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Jim Jacobs
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General FAQ

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It's very easy. These are the steps:
  1. Become a member (currently signup through this website is free).
  2. Browse the catalogs through the member area on this website. There are several catalogs to choose from: books, bulk, perishable (refrigerated), frozen, groceries, personal care, supplements, and fresh produce - overall about 25,000 products to choose from. There is even a monthly sale bill with literally thousands of sale items to choose from!
  3. Place your orders through this website.
  4. Call our office (757-233-6721 M-F 9-4) and give us your VISA, Mastercard, American Express or Discover to guarantee your order. We don't charge your card on line. You pay with cash, check, or credit/debit card when you pick up your order. Currently, we are only accepting credit/debit cards on account of the coronavirus pandemic.
  5. If you don't want full case(s), use our software to split cases with hundreds of other families. You don't have to know who they are - the software does it for you. This gives you just the portion you want, but at the best possible case price.
  6. When your order arrives, come pick it up at the store location you chose.
There is currently no membership fee and no required minimums (except for the $100 requirement in the previous 30 days for additional in-store discounts). Shopping in the store generally costs 15% more than ordering online, so we encourage you to shop online, then come pick up your order to save the 15%. Each month there are usually a few items in the store which are on sale only in the store, and not online. The way to save the most money, i.e. get the lowest overall cost, is to buy items when they are on sale. Each month, about 4,000 items are placed on sale and if you have a list of favorites saved in your personal catalog, our software will send you an email telling you which one(s) are on sale. You then can order the one(s) you want. Our system will not automatically order them for you.
We can not sell groceries to anyone at cost and continue to stay in business, so our member customers pay 15% over cost for online purchases. The markup has already been added to the cost. The price you see is the final price (before sales tax).

If you buy that same item in one of our stores, you would pay an additional 15% (the "store markup") over the online price. This extra fee is necessary to cover the cost of employees, rent, utilities, etc.

Some items are available as an "each" (EA). Some only come by the case "CS" (e.g. 3, 6, etc - varies by product). If you order a full case of something online, you get a 5% discount. This is also true for many "bulk" items. Thus, instead of 15%, you are only paying 10% above cost.

When an item goes on sale (and about 4000 go on sale each month from our various distributors), our software passes the sale cost directly through to you. You then pay 15% over the (lower) sale price, but it is still 15%. For example, if a case of juice normally costs $10.00, it would then be $10.00 + $1.50 (15%) less $.50 (5% case discount) or $11.00 plus sales tax. If that same item was on sale for $8.50, the prices would be cost plus $15% ($1.27) less $0.43 (5% case discount) or $9.34, plus tax.

Although it is not required, the best values and the best selections are to be found through the website. You can just shop in the store(s), but the prices are 15% higher, there is a limited number of sale items (varies each month), and the selection is not as great (2000+ items vs. 50,000 items online).
No. Normally, the program will not order automatically for you. There is a "backorder" option which allows the program to automatically reorder item(s) which didn't come in, but you must manually activate that option in your member settings. There is a similar option to re-start splits which are not filled, but again, you must activate that option. If you activate either of these options, we recommend you also take the option which sends you an email telling you about the automatic reorder in case you really don't want it. You can then log in and delete it before the order period closes. The program will not activate these options for you, and if you do activate them, you can deactivate these features at any time. You can also mark items in your cart "Save For Later", and they will not be ordered.
Yes, just about everyone can join. The only requirements we have is that you must be 18 years old or older, have a valid credit card which you can leave "on file" with us, and want a healthy lifestyle. As for what is "healthy", you decide that. We just provide a wide variety of mostly organic products that we believe will help.
No, no, and no. All that it means to live the Natural Lifestyle is to live the way you feel is best for the health of you and your family. Although many of our customers do have special dietary restrictions, just as many do not. People from all walks of life and all types of dietary disciplines can partake of a Natural Lifestyle.
Absolutely. Organic, natural, and whole foods are not about what can be eaten. They are about what's in the food and how the food is made. The belief is that products made without the use of pesticides, genetic manipulation, artificial flavoring and coloring, etc. will be better for both you and the environment. The food is just as tasty and just as varied as non-organic foods. Of course, the only way you can be convinced is to try it.
There isn't a specific definition of The Natural Lifestyle. Instead, it is a term used to describe a desire to live your life as best you can by treating your body with the respect that it deserves. Since no one is an absolute authority on how you should live a Natural Lifestyle, we have chosen to make available a wide range of products and let you decide what is right for you.
You can order as often as once a week, or not at all. The choice is yours. We place an order with suppliers virtually every week. Order dates are posted on the website. You can join any order period, up to 4 order periods in the future. This allows you to skip some period(s) for vacations, etc. You set the default number of weeks between orders, but can change your mind to be included in any order period you want. Orders "close" at 10am each Tuesday morning. The food arrives Friday morning and it takes us all day to sort it into everyone's individual order. Therefore, orders are not ready until after 5pm when we will (hopefully) be ready for people to begin picking up their orders. If you come before 5pm, we will not be able to stop sorting other orders and help you with yours. You will have to come back after 5pm. You can also pick up on Saturday, or Monday, etc. - until the following Wednesday by which time we need the space for the next week's orders.

Store: Daily 10am - 6pm

Yes and No.

