Vita Mart Has Organic Meat, Local Produce

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Have you been searching for that perfect cut of grass-fed beef or gluten-free bread? Or how about organic produce grown by local farmers?

Vita Mart, a health food and vitamin store located at 512 S. Beeline Highway, offers all of these products and more at a discounted price.

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Christine and B.J. Bollier, owners of Vita Mart, unload recently delivered fresh vegetables and inventory them before restocking their shelves. Vita Mart is located at 512 S. Beeline Highway #4, in Payson.

Owners B.J. and Christine Bollier said the store offers the same quality products as big-box health food stores, but at a cheaper price. Local organic tomatoes go for $1.50 a pound and center cut lamb chops, $17.50.

The Bolliers said they are able to offer discounts, because they keep a small staff, order products direct and use the latest computer inventory system.

When the Bolliers opened the store in September 2007, they knew Payson's market was missing a health food store.

"I know people who were driving to Phoenix for health foods," B.J. said.

Now people can buy in town, for a cheaper price and save money on gas, he said.

The store is constantly ordering new products based on customer requests and suggestions.

"It all depends on what the customers want," B.J. said of future products. "A customer wanted beef, so we got it." The beef and lamb comes from the A-Bar-H farm in the San Simon Valley.

The animals are grass-fed and pasture-raised and have a higher fat content.

"Many people in the area are used to range breed cattle," B.J. said. "But pasture-raised cattle forage for their food and are not fed corn, which kills them."

In August, the store started carrying local organic produce.

B.J. said he goes to the farms and meets the farmers before buying any produce.

"These farmers are so passionate about what they are selling," he said.

The store's No. 1 selling product is Cellfood, a dietary supplement that cleans and detoxifies cells.

"The more healthy I eat, the less I have to put these things (points to vitamins) in my body," B.J. said.

In a few weeks, the Bolliers plan to host a farmers market in the parking lot out front of the store.

"We are trying to get more farmers signed up," he said. "So there is not just zucchini sold."

Both Bolliers grew up in Payson. B.J. attended Eastern Arizona College, NAU and ASU where he studied business management and computer science.

Christine worked five years as manager of a health food store and studied nutritional science.

Although neither owned a business before, both wanted to start their own health store and work for themselves.

"We're leapers," B.J. said. "Never say we can't do something."

More information on Vita Mart is available at www.thevitamart.com and (928) 474-4101.

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