by Sally Mitani
Heidi and John Obeid may not seem like the most likely people to be starting a health food store: they've worked in car dealerships in Garden City for most of their lives. But Heidi developed food allergies about five years ago. "She became aware of the theory that you are what you eat," says her daughter Ashley Herzig, and concluded that it was mainly food additives that were making her miserable.
The family's Green Health franchise isn't an earthy-crunchy shop of bulk bins--the San Diego-based company's shops look more like a NASA pantry. Rows and rows of identical bright green boxes line the walls of the otherwise blindingly white shop in the Colonnade. The boxes contain dried fruits, veggies, trail mixes, and soups; the store also has small sections of pet treats and skin care products. Though the Obeids own the business, once it's up and running they will return to their Florida home, leaving Herzig to manage things here.
Herzig says the fruits and vegetables are dried with no additives at "a sterile facility in Mexico that's all white, and maintains 47 percent humidity. I've been there, and it's amazing." The packaging is also made at this enormous, futuristic-sounding edifice, and it's all biodegradable: the "cellophane" is made from potato and cornstarch. A few ounces of dried fruit--and some of the mixtures are pretty exotic, like mango and watermelon--costs $4.75. "But that started out as two pounds of fruit," says Herzig.
Green Health, 867 W. Eisenhower (Colonnade), 761-8816. Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. www.greenhealthstores.com
[Originally published in January, 2013.]
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