They say that word of mouth is the best advertising. Signs also come in handy sometime too. Strollers walking down Lonsdale recently may have bumped into a temporary display under an awning on the southwest corner of 16th. It was a weekend of a big storm and the awning looked like it might blow away in the wind. Shivering in the cold and damp were two young ladies attempting to promote nutritional beverages.

Passersby stopped and had a sip. Everybody loves a free sample. As it turned out, the promotion was a great idea, because it was meant to advertise a new vitamin/nutritional beverage store located just down the block on 16th where you would never find it unless you knew it was there. Vitasave has been selling online for quite some time but their first bricks and mortar store just opened at 115 West 16th.

A quick visit reveals Vitasave is not just a store. There’s a counter where a Smooth Operator will mix and blend drinks for you, so it’s part café. Staff emphasize it’s not just a store, it’s a school too. That is, the staff is happy to teach you what’s on the shelves, how to use what’s on the shelves, and explain why you should be interested. So, what is on the shelves anyway?

A quick look around reveals a wide variety of health-related products. First, of course, are the vitamins and supplements and herbal items.  Astragalus? Curcumin? Echinacia? Milk thistle? Acai Berry? Grape seed? Glutahione? What does this stuff do? You need to ask. In the next aisle you’ll find sports and fitness products. There are protein powders and fat burners (probably very popular) and mass gainers (sounds ominous), glutamine supplements…

There’s an entire line of diet and weight loss products, like ephedrine and carb blockers.  The body care aisle doesn’t require a translator. Here’s you’ll find hair, skin, bath, aromatherapy, sunscreens, the works.  It’’ not a grocery store but you’ll find food items for specialty diets, healthy snacks, teas, beans, legumes and something called “superfoods” which needs looking into.  The household section contains Nellie Nellies all natural laundry soap that looks so good you could drink it, Baby Boo Happy Baby Diaper Rash Cream (enough said), Dr. Bonners Liquid Tea Tree soap and on it goes.

Finally, there’s an aisle for ‘conditioners’ like “men’s libido’ including New Roots Horny Goat Weed in the handy 500 mg bottle, a bargain at $39.95 per bottle,  proving that not everyone hates weeds. If you forget what you came in to buy, ask the staff about phosphatidylserine to help improve brain and cognitive function. It’s hard to say exactly what it does, but it sure is hard to spell.

By staff reporter


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