Business Spotlight: The Real Food Shoppe

A family-owned health food store in Plainfield is working to help your family live a healthy life that’s practical and affordable.

“We are passionate about it [healthy living] because we had to be. We were never into this kind of thing at all – eating healthy, taking supplements and using essential oils – but I think that’s what helps me relate to my customers,” said The Real Food Shoppe owner Tabatha Starr.

Starr decided her family needed to change their lifestyle after her 9-year-old daughter was born. Her daughter had some development delays and stomach problems and eventually developed severe skin allergies. “That’s when I realized what we were putting in her and on her were harmful,” she said.

Two ingredients you will never find in any of the products sold in The Real Food Shoppe are high fructose corn syrup or food dyes. “We want people to understand how food, environmental factors, and beauty products are affecting your body,” Starr said.

Starr is sympathetic to those who are concerned about the costs of healthy eating. “I always tell my customers, ‘you have to find your why.’ When you find your why, it makes it easier to take the time to prepare home cooked foods and eat healthier. In the beginning, it’s more expensive to eat healthier, but in the long run – for us – it’s been cheaper, but we also feel that we can pay now or pay later. Not putting the right things in your body can lead to many long term health problems, which over the years become very expensive. For us, food is our biggest expense, but we’re okay with that,” said Starr.

However, Starr makes sure to stock the store with foods that make sense for families on budgets and busy lifestyles. “I made sure to put items in the store you can afford to buy. We know families are busy and somedays all you can do is a can of vegetables or some Mac n cheese. We wanted to provide those items as well,” she said.

All the local products sold are chosen carefully and selected based on their integrity. We try to choose local products that fit our standards of quality ingredients as well as companies that are passionate about the integrity of our food system.

Starr said they are also actively looking to get an organic skin care and makeup line in the store.

The members of the Starr family are running the business. You can find Tabatha in store every day and you can often find the family of 4 behind the counter. Her husband, Aaron and kids stock the shelves, the girls also run the cash register and bag your groceries on the weekend.

The Real Food Shoppe is located at 208 E. U.S. 40 in Plainfield. Their hours are Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday.

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