Berlin Natural Bakery, July 10, 2010
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From mining engineer, to accountant, to health food store owner, Gloria Novak has stood by her husband, Joe, in all of his endeavors. When Joe changed careers and started his own accounting business, Gloria helped him out, but found that accounting in general was somewhat “boring.” Joe’s first account was Queen’s Nutritional Products, a successful health food store in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The owners, whose name was Queen, had started the business because of the wife’s poor health; they were looking for alternative ways to help her. Over the years, as Joe built a relationship with the owner, he became interested in the different health foods and supplements that Queens carried. “In 1979, when the Queens’ retired,” said Gloria, “we had a chance to buy the store and of course, the rest is history!”
Today, at ages 75 and 88 respectively, Gloria and Joe still work every day – a living testament to the healthy lifestyle they adopted years ago. They are joined by their son, Joe Jr., and his wife, Lori Sue, to make their success truly a family affair.
Located at 1450 Pennsylvania Avenue in Allentown, Queens was a thriving business when Gloria and Joe purchased it, but the couple was not content with the “status quo.” They proceeded to open not one, but four more stores! “Eventually, we sold them, but it was inspiring to create that… expansion,” remembers Gloria. Three of the stores, located in Emmaus, Lebanon, and Souderton, Pennsylvania, are still open, each under new management. What an impressive tribute to Gloria and Joe Novak at the parent store.
Another tribute to Gloria and Joe which epitomizes the fundamentals of Queen’s, is the fact that just six out of their 15 employees have been with the company for a collective total of 115 years! Kevin Achey, 35 years, Joe Novak, Jr., 31 years, Peg Sabella, 19 years, Barbara Fluck, 12 years, Diana Pearson, 10 years, and Lori Sue Novak, 8 years. These loyal employees are quite obviously considered “family” even though not all of them possess the surname Novak.
A wholesale business specializing in nuts and dried fruits operated expertly by Joe Novak, Jr., is another family undertaking. Some of the varieties of nuts are roasted right on the premises – mouthwatering! – and the driver delivers to New Jersey; Lancaster, PA and other nearby destinations. The business is growing more and more popular. “Today it is largely organic,” explains Joe Jr., “it really compliments our retail business.” You can choose from a wonderful assortment of nuts and fruits, such as organic dried mulberries, organic multi-colored popcorn and roasted cashews. Gloria laughs, “The smell of roasting nuts can’t be beat!”
Be sure to stop in today to complete your grocery list with a great selection of organic produce, grass fed beef, free range chicken, and of course, Berlin Natural Bakery breads. The homeopathic remedies and vitamins section at Queen’s Nutritional Products is likely the largest selection in the area. Don’t forget your health and beauty items such as natural soaps, shampoos and make-up.
In total, Queen’s Nutritional Products has been serving the community for nearly forty years, thirty-one of those years under the expertise, care and love of Gloria and Joe Novak. When asked what she loves most about running her own natural health store, Gloria replied, “I love the people we meet: people committed to living healthier lives. It’s very rewarding to be a part of helping people get their health back. They come in looking for alternatives to traditional protocol and come back to tell us how well the products work.”
At Queen’s Nutritional Products, they go out of their way to serve their customers with the best quality products at the best possible price. A local landmark, and an asset to the community, the store has represented health and wellness through nutrition and education for many years. Thank you, Gloria and Joe Novak, wishing you continued success at the “healthy place to shop.”