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A Boutique Approach to Health Products

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Most Canadians use natural health products every day, but deciding which supplement or superfood to purchase can seem daunting as the industry teems with an endless supply of new products.

Windsor-based nutritionist Kaila Seguin conceived of a boutique shopping experience that takes away the confusion for consumers navigating the multitude of health products on the shelves of grocery stores, pharmacies and health food stores.

Seguin worked for a local nutrition store for several years as well as managed the nutrition department as a wellbeing coordinator for Sobeys. But she took the plunge to venture on her own and open Wellness Market in March. The boutique nutrition store is located at 1614 Lesperance Rd. in the Tecumseh Town Plaza.

“I feel there is a lot of confusion when it comes to the supplement world when people walk into a health food store, or grocery store or even shopping on Amazon online. You’re overwhelmed by choice and it’s confusing. Marketing and branding is confusing to people; they don’t know what to buy and why,” said Seguin. “My store is not loaded with every single thing. I really narrowed it down for people.”

In addition to supplements, Wellness Market sells various protein powders, specialty food products, herbal and homeopathic remedies, natural beauty care products and essential oils. The store also features a number of American products not readily available in Windsor-Essex.

Customers can find such brands as Vital Proteins, which includes collagen peptides to enhance hair, skin and nails, improve digestion and boost joint health; MONQ personal essential oil diffusers that use vaporizer technology; and Four Sigmatic’s unique mushroom products, which include coffees, superfood blends and elixirs.

“I’ve always been interested in health since my university days,” said Seguin, who has a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and exercise science and is a certified nutritional practitioner. “I went to school for holistic nutrition where I learned a lot about supplements and how to integrate them into your practice.”

Wellness Market caters to not only the general public but to health workers as she carries professional supplement lines.

“People are super excited when they see the professional lines in the store because they can’t get that in other stores. [Consumers] can only get it from a naturopath, chiropractor or a nutritionist,” said Seguin. “Even a lot of naturopaths are excited that I’m carrying the stock for them because I have the space and invested in the inventory. They know they can send [clients] here.”

Nutritional counselling is also available at Wellness Market. Customers can receive an introductory one-hour consultation to go over their health history and goals, followed by biweekly meetings for guidance on diet, lifestyle and supplements. Seguin also intends on hosting educational workshops at the store.

“One of the huge parts of my business is trying to use my education in nutrition to educate others. I do counselling out of my store, so it’s not just retail,” added Seguin about the personalized service. “I think the mixture of both is what makes me unique and I think that people are drawn to come here.”

“If someone comes in for a certain health reason, I’m able to listen to them. I know exactly where they’re coming from and what they’re trying to do and I can point them in the right direction from there.”

Later this month, Wellness Market will host a grand opening party as well as launch its e-commerce website offering shipping across Canada. Local customers will also have the option of ordering online and picking up in store.

Kaila Seguin is a client of The WindsorEssex Small Business Centre that received training through the Starter Company program. You, too, can receive support in launching or expanding your small business. Contact the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre for more information.