MAYFIELD, Ohio — It's a new concept looking for a better way to connect health and wellness to the food you purchase every day.
"We're a food store, and we've always wanted to educate our people about food," Jeff Heinen, co-owner of Heinen's Fine Foods, says.
For more than 90 years, Heinen's has been a local staple for all things food, but now they're hoping to add customized health in the form of a personalized nutrition center right inside their Mayfield Village grocery store.
"Why can't a grocery store be the pharmacy of the future?" Heinen asks. "So, we started down this path to try and help educate our customers about food and health and how they're connected."
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Shoppers can go into the personalized nutrition center and get a panel that tests your blood and urine. The results are broken down into three tracks of health, digestive, immune and cardiovascular. Then, shoppers will meet with a Heinen's doctor and dietician to figure out where they stand and what they should be eating to improve. They'll have that information the next time they grab a shopping cart.
"We worked to develop both a food and a supplement plan to help move that needle in the right direction," Heinen's Chief Registered Dietitian Melanie Jatsek said.
"We believe this is the future of medicine for a lot of different reasons," Chief Medical Officer Dr. Todd Pesek added. "That's why we're going down this path."
So, how far does that path lead? For now, the personalized nutrition center is open and ready for shoppers in Mayfield Village, but Heinen's is hoping that's just the beginning. Depending on the success, they'd like to expand to other locations in the future.
"I think that when people understand 'I can eat healthy, it doesn't cost me more, and by the way, it tastes good,' it becomes way easier," Heinen surmised.