Many items are currently available as "Eaches", and each order period, the selection of "Eaches" grows as we respond to customer requests. Search the catalogs for "Eaches" by clicking on the drop down box by "Display" and choosing "EA Only." You might just find what you are looking for. "Supplements" and "Personal Care", some 6,000 items, are almost entirely available as "eaches". Currently, most perishables and frozen foods are not available as Eaches, nor are items with short outdates. As we continue to grow we will be able to offer additional "eaches".

Displaying "All Items" will show you both Cases and Eaches. If you find an item available as "Case Only", you may "split" the case with other members using our software technology. This, in fact, is how most food is ordered because most people do not want an entire case of something.

To "split" a case, click on the "pack size" (if the item is splittable, it will be a link), and enter the number of units in the case that you want.

Other members will be notified daily via email and you can see their splits as well. You do not need to know who the other members are, our software takes care of that. There are no phone calls to make, no trying to coax friends to take some of this or that. Thus, you will be anonymously splitting cases with thousands of members as close as your next door neighbor and all over the country. That is the real power of our software.

Despite the number of people splitting cases, it is possible that a case which you want part of will not have enough other interested members to fill out the case. If this happens, our software will not add it the consolidated supplier purchase orders. However, if the item is sufficiently important to you that you want to make sure the case is fully split, you can select the option to take the balance of the case. For example, suppose a case consists of 12 bottles, and you want 3 of them. Other members have requested 6 more, for a total of 9 bottles. That is not enough to fill the case; 3 more are needed. If you take the "I will take the balance" option, then the software will add the remaining 3 to your order (you will receive 6 - your original split of 3 plus the 3 which are the balance of the case) and the case will be filled.

Because our catalog contains over 30,000 items, we do not offer extensive product descriptions or pictures on very many items. When you search the catalogs, you will find that the products are listed according to classification (bulk, perishable, grocery, produce, etc.), then by manufacturer. Manufacturers who have websites have a green "Web Site" circle next to their names. Click on the circle to be taken to their website in a popup window, where you can (hopefully) get additional product descriptions, ingredients, and pictures. Closing the popup window once you are done will not close the order window you are working in.
Right now, we have only 2 pickup locations, our Virginia Beach Holland Rd. store and our Granby St. (Norfolk, Ghent) store. The choice is yours. Select your desired pickup location on our website. The Holland Rd. store address is at the corner of Holland Rd. and Commuter Dr. - 4301 Commuter Dr., Virginia Beach, VA 23462. The Granby St. address is 1912 Granby St., Norfolk, VA 23517. For directions to our stores (See Map / Driving Directions) click here:
From the posted "delivery" (pickup) date you have 5 days to pick up your order. If you do not pick up your order within those 5 days, we will 1) charge your credit card for the total amount of your order, 2) begin storage charges of 5% of the amount of your order per week, 3) perishables which become a health hazard will be disposed of as required with no refund, and 4) after 4 weeks, if your order is still not picked up, it will be deemed abandoned, and we will dispose of it, even though you have paid for it, without any notification or obligation for refund or replacement for any portion of your order.
We now offer home and office delivery service through Instacart provided you live in zip codes: 23452, 23453, 23454, 23455, 23456, 23462, or 23464 for our Virginia Beach (Holland Rd) store, or 23324, 23325, 23502, 23503, 23504, 23505, 23507, 23508, 23509, 23510, 23511, 23513, 23515, 23517, 23518, 23523, 23551, 23701, 23702, 23703, 23704 or 23707 for our Norfolk store. Your delivery address zip code determines which store's inventory you can order from.
Currently, we only provide service in the Tidewater area of Southeastern Virginia. Our members must be able to drive to our store(s). Currently, we do not ship items via Priority Mail or UPS.
Our return policy, which is printed at the bottom of every sales receipt, is:

Your Receipt Is Required For Returns.
Returns Must Be Within 5 Days of Purchase.
Returns For Perishables or Produce Must Be Within 3 Days of Purchase.

When you pick up your order, you will receive a "master" list on which you check
off all the items to make sure they are what your ordered, i.e. we have not made
any mistakes. If there is a mistake, or something else is wrong, such as the
"out date" has passed, or the item(s) are physically damaged, you can decline to
take the item and it will be removed from your order. This is only true if there
is a defect or mistake on our part, not if you have just changed your mind and do
not want what you ordered.

There are many reasons why we started Organic Food Depot´┐Ż. However, the idea was first born from three desires: a desire to purchase quality organic and natural foods at affordable prices, a desire to make those same products available to as many people as possible, and a desire to support a community of people feel the same way.
Unfortunately, none of the major grocery store chains appeared to be interested in stocking a good assortment of these sorts of products, let alone at an affordable price. For the local grocers that did cater to the natural or organic lifestyle, we felt their prices were just too high for most people to eat an generally organic diet.
One other thing we encountered was a sort of "resistance" and/or "confusion" by people about getting involved in the Natural Lifestyle. This turned out to be for many reasons. Some people felt they had to become vegetarian or vegan. Others felt they had to give up eating good-tasting food. The reasons were all over the spectrum. But more importantly, most of them just didn't know...
With all this in mind, we realized that something new had to be created to fulfill all of the desires we had. Enter Through Organic Food Depot´┐Ż, we can finally get the products we want at the prices we can all afford.
Simply put, we don't maintain any expensive inventory. Purchases from our sources are made entirely based on member demand. As a result, we do not maintain a large warehouse full of food that people might buy. This allows us to dramatically cut operating costs and pass the savings on to our memebers.