MEET YOUR MERCHANT: A mantra of ‘no junk’
Phil DuBois uses the word “junk” a lot when talking about the products in his store – specifically, the lack of junk in those products.
For almost 50 years, DuBois has been running DuBois’ Health Center and Herb Shoppe. The wares stretch in an L shape through the store, which is packed with goods ranging from gluten-free baking supplies to herbal supplements to Native American incenses. They also carry cheese, mayonnaise, eggs – “store stuff” but still all-natural, he said.
“Everything is natural,” DuBois said. “We don’t have no preservatives, no junk. Everything is clean.”
He said all of his workers are educated enough to help customers navigate the store, though he was quick to point out that they don’t try to prescribe any of the supplements to customers.
“You might say we’re educators, teachers,” DuBois said. “We try to teach you a better way of living.”
His own education came about 10 years before he opened his store, when his wife made him read a book about natural health and “we changed our whole thing,” he said. He raised his six kids with natural foods, and memorabilia from their youth dots the store, including his daughter’s horse saddle from when she was a young girl.
Natural health is something that has taken off over the decades, he said . While some customers have been coming in since he first opened up, he said, the store is getting more all the time.
Trish Fanning, the store manager, said they’ve been seeing more people going for the natural supplements and medicines.
“Especially, older people are wanting to get off all the prescriptions their doctors give them,” she said.
She said she and her staff help people “on their new path,” whether by helping them navigate the sea of supplements or with raw foods. She said she has seen people come in for a sample and return just two hours later for the full bottle. And she’s heard other positive reports from customers.
“That’s what solidifies what you’re doing every day,” she said.