Photos by : Kelsey Walters, property of East Coast Current
In January 2021, Tom and Maria Heath retired after 31.5 years in business at Heath’s Natural Foods. The Heaths originally purchased the store from Tom’s Aunt and Uncle Winifred and Frank (Jim) Taylor in June of 1989. The business was started in 1970 on Flagler Avenue. Several moves and additions later, it is now located next door to The Garlic restaurant.
Although the business officially changed hands in January 2021, the store remained open for business. The grand opening will be March 13th through the 20th – a week-long celebration to showcase the new ownership with daily discounts and raffles for gift baskets and free sample packets. Stop in to meet the new owners and friendly, knowledge staff.
The new owners are Chad & Lisa Bennett, former part owner of the Chamberlin’s Natural Food chain of Central Florida. Chad and his family have over 30 years of experience in the industry and will continue to run the store with the same family-owned feel. You can still find the same friendly faces and you can expect the same great personal service, which has been a hallmark of the Heath’s legacy.
Chad’s parents (Dale and Alice Bennett) acquired Chamberlin’s Natural Foods in 1974 in Orlando. Ever since then, he grew up in the natural food industry as a kid working in the stores learning the business. A dream to one day have a store of his own and that dream has come true with the purchase of Heath’s Natural Foods.
The Bennetts plan on keeping the store name the same, as Heath’s is a staple in the community. They want to continue growing the small business in a small town helping the community. Times sure are changing and more people are wanting to support local businesses.
The store offers the largest selection of supplements, organic produce and gourmet foods in the area. The deli and juice bar offer a variety of daily homemade foods in the hot bar, pizza, fresh salads, sandwiches, soups, fresh juices, wheat grass shots, smoothies, Acai, matcha, pitaya bowls, along with fresh made “grab and go” foods.
“New Smyrna Beach is a great community and we love being local business owners.”
INTERVIEW WITH NEW OWNER CHAD BENNETT:
Q: Was it the purchasing of the new business that brought you and your family to NSB or do you have history here?
A: I’ve been living here for over two years and we have been talking with the Heath’s about buying the business for over a year. I’d been wanting to get back into store ownership.
Q: What would you say is the most important thing Heath’s brings to our community?
A: Heath’s offers the largest selection of supplements, health and beauty products, and organic and non-GMO grocery items in the NSB area. We have great buying power and offer monthly discounts on everything in the store.
Q: What sets Heath’s apart from other health food stores in the area?
A: We have knowledgeable staff that can offer easy to follow vitamin and food programs to fit the customer’s needs.
Q: If someone is looking to make a healthy change in their life, but doesn’t know where to start, can your staff recommend and suggest the best steps to take to help your customers reach their goals?
A: Heath’s Natural Foods has knowledgeable staff on-site that customers can come in and talk with. At a regular market, you don’t get that personal customer service.
Q: What do you do to insure you are always purchasing the best products for your store?
A: We sell only organic and hydroponic vegetables in our produce area. We source from the best available local and organic companies throughout the United States.
Q: Over the years Heath’s has made some major changes, including adding an on-site kitchen to offer even more to their customers. What are some of the prepared meals you offer on a daily basis? Does the menu change or do you stay pretty consistent?
A: The menu changes on a daily basis for the prepared hot food bar. We have soup, sandwiches and side salads prepared and ready to go, or you can create your own sandwich, salad, pizza, smoothie and bowls as well.
Q: Your website says you offer organic wine and beer. What are some of the health benefits to switching to one of these beverages?
A: With organic products, there are no sulphites added to the wine.
Q: The original owners were constantly adapting and growing the business over the years. Do you and your family have any new ideas or plans for the future of Heath’s?
A: We plan to continue building on Heath’s good name in the community.