The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 7, 2013

Jo Ellis: Carthage shop owner planning grand opening

CARTHAGE, Mo. — As a part-time photographer and busy mother of two daughters, Tiffany Malcolm would buy her health supplements from Marianne Willis at Oak Street Health and Herbs. The two became good friends, and Malcolm would occasionally fill in at the store, giving Marianne some time off.

Eventually, Marianne asked Tiffany if she would like to buy the store. “I said no,” Tiffany said, “but somehow I ended up buying it. Since then, it’s really become my passion. It’s definitely been more interesting than I thought it would be.”

Tiffany has taken the business a step further by relocating to a larger building in the heart of south Carthage. She changed the name of the business to Oak Street Natural Market, even though it’s located on Garrison Avenue, across from the former Howard Chevrolet dealership.

“I wanted to keep (Oak Street) in the name to honor Marianne, who had the business for 11 years, and because customers are familiar with it,” Tiffany said.

A larger retail space allows her to add bulk products, a produce cooler and new inventory to the shelves. “We are going to have locally sourced produce and package bulk items ourselves, things like tea, rice, dried beans, oats, grains and seeds, so (customers) can buy it cheaper.”

She said a lot of people who have to eat gluten-free diets need to buy several types of flours in small quantities, and bulk products will allow them to do that cost-effectively.

She bought the store with the intention of putting in a kitchen so she could make smoothies and serve other packaged or prepared health treats. The age of the Oak Street building and its space restrictions prevented her from doing that. Now, however, as soon as she completes an upstairs office, she will focus on a kitchen and a small seating area where she can serve the smoothies.

“Everything I buy, I personally research the company,” she said. “My customers get top-quality products with no GMOs or things full of fillers.”

 The companies she works with also test their products as to strength and content. “It gives customers more confidence,” she said.

The attractive building was remodeled almost from the ground up. She said only a concrete floor and three walls were left standing before reconstruction began. She shares the building with Life Choices. Although the building faces Garrison Street, the entrance and parking are in the back.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Tiffany has a goal of Aug. 2-3 for a grand opening.

Personally, I love the raw honey that Oak Street Natural Market carries. And if Tiffany is an example of her products, I better buy some of those supplements, too. Her youthful appearance and trim figure belie the fact that she has a new grandson.

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