A herbalist is raising the health consciousness in his community with his one-stop natural food store.
Ambrosia Health Foods has been in East Flatbush for 30 years, selling natural products to locals pursuing a healthy lifestyle. The store’s Trinidadian owner, Roland Guy, carries everything including natural medicines, vitamins, and herbs for health. The shop has grown and expanded significantly, and is now giving their community more than healthy food, by providing health services such as eye-reading for internal health and programs, said the owner and manager.
“We sell natural organics and minerals, and we also do iridology and colonic therapy in our clinic,” said Guy, who prides himself on all-natural and chemical-free products.
“We sell nothing white in the store — no white rice and no white sugar because those are carcinogenic and cause illnesses — so we stay away from that white stuff.”
Guys said if he was not passionate about the health of his community he would have a different kind of business, and sell chemical-laden food. “If I wanted to do that I would open up a grocery store,” he said.
With a thriving business on Church Avenue, a popular commercial hub often filled with not-so-healthy food options, and one of the few businesses catering to natural living, Guy said he often notices customers who pass by his shop after leaving a fast-food place. But when he sees that he uses that opportunity to educate.
“I see it all the time, but I don’t want to be critical of what other people eat — I just say don’t eat too much fried food,” he said.
But what makes the business standout from other health stores is the variety of options available. Ambrosia Health Foods store sells just about anything, and health enthusiasts interested in going all-natural and learning on how to transition, can find everything including food such as rice, beans, and spices, drinkable blends for all organ functions, and literary education such as black history and “Back to Eden,” a go-to book for understanding herbal remedies.
“There’s a blend for everything and we sell very specific things to clean the liver and the kidney,” said Guy. “Books are also very important and we sell plenty of books on African history and religious books — we are very well rounded.”
Several programs are also run in the store to educate customers on incorporating herbs into their diets. Grenadian herbalist, Patrick Delves, comes to United States mainly to give lectures and conduct programs at Ambrosia Health Foods, Guy said.
At 73 years old, Guy describes himself as being in good health. Having studied herbology and naturopathy, Guy who is also a Vietnam war hero who served as a medic in the United States Army, has dedicated most of his life learning and sharing his knowledge on the natural living, starting a smaller shop in the late 80s. He now runs it with his son, who now manages most of the tasks, but he has big plans in store.
“I’m relaxing and my son is in charge now,” he said. “But we are thinking of doing a factory and doing different things with the same herbs, tea, and working on making our own tonics. We’ve always discussed these things and my son is going to be in charge of that.”