When Denise Cantwell and Matthew Forristall opted to close Healthy Choices on Topsail Road earlier this year, it left a gap in the natural health and wellness retail store market.
“There was a demand and people were really upset that they were closed,” says Leah Tracey, who worked at the shop for five years, during which time she graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition as a holistic nutritionist.
“I've known a lot of them for years and a lot of them wanted something. They didn't want to lose what they had in the area.”
Recognizing an opportunity to capitalize on an existing and eager customer base, Tracey took the plunge and is launching her own retail operation called the Lemon and Lime Health Shoppe, located two doors up from the old Healthy Choices location in Waterford Valley Mall at 655 Topsail Rd.
“It's a lot of natural supplements,” says Tracey, 25. “Natural foods, gluten-free options, ketogenic options, vegan options … bars, natural pet supplements and pet snacks, toothpaste, and beauty products like skin care and shampoo.”
Similar stores downtown and in the city’s east end offer many of the same products, but Tracey hopes to set herself apart from the competition by offering products designed for infants and children.
“It’ll constantly grow, but I’m going to start with multivitamins for kids and pro-biotics.”
Using her training, Tracey hopes to engage in some customer education, and there are plans to have occasional special in-store events where professionals such as dieticians, chiropractors or homeopaths come in to offer educational sessions.
Tracey has gone through Metro Business Opportunities for funding, but she’s also benefiting from some assistance through her mother, Judy Tracey, who has operated a successful interior decorating, drapery and seamstress business for more than 20 years.
“She's been really good at helping me trying to figure out things and how to go about this and that.”
Her father, Gary Tracey, isn’t without influence as well. As a former Mr. Newfoundland bodybuilding competitor, he helped inspire his daughter to explore health and nutrition.
The Lemon and Lime Health Shoppe is awaiting the final permits from the city, its first product orders and some shelving. The plan is to open by the end of August.