The owners of an East Midlands-based health testing company is set to offer a face-to-face advice service on the high street after purchasing its first retail outlet.
Healthy Stuff Online Ltd, based in Castle Donington, operates a worldwide testing service for people looking for insights on their health, including food allergies and intolerances.
It has now purchased a health food shop in Knaresborough, near Harrogate, which has been serving customers for more than 30 years.
Staff at the branch, who have all been retained, will now receive training to help customers take the range of Healthy Stuff tests in an on-site consulting room, which will be created later this year.
And its array of self-administered tests will be available to buy in store to complement the existing range of health supplements and well-being products which are already available to purchase.
While the historic building has undergone a refurbishment programme it still sells its complete range of health and wellbeing products, as well as its popular pick and mix loose tea range.
Healthy Stuff chairman Jason Wootton said: “We are absolutely delighted to be working with the team at Natural Choice which has been supporting the people of Knaresborough with their health and wellbeing for decades.
“We intend to support the company’s existing offering completely, but believe we can enhance the customer experience through our testing so they can gain valuable insights into which products will help them improve their health.
“Our tests, which are clinically proven and very similar to those used by medical professionals, are in heavy demand, but we want to go one better and help the NHS by inviting people into our new store to take a test as part of a wrap-around service involving face-to-face consultation and access to health and well-being products.
“We are thoroughly enjoying working alongside the staff at the store and we are learning more every day about this exciting market, which will be used to expand the group and develop further offerings to our current clients and partners.”
It is the first time Healthy Stuff has entered the high street, but it has plans to open several stores throughout the UK during 2024.
The company is making the move into bricks and mortar after doubling in size over the last year, thanks to a huge increase in demand for its hair and finger-prick blood sample tests from people taking investigations into their medical symptoms into their own hands.
The change in behaviour has been prompted by delays in seeing their GPs and people’s awareness of the ease and convenience of home testing following the widespread use of lateral flow tests during COVID.