- Tell us a bit about yourself and Nelson Bay Health Foods
Nelson Bay Health Foods has provided the Port Stephens community with natural health alternatives for more than 30 years.
As stockists of the region’s largest range of high-quality herbal and dietary supplements, we support our customers through a range of health conditions. These vary from anxiety, menopause, and gut health to vitamin deficiencies, immune support, and children’s health, just to name a few.
Our in-store herbal dispensary is run by store owner and qualified Medical Herbalist, Tanya Dobson, and is unique to Port Stephens. In a private clinic setting, Tanya offers natural support to her patients through customised herbal tonics, herbal teas, supplements, and nutrition and lifestyle advice. She takes a whole system approach to health, addressing the whole body and lifestyle, not just the symptoms.
Our store is stocked full of organic whole foods for people with special dietary requirements and anyone who appreciates good quality food. And for those wanting to live a low-tox life we offer a broad range of eco-friendly products for the home along with natural skin-care and make-up.
We have an extensive range of house-blended organic herbal and green and black teas, that can be used medicinally or simply because they taste great.
At the front of the store is Tonic, our organic takeaway bar featuring organic and sustainably roasted coffee, house-blended organic teas, elixirs, smoothies, and delicious vegan treats. Our menu is unique to the area, not only catering to dietary options but offering drinks and treats not found anywhere else in the area.
Our mission is to help our community to achieve their health and wellbeing goals as naturally as possible.
- What are the five most important questions customers ask about healthy eating?
- I want to start eating better foods and increase my energy, where do I start?
- Our approach is to keep it simple and make healthy eating a part of your every day routine. The next thing we recommend to our customers is making simple swaps in their diet such as replacing carbohydrate heavy lunches with an easy salad and a serve of clean protein and good fats. And because we all need a little sweetness in our life, find healthier alternatives for your favourite treats like refined-sugar free dark chocolate instead of a milk chocolate bar, or fruit and plain yoghurt instead of ice-cream after dinner. Nutrition can be so easy and it’s one of our favourite things to help people with on their well-being journey.
- I struggle with inflammation in my body, could it be the foods I am eating?
- Highly processed foods, sugar and alcohol are common triggers for inflammation in the body. But sometimes it can be foods you least suspect. That’s where our food intolerance test can help you to identify the foods your body can’t tolerate. We have some amazing herbs, supplements and oils that can help calm the inflammation whilst you are working through the elimination process.
- I’ve just been diagnosed as coeliac and I’m worried that all gluten-free food is going to taste like cardboard and I’ll never enjoy eating again.
- Gluten-free foods have come a long way over the last 20 years. From breakfast cereals to savoury snacks to sweet treats, we stock a large range of gluten-free foods that are full of flavour and nutrition. We promise you will still love eating!
- I’ve started to have breakouts in my skin, do you think it is something I am eating?
- Acne and skin issues can definitely be related to the foods we eat, particularly if you are eating processed foods. But skin issues can be caused by a number of different things from stress, hormones and medications. A chat with our experienced staff can help you get to the bottom of skin issues.
- What can I do about reflux?
- Slippery elm is a wonderful herb many of our customers have found relief from reflux with. But to dig deeper and find the source of the reflux we recommend a process of elimination from inflammatory foods like excess sugar and processed foods. If you want to know more we have an acid/alkaline food chart which is great for swapping out reflux reactive foods.
- Did you pivot your businesses during covid and if so have you kept these new ways now?
In June 2021 we launched our first online store. Twelve months in the making, the online store features our most popular products along with an online booking system for the herbal clinic. Both systems have been very successful in helping us to streamline our processes.
The online store was incredibly timely for onset of the pandemic. We were able to continue to support our customers when they were unable to visit us in person.
- What do you love about being part of the business community in Port Stephens and why did you choose to be a member of BPS?
I love supporting other businesses by buying their products or services and talking to other business owners about different ideas to keep moving forward. It is also good to talk to the other owners about when times are hard to know that you are not alone.
- What do you like to do on your days off?
We live in one of the most beautiful areas of Australia so I make a point of not taking it for granted and get out and about in nature as much I can.
I go to the beach, take bush walks and I also love lap swimming – you will find me at the local pool or out in the ocean several times a week.
My family time is very important to me so we try to get out on our boat when we can or head out to one of the many restaurants for dinner or breakfast.
- Shout out to your favourite Port Stephens businesses: cafes, shops, services, activities
With Tonic health bar being our latest creation and addition to the shop, I have to say our organic, sustainably roasted coffee and vegan treats are my favourite! And I’m not bias at all!
But we genuinely love all the local businesses, and serve many of the surrounding business owners on a daily basis. Just like the rest of our customers they come to us for support with their health needs, to shop their favourite products and try out a new vegan treat or coffee.