It all started with sushi. A craving for sushi, that is. We used to frequent a great Japanese restaurant when we lived on the North Shore. It was 1995, Ilene and I were new to Plymouth, and at the time there weren’t any sushi restaurants in the area. But, I already had sushi rice and wasabi, I could make some maki rolls myself if I could find some nori, the sheets of seaweed that are used to wrap the rice and fillings. I struck out at the local supermarkets and fared no better at the few gourmet shops listed in the local Yellow Pages. This was pre-Google.

I remembered that I found nori several years earlier in a health food store. There were two natural retailers, both owned by big chains, in the local mall. No nori, though. I had spent so much time and burned through so much gas that we could have just driven back to the North Shore and gone to our old haunt. But the phone book (really, how did we get anything done before the internet?) listed an independent health food store just over the Sagamore Bridge. I would take one last stab at finding the elusive sea vegetable. I ventured into the small, inviting store and there it was, nori! I always enjoyed poking around in health food stores, so I poked and found some other interesting items. Then, a few months later, that store closed.

I thought to myself, “I can’t be the only one looking for things like sea veggies, bulk spices, and “exotic” foods like jasmine rice. (I’m not making this up! It was not available in the local supermarkets back then!) And I was willing to drive all over the South Shore. Other people must be doing the same thing.” And now there was nothing from Hanover to Hyannis.

After several months of research and some financial alchemy, Healthy Appetites Natural Foods opened in May of 1996 on Main Street in Plymouth. Three years and many sleepless nights later, we moved to a our current location, a bigger place with better parking, albeit on a less travelled road. In 2002, Ilene left her successful corporate career and brought her considerable skills to the company. The store got busier. The road got busier. This idea, born from a sushi scavenger hunt, turned out pretty well. A decade later, there is no place we would rather be. We love our work, we hope that shows. Thank you for letting us serve you.