Avalon Nutrition has called Fayetteville home since 1993. Betty Morris and her husband took over running the store in 1997. For an artist and an accountant, running a health food store might seem like a bit of a leap—and Betty admits it was! But the two dived in head first.
Twenty years later they continue to serve the community with their passion for providing top quality supplements, vitamins, and…pottery? Well Betty is an artist, after all. What did you expect?
Was there a learning curve taking over a health store?
“It was a pretty big learning curve. Although you can read so much, especially now, you’ve got anything at your fingertips. And you can learn a lot from the customers that come in as far as what things are, what works for them, what they like. It’s definitely a customer service oriented business.”
So they kind of dictate what you’re going to have in stock?
“Ya they do. You do kind of have to stay on your toes because there’s new things and fads coming out all the time. But the tried and true things, they’ve worked for a long time so that’s really the bulk of what we carry.”
What’s been the most interesting thing you’ve learned since you took over?
“That most people can get a better handle on their health by paying attention to what they do, their activity level, and what they put into their bodies. Everything we have really is just food, plants and minerals and people can benefit greatly from improving that aspect of their lives.”
Are you able to help educate people in that area?
“I’m definitely not a doctor, and I say that right up front. But I use a lot of things myself and have a lot of customers that have used things that have been very beneficial for them, so I can definitely make recommendations as to what has worked for me or people that I know well. I can also help them find things in general that have been around forever and have a good, well-documented track record.”
What is the benefit of shopping with you versus a major grocery or chain store?
“There’s a huge difference! That has been and is my job: to make sure the products I have in here come from quality companies who back their products with scientific research and quality control. And all of them [that we sell here] do.
Independent labs have done studies where they’ve bought some things from all different kinds of people and stores, I won’t even say which stores, and they studied the ingredients. What was being sold as “gingko,” didn’t have a shred of gingko in it. That’s not going to happen here.
So that’s my job, to make sure that our products are all from reputable companies who know what they’re doing and take it seriously, and are not just out to sell a bottle of vitamins. The customer service aspect of that, that’s huge.”
Striving for great customer service seems to be a common theme among local businesses. Why is that such an important aspect?
“Well, it’s a huge thing because it’s kind of going away in that you can’t always find that one-on-one personal aspect everywhere in this day and age.
It’s kind of like I’m making a promise to my customers, that this is a good quality supplement, I guarantee it. The customer service aspect of that is that they have to learn how to trust me to be telling the truth and to only carry quality things, and to strive conscientiously to follow through. If I say I’m going to do my best to get it in in a week, then I’m going to do my best to get it in a week.”
Do you tend to have a lot of repeat customers?
“Oh sure, in fact I know most of them by name now. 20 years is a long time, and we always get new customers but most have been coming in for a while because we really do our best to give them good honest customer service, and be honest and stand behind our stuff. That’s important.”
What would someone who’s never visited Avalon Nutrition be surprised to know?
“Well if they haven’t ever been in here, I think they would be surprised at the mix. I have a broad mix of supplements and all kinds of things for different needs, and I have a good selection of pottery too! I got my degree in art, so I make and sell pottery here at the store, too, so that’s different. It’s a combination of vitamins, minerals, and pottery!”
Bottom line, Betty believes YOU + your health matter, and a trip to Avalon Nutrition will prove it! Before you go, find great deals and earn perks with Towny – the best way to explore Northwest Arkansas, choose local, and get rewarded for doing so! You can browse Towny online or on the mobile app.