Guest Post: ‘A Big Dose of Joy:’ The Healthy Living

We were recently featured in the following article on Vermont State Homes, check out the original article and website here.

With no business experience, Katy Lesser bought a Burlington storefront in 1986 and opened a health food store. “I had a young family and I was interested in good, clean, simple foods as opposed to the highly processed, sugar-laden stuff I found at the supermarkets,” she explains.

Thirty years ago, she says, the health food scene was much different. “Little health food stores (as they were called way back in the early 80’s) were dark, strange places filled with products no one understood.” Today, tofu and whole grains aren’t just for hippies; big brands like Whole Foods and even average supermarkets carry a wide array of health products.

With this increased accessibility to healthy food and natural products, it’s a lot harder to stand out. Marketing Director Nicole Driscoll tells us that Healthy Living distinguishes itself with a commitment to local producers. Partnerships with more than 100 local farms in northern Vermont provide the market’s meat, produce, eggs, cheese, and dairy products.

Healthy Living offers just about anything you could need for a healthy lifestyle, from natural shampoo to local cheese, vitamins, fresh seafood, and even housewares. The café area includes a salad bar, espresso and juice bar, sandwiches and soups, and a hot bar that features a full range of dishes prepared from scratch.

Healthy Living also started a community Learning Center (pictured above), which offers hands-on cooking classes, demonstrations, and lectures for people of all ages who are interested in food. Kids can take a cooking class to learn how to make Vegan Coconut Lime Cupcakes or Greek Veggie Burgers. You can even learn to make your own laundry detergent! Additionally, Healthy Living’s community outreach program supports more than 150 local, small non-profit organizations every year.

Ultimately, says Lesser, the Healthy Living & Cafe aims to make people happier through health: “A healthy lifestyle includes a great, clean, delicious diet, a level of activity that feels right, getting out into the beautiful outdoors, being with friends and family, and a big dose of JOY! “