesley University with a self designed degree in Dance & Healing Performance Arts in which her focus was in mindfulness meditation, authentic movement and holistic health. Since graduating Helen has travelled to Boulder, Colorado and Brooklyn, New York where she has shared her joy for teaching movement meditation and her unique form of performance. Her recent exploration into her own patterns of tension have led her to study to become an Alexander Technique Teacher here in Cambridge. It was her passion for serving the needs of the whole Being which drew Helen to be a part of the Cambridge Naturals team. She is inspired by her knowledgable co-workers and very grateful for the opportunity she has to be a part of the healing and growth of her community.
Jess, Customer Service Specialist | Grocery Team
Jess is a recent graduate from the University of New Hampshire with a bachelor's degree in German and a minor in Writing. She grew up in New Hampshire, relocating to Allston, MA after graduating college and spending the summer in Europe. Her interest in animal rights spurred her to become vegetarian in her junior year of high school and eventually vegan for a few years. Throughout college, she had a great interest in vegan cooking and beauty products. During her stay in Prague, Czech Republic this summer, she volunteered at an eco-villa where she lived with a bunch of raw vegans and learned all about fermentation, raw vegan cooking, and living a sustainable lifestyle. She now brings her experiences and curiosity to her job at Cambridge Naturals.When Jess isn't at work, she is either hanging out with her cat, Lettuce, going to shows, practicing with one of her bands, reading poetry, or listening to Townes Van Zandt records.
Alyssa, Customer Service Specialist | Supps Team
Alyssa has joined the team at Cambridge Naturals after spending some time living in Portsmouth, NH where she worked at the local health food store and fell in love with the natural and organic food industry for it's community of people, products and values. She is passionate about the healing properties of whole foods and plants, the intelligence of nature and using herbs and supplements when needed to support your body to function at it's maximum potential. In her free time you will find Alyssa running, training at the gym and relaxing with her awesome cat.