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For The Health Of It - Celebrating 18 Years & Counting!

March 10, 2013 by Marla Burns

For the Health of It in Blue Mountain Beach is one of SoWal's oldest businesses and a local favorite. It’s a natural food grocery, massage therapy clinic, and fresh juice and smoothie bar. The owners and staff go above and beyond. They know many of their customers well and treat everyone like family.

Owners Ed Berry and Rachel Morgan came up with the idea of opening a health food store when they found it difficult to find the healthy, organic products they liked. They grew weary of driving long distances in order to maintain their healthy lifestyle, so For the Health of It was born.

“Our store is here to provide for the individual as well as the community, and to make it a great shopping experience”, says Ed. “We’ll do special orders, and if we don’t stock something that you want to see, we’re open to suggestions, and that’s our best way to expand.”

Ed and Rachel take great pride in having a highly educated and trained staff working with them for many years. Nutrition and supplement ideas change constantly and For the Health of It strives to stay ahead of the game with continuing education. They have a large, ever-expanding selection of supplements and natural products.

Peter Lovecchio is the store’s manager, and has been in the grocery business for over 30 years. He has worked at the store for over 13 years and has a wealth of knowledge about the business. With extraordinary customer service, the shop has been very successful and has expanded to now include nine store employees.

Ed refers to his wife Rachel as “the brains of the bunch”, and as the business has grown, she has immersed herself in studying, going to seminars and continuing education of nutrition and supplementation. People come from great distances to talk with Rachel and get her advice. I have taken advantage of that knowledge myself many times over the years.

Another great source of pride for Ed and Rachel is their beautiful produce selection. They have very high standards and have carefully selected the finest products from local and regional growers. The preferred source of the store’s products is smaller, mom and pop providers as opposed to large distributors.

They personally visit the farms for site tours to ensure all products meet or exceed their standards. Because the store has clientele that shop with them for specific health reasons, whether they are cancer patients or have food sensitivities for example, Ed and Rachel assure their products are organic, with no pesticides or chemicals used.

Ed states, “I can personally say with confidence that our organic produce is the best in Northwest Florida.”

The store also carries certified organic, grass-fed meats from Hastings Farms, a small family owned farm in Bay Minette, Alabama. The cattle are grass-fed from start to finish, never any grains introduced into their diets and the meat is of exceptional quality.

Looking for a great massage? For The Health Of It has seven highly-trained massage therapists, with four relaxing treatment rooms.

“We are the area’s oldest established clinic, but we still offer the best rates, and our staff is known as the best in the area,” Ed says proudly.

To celebrate 18 years in business, the store will soon undergo a facelift with the planned completion by their anniversary date of April 8th. The plan will include rebranding with a new logo, a name change to reflect the neighborhood grocery feel (For the Health of It Neighborhood Grocery), remodeling with bright colors and nice artwork.

“We will become almost like an old fashioned, with a modern twist, grocery store. We want everybody to feel comfortable shopping in our store and we take pride in knowing our customers by their first names,” Ed says.

Experience the charming, hometown feel of South Walton’s healthy, favorite neighborhood grocery and shop with confidence that your purchases are the best the area has to offer.

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Marla Burns

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