At Lifestyle Markets Organic Rules

A grocery aisle of Lifestyle Markets. Portofino gluten free cookies from the deli. Photos by Ellie Shortt

At any given lunchtime, Lifestyle Markets is a hub of activity with an eclectic mix of construction workers, businessmen, teenagers and seniors crowded around the deli section to sample fresh and tasty food made by local bakers and in-house chefs. While some are drawn by the certified organic ingredients and wide range of gluten and dairy free options, many make repeat visits simply because the food is delicious, fast and reasonably priced. This is precisely why general manager Carmine Sparanese loves his job.


Growing up in an Italian-Canadian household, quality food was always an important part of his childhood, as was the inherent practice that locally grown, preservative-free and handpicked ingredients are not just a preferred way of eating, but the only way of eating. For Sparanese, eating well, along with regular exercise, is truly the way to a healthy and happy lifestyle.


Organic produce aisle at Lifestyle Markets

That’s why, in 1995, when Bryan and Lorraine Peterson decided to open Lifestyle Markets, Sparanese was completely on board. Long before “organic” and “local” were buzzwords, Lifestyle Markets was providing Victorians with naturally grown products including a wide selection of produce, supplements, grocery items and deli selections. Almost 17 years later, the business has matured with two new locations and expansions to the original hub, although Sparanese reflects that it wasn’t easy going in the early years. However, the few devoted patrons that were there on the very first day are still regulars, proving that people really do care about their health and are willing to take that extra time and effort to put their bodies first.


Sparanese, who runs the business with Lorraine, does everything in his power to make healthy living as easy as possible for his customers. His large and dedicated staff is extremely knowledgeable: Bryanne and Simon will help you with your produce and grocery choices, while Neil, Jane and Autumn will guide you through the often puzzling selection of vitamins and supplements. Sparanese has even expanded the stores to include a body care department where Valerie will show you that it’s as equally important to think about what you put on your body, as it is what you put in it.


An assortment of Prairie Doctor and St Francis liquid supplements

This lesson, along with an appreciation for health-conscious cuisine, and an understanding of basic nutrition, is really what Sparanese wants to send home with his customers when they leave his stores. Someone might come in for a slice of his mamma’s lasagne, realizing only later that it was gluten free and that yes, you can enjoy a pasta based dish without shooting pains in your gut. They might ask Sparanese what similar products he recommends, allowing him to reference his favourite selection of gluten free products. Occurrences like these make Sparanese truly proud of his business. That, and the unbelievable cross section of patrons, witnessed in their lunch rush, proving that “good health is for everybody” isn’t just their slogan, but their business.




Lifestyle Markets: 2950 Douglas St Victoria, BC (250) 384-3388

Mon-Sat 9:00 am-8:00 pm, Sunday 10:00 am-6:00 pm


Cook St Location: 343 Cook St Victoria, BC (250) 381-5450

Mon-Sat 10:00 am-7:00 pm, Sunday 10:00 am-6:00 pm


Sidney Location: 9769 Fifth St Sidney, BC (250) 656-2326

Mon-Sat 9:00 am-5:30 pm, Sunday noon-5:00 pm




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