It’s been just over five years since husband-and-wife team Phil and Nancy Valenti took over Go Natural Health Foods & Juice Bar, Sunnyside’s local health food store. “We opened right in the middle of the economic crash,” said Phil, but they have figured out how to keep afloat during tough times, while adding their popular prepared foods as well as an organic produce section.
The Valentis bought the business from the previous owner, Maria Garvey, who operated Go Natural for nearly 20 years. “She was a pioneer in the health food business,” Phil told us. “She was a single mom with four kids, and such a kind woman.” As regular customers of the business, the Valentis knew what the loyal clientele were looking for. No strangers to operating local businesses, the Valentis first owned a clothing store on Greenpoint Avenue called Nancy’s, and then the Curves on Queens Boulevard.
Now, Nancy’s prepared foods have become famous in the neighborhood – from quinoa salads to minestrone soup and veggie sausage and peppers – Go Natural now offers customers plenty of healthy options ready to eat. Their bulk food section in the back offers all the staples, and it’s a great place to stock up on your chia seeds! Any profile on Go Natural would be incomplete without getting to the heart of the matter – the juice. They use all organic produce to concoct their delicious fresh juices and smoothies. Curious about juicing? Phil can provide advice and share his success losing 25 pounds in three months through juicing.
While Phil grew up in Long Island City, he and Nancy now call Sunnyside home. “What’s not to love about Sunnyside?” asked Phil. “We have great restaurants, a wonderful mix of people – this neighborhood is really starting to happen in a big way.” We couldn’t agree more!
Come visit Phil and Nancy at the Taste of Sunnyside on May 20 and try some of their delicious prepared foods. Can’t wait until May? Stop by Go Natural in person, and “like” their Facebook page in the meantime.
Photo: Owner Phil Valenti pictured with employee Amanda Lopez