OGDENSBURG — “You name a problem, and God’s created an herb to help that problem.” These words embody the beliefs and business of Bing W. Thomas, owner of The Healthy Way Massena.
In a few weeks, city residents will be greeted with the second location of his health food enterprise, which seeks to provide a variety of edible products along with nutritional advice in an effort to improve the health and wellness of its customers.
Though the store was previously expected to open its doors next Monday, the schedule has been pushed back.
“I’m hoping within the second or third week of July,” Mr. Thomas said.
The new location, which will be called The Healthy Way Ogdensburg, will create four new jobs. It will be larger than the Massena location, at a total of 3,000 square feet.
Mr. Thomas said he decided to open a second location in Ogdensburg because he felt the city has no store of that kind, unlike other towns such as Massena and Potsdam.
Like its sister store, The Healthy Way Ogdensburg will serve both American and Canadian customers. The Healthy Way’s Canadian customers say there’s nothing like it in Ottawa, causing them to cross the border to buy what they cannot buy at home, Mr. Thomas said.
“Over one third of my customers are Canadian,” he said.
The new store will have one wall completely dedicated to bulk products, where customers can purchase medicinal herbs, teas, spices and other items by the ounce or pound. They will be displayed in more than 350 half-gallon mason jars.
“We call it the wall,” Mr. Thomas said.
The store also will offer a large line of natural supplements, protein shakes and gluten-free products.
The Healthy Way seeks to provide nutritional approaches to common problems, suggesting remedies such as juniper berries for kidney stones, corn silk tea for bed-wetting and celery for heartburn.
“We are nutritional; it’s just that simple,” Mr. Thomas said.
Although the new store will not carry produce, Mr. Thomas is planning to host local growers at the store to fill that need.
Opening the new store was possible in part because of current key employees of The Healthy Way and their accumulated knowledge, Mr. Thomas said. Mike Bronson, manager of The Healthy Way Massena, is computer savvy, and will set up and program the computer systems for the Ogdensburg location.
Herbalist Lisa Avery, who will manage the new store, works with customers to create personalized nutritional programs.
Mr. Thomas was careful to point out that he and his employees are not health care professionals.
“We’re not doctors,” he said, “We don’t treat disease; we help to strengthen the body.”
The store will be at 1116 Champlain St., across from Tim Hortons.