Sandwiched between the 40th Street and 46th Street subway stations in Sunnyside, Queens is a tiny little health food store that you might walk right past if you weren't looking for it.
Go Natural Health Foods and Juice Bar is a tiny, charming health foods store that sits right on the busy Queens Boulevard. With the flashy Yogurberry and Dunkin Donuts claiming most of the passerby on this street, it's a refreshing change to the numerous fast food options dominating the neighborhood.
Family owned and incredibly friendly, the staff at Go Natural typically consist of an older gentleman (who's often in the back room) and a younger woman who works the front "juice" counter. I've ventured in numerous times looking for specialty health items that I've been unable to find even in more health conscious supermarkets, and I've always left with a smile on my face.
The last time I stopped in it was for whey protein powder, a staple in my smoothie concoctions, and for a natural remedy for the nagging cough I had. The store isn't much bigger than my bedroom, though it's organized far better, and I had no problem finding the protein powder, but I couldn't reach it. I stood there looking at it and waiting for the girl at the counter to finishing ringing up another customer when the other employee approached me and asked if I needed help.
I told him what I was looking for and as he gave me the product, as well as offering me a plethora of other options, he began joking around with me, telling me when I asked for the vanilla favored powder that I didn't strike him as a vanilla-type girl, that my smile certainly indicated otherwise.
In a world where customer service has gone by the wayside, where you often have to hunt to find healthy options for food and healing, this small, family-run business is a true gem in the community.
Offering a small selection of finely picked organic produce and groceries, delicious smoothies and freshly blended juices, as well as homeopathic health supplements and remedies, they are truly a life-saver for the health conscious folk in the neighborhood.
While the prices are steep, they aren't unreasonable, and frankly aren't any different than the prices at a store like Whole Foods. The difference is the customer service, the convenience of location and the fact that you have the opportunity to support a small, family-run business.
Whether you need a bottle of Echinacea to fight off a cold, or want to take home a homemade black bean burger and smoothie, this little health food store in the heart of Sunnyside offers healing for body and mind.