Cardinal Rose

Organic Grocery & Gluten Free Bakery


Jeanie Severtson: A “Foodie” With a Purpose

Beginner’s Learning Curve

Jeanie Severtson has always had a passion for food. Raised on a farm, she grew up knowing that organically grown foods were healthier. So, when she married and had children of her own, she prepared homemade meals from scratch – no mixes for her family.


When Jeanie moved from California to Utah, after her children were grown, she continued to acquire knowledge about organic foods. She learned from Mormon friends about growing good food, canning and preserving, along with recycling. Due to his job, Verne, her husband, traveled. They moved about, eventually coming to Sand Mountain. Verne, too, had been raised on a farm. He and Jeanie began looking ahead to retirement and returning to their farm roots. Jeanie had in mind that they would live in a self-sufficient environment, raising everything they would need.


While out driving with a friend one day, she found the property on which Cardinal Rose presently sits – five wooded acres with a stream and trees. It was ‘like a blank canvas’, as Jeanie said in describing the location. She knew that she had found where she and Verne would retire.


Once she was on the property, Jeanie began planting more trees – pear, maple, elm and poplar. She also raised goats, making goat cheese for sale and became known as the ‘goat lady’. She planted seven herb gardens that area garden clubs came to visit. The couple was well on their way to their dream of a self-sufficient farm. Then a tornado hit the Albertville area and wiped out everything. Fallen trees destroyed the herb gardens.

Disaster Brings Opportunity

At this time Jeanie was part of the Ozark co-op with ten other area residents. Each month she drove to Rainbow Crossing in Blount County to pick up the orders for organically grown groceries that came out of Arkansas. When Ozark went out of business, Jeanie had no desire to travel into Huntsville for organic foods, so she decided she would open her own store. “I never had a negative thought about doing it. I had it all in my head plotted out,” she said.


While on their way to a Christmas party in 2005, she presented the idea to Verne. Her business background over the past years had provided her with the know-how for such an undertaking. Although Jeanie hired someone to do the basic construction, she and Verne did all the exterior and interior finishing work on Cardinal Rose. Amazingly, Cardinal Rose, from the first shovel of excavated earth to product filled shelves, was completed on a budget of $30,000 and opened its doors on April 18, 2006.

The Emerging of a Passion

At the end of the first year, Jeanie struggled to keep Cardinal Rose open. Although she had developed a loyal customer base, she needed the business to grow. Getting the word out into the community was the key to attracting customers to her location a few miles beyond the business district of Albertville. She started advertising through Guntersville’s WGSV- AM with Kerry Jackson. “The results (of the radio advertising) over the years have been fantastic,” Jeanie said.


Jeanie’s passion for food is embodied at Cardinal Rose. She is an advocate of organically grown products and food. Within its homey environment, Cardinal Rose caters to those who want natural foods and those with special diet needs – such as gluten free, dairy free, nut free, sugar-free. Jeanie adds to the uniqueness of the store with her delicious lunches and catering service.


“I want to educate the public how the right food keeps them healthier. Nowadays, people have big health problems. I want Cardinal Rose to be the first stop to putting them on the right food path to help them heal. I’ve seen sick people who, with the proper diet, have become healthier.” This is Jeanie Severtson - the owner of Cardinal Rose – who uses her passion for food to help those who want a healthier life.

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