New proprietors embrace store’s past

Kelly's Health Shop owners place emphasis on health while honouring business legacy

Kelly's Health Shop has evolved in many ways since opening in 1975. Previously known as Kelly's Specialty Shop, the business changed hands in September for only the second time after serving Powell River area customers for more than four decades.

Kelly’s carries a full array of supplements and herbs, personal care products, health food, beer and wine supplies and homeopathic items. Owner/manager Nicole Rumley, who purchased the business with her husband Dan Forrest, changed the name to better reflect what the store has to offer.

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Previous owners Reg and Stella Gillies had owned the store since 1989 after buying it from the original owners.

“Reg and Stella cared a lot about their business and the transitioning; the fact that we are very rooted in the community and have a great interest in health and wellness was really important to them,” says Nicole.

Kelly’s is named after original owner James Mckenzie, whose nickname was Kelly. Mckenzie took over Sands Health Food Store, which operated on Joyce Avenue next to the medical clinic.

Sands was owned and run by Percy Sands from the late 1960s to early 1970s; Mckenzie took over when Percy’s health deteriorated and changed the name in 1975. The store always carried vitamins and unique things that interested its owner, such as Murchie’s Tea, Laura Secord chocolate, imported candies and baby-bunny peanuts. Beer and wine-making supplies also date back to store’s early days.

When Mckenzie passed away in 1980, his wife Anne ran the store with the help of their son Andrew. Stella worked at the store for approximately eight years prior to the Gillies’ purchasing the business.

“Kelly’s has been a long-standing store in our community; the history is quite interesting,” says Nicole, who, like her husband, was born and raised in Powell River.

The original scales used to weigh the candies and peanuts are still in the store.

All employees stayed on as the business changed hands, making the transition smooth for the new owners.

“We have knowledgeable employees who have been here for a long time; we are really grateful for them,” says Nicole.

An important focus moving forward is keeping staff educated and updated on new trends in the health and wellness industry. One of the reasons customers come in is for the staff's knowledge base, which increased with the recent addition of registered holistic nutritionist Lisa Marie Bhattacharya, who works in the store regularly and is also available for one-on-one consulting.

Kelly’s offers what customers seek to attain optimal health, according to the owner.

“There is an awakening in our society for people to take more responsibility for their own health,” says Nicole. “They are realizing our food is filled with ingredients toxic to our bodies, and that there are alternatives to pharmaceuticals and natural ways to reset the body to health.”

Since New Year’s resolutions include health goals for most people, January is a great month to focus on health.

“We are here to help them achieve those goals; health is the greatest asset we can have in life,” says Nicole.

With that in mind, customers are invited to join the following in-store mini seminars: Diet and Supplement Intake Based on Lab Results, Michael Reierson, ND, from 1-2 pm on January 7; Learn to Cleanse and Detoxify Efficiently, Lisa Marie Bhattacharya, RHN, from 1-2 pm on January 14; and 10 Strategies for a Great Night’s Sleep, Mara Jones, DNM, from 1-2 pm on January 21.

RSVP to or call 604.485.5550. Limited seating is available.

Kelly’s Health Shop is open from 9:30 am-5:30 pm Monday to Saturday at 4706 Marine Avenue. Beginning in January, the store will also be open from 10 am-4 pm on Sundays.

Copyright © 2018 Powell River Peak

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