Located behind Biaggi’s on Neil Street, Natural Gourmet is a health food store that caters to people with dietary restrictions. Natural Gourmet is family owned and operated, employing only one non-family member, who has been with the store since it opened about 12 years ago.
“I think that’s the most unique thing about our store,” said owner Gay Amorasak. “People always ask us our opinion, and we know because we’ve tried it. Sometimes it’s not necessarily what they want to hear, but we’re honest. We take care of our people, and people trust our opinion usually.”
Store owner Gay Amorasak explains that their biggest customer niche comes in the form of people looking for gluten-free foods. “We have a whole gluten-free area,” explained Amorasak. “It’s a lot easier for our customers because it’s all sectioned off.” Natural Gourmet sells many surprisingly gluten-free frozen items that would normally require wheat, such as baguettes, French toast, chicken nuggets, and ravioli.
Although the store is smaller, there are several aisles with shelves stacked high containing endless types of flours, canned goods, cereals, and oils. “We do a lot of fair trade products. We always do organic if we can,” Amorasak said. The produce selection is small, and Amorasak explained that it’s “because the co-op does such a good job.” The store also has an entire aisle devoted to dietary supplements. “We have a pretty good deal on supplements,” said Amorasak.
The store has a small, mostly carryout deli in the back, though there are a few tables and chairs. The menu selection, however, is varied and there is a lot to choose from as it consists of Thai food, sandwiches, salads and soups. “We used to own a Thai restaurant in Springfield,” said Amorasak. “Any of the curries are a little spicier than in many Thai restaurants. We don’t really have mild dishes.” Amorasak suggested that people order a sandwich if they cannot handle spicier foods. To-go sandwiches are also available and include chips and fruit. “We like to take care of people,” said Amorasak. “You’ll feel like your mom packed it.”
The store website reflects a bit of the relaxed attitude and atmosphere you’ll encounter when visiting. While the site isn’t too developed, it’s nothing short of hilarious — it encourages store patrons to post “dramatic commentary” about the service and environment, very in-line with the honesty that Amorasak stands by in running her store. Feel free to check out Natural Gourmet and judge the “out of the box feel” yourself.
Items of interest:
» Olio Beato Olive Oil is imported through a New York company and sells for $22.99. It’s a
favorite of the store owner, and she said it always wins awards.
» Mussleman Curry Chicken from the deli is one of the more popular dishes and sells for $5.99
» “Cause You’re Special” Famous Pizza Crust Mix is gluten-free and runs $5.29 for 7.8 oz

About The Author

Related Posts