Compre Saludable / Shop Healthy Iowa

Compre Saludable/Shop Healthy Iowa is a healthy retail program designed for Hispanic tiendas or stores.  The initiative is a collaboration between tienda owners, Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and University of Iowa College of Public Health.  To find out more about the collaboration, view A Cross-Cultural Collaboration to Improve Healthy Retail Practices in Tiendas presentation.





Shop Healthy Iowa Implementation Model

Shop Healthy Iowa Local Project Coordinator

  • reaches out to store manager about possible participation in the Shop Healthy Iowa program and obtains signed store commitment;
  • conducts training to inform tienda manager of possible structural or store layout changes and marketing strategies;
  • works with manger to complete an action plan and assists manager with implementation of the plan;
  • after a 3-month implementation time frame, follows up with manager to obtain feedback about the project and determine future action plans. 



Since the program began in 2015, the Shop Healthy Iowa partnership has collaborated with 18 tiendas in 9 communities: Perry, Muscatine, West Liberty, Ottumwa, Marshalltown, Storm Lake, Denison and Des Moines.






Shop Healthy Iowa Resources for Implementation

Evaluation Resources

Where you will find:

Store Commitment Forms

Demonstration Logs

Action Plan template

Manager and Customer Surveys

Latino Nutrition Environment Surveys-Store (NEMS-S)

Stories from the Communities

Ottumwa: Mexico Lindo Success Story

Mexico Lindo was the first Hispanic store to open in Ottumwa 16 years ago. The store manager worked with Compre Saludable/Shop Healthy Iowa initiative for two years.  The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Economic Development coordinator has known the store manager for several years and has built a trusting relationship. The coordinator provided training on marketing and store layout changes and assisted the manager with improving the interior of the store. Quote from the manager: "I never received any training in store retail. I just opened the store and hoped it would go well.”





Sioux City: La Pinata

In La Pinata grocery store in Sioux City, the store owner, Marisela Trejo, makes the most of the limited space she has. Although the fruits and vegetables could not be moved to another location closer to the store entrance, one of the items purchased was a two-sided, three-level wooden box display that has wheels and could be placed near the front of the store when possible. When large shipments come in on pallets, Marisela can easily move the display to the side to unload. The display also has a chalkboard, which they have used to market the produce prices, using chalk pens to make the information more decorative and eye-catching.





 Marshalltown: Zamora's Fresh Market

After the program, the primary manager in charge of making the program’s changes stated that through the use of healthy retail initiatives, he could increase the sale of fruits and vegetables at Zamora’s Fresh Market, improve customer’s eating behaviors, and increase the sale of fruits and vegetables in his store. Additionally, the manager agreed that selling healthy items would increase the financial stability of the store, improve the public image of the store, and attract new customers to the store. After the program ended, the store manager wanted to maintain the changes in the store and continue to install attractive displays throughout the store to better market healthy products.





Des Moines: La Favorita

Hugo and Yadira view offering fresh produce and healthy food options at reasonable prices as a way to give back to their customers, many of whom rely on the convenient location of the store for meeting their grocery needs.  Through Shop Healthy Iowa, they are able to highlight fresh produce in the store through improving the quality of their displays and baskets.  The signs were such a big hit, Yadira used them to replace many of the advertisements for beer that covered the windows in order to block out the direct sunlight!  The change is a message she can feel good about, especially, she says, because of the kids that stop in on their way home from school.