Distributor profile: Haslemere Health Foods

Positive News chats to one of its distributors, Dominic Upton, from the award-winning Haslemere Health Foods in Surrey

Name: Haslemere Health Foods Ltd
Location: 71-73 Wey Hill, Haslemere, Surrey
Contact: 01428 658294
Proprietor: Dominic Upton

How did you come to own a health food shop?

My father was a homeopath and my whole life has revolved around healing. I worked for some years both at Ainsworths homeopathic pharmacy and Neal’s Yard apothecary in London and completed a course in homeopathy in Devon. 16 years ago, I discovered my local health food shop was up for sale and wanting to breathe new life into it, I resolved to create the perfect health food store, the one in which I would most wish to shop.

Tell us about your shop

We wanted customers to feel drawn by the promise of a warm, bright and friendly atmosphere entirely devoted to natural and health food products. Sympathetic lighting, natural colours and natural materials help give the shop a really welcoming feel.

Education plays a central role here, with experienced and knowledgeable staff on hand to help customers through the maze of often misguided information available online and in the media. My own background enables me personally to offer a knowledge-based framework of help and advice.

How are you able to involve the local community in the shop?

As well as promoting and selling local food – in particular, the shop stocks delicious organic bread from St Mary’s Bakery nearby – Haslemere Health Foods takes part in community events. At the annual Food Festival we organise a day called Food is Medicine. The shop also belongs to a local loyalty scheme, carries out a weekly delivery service of organic fruit and veg boxes and has won two local business awards in recent years, including Fabulous Food Outlet, which has given the shop a terrific boost within the community.

How long have you been a distributor for Positive News?

I’ve been a distributor of the newspaper for 14 of the 16 years I’ve been trading here and started distributing after meeting its founder, Shauna Crockett Burrows, at the house of a mutual friend. I like the new layout of the newspaper very much – it’s clear and user-friendly.

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