Hal - Health Desk Specialist

Area of Expertise: supplements, health remedies

About Hal:

Hal is passionate about two things. Reading, and a quality cup of coffee.

“In one hand, I hold a book. In the other, the cup”. 

Before Hal was one of the Natural Food Exchange‘s lead health experts, he served for many years in the United States Navy. Hal was later contracted by the NAVY to work on high level projects within the electronics division. Hal has worked for many companies over years crafting complex widgets and working within electronic engineering.

When Hal walked in to the Natural Food Exchange for the first time, he pursued it as a part-time job to fulfill his love for health and wellness studies. It soon became a full-time passion and a full-time job.

*Hal is about to celebrate his 20th Anniversary October 2016 working for the Natural Food Exchange.

Why Hal Is Passionate About Health and Wellness: 

Hal has an immense passion for the study of natural health. When asked why he began his furious exploration into human health and holistic studies, he answered confidently by saying…

“I have been on a quest for most of my life to study and answer the ‘big questions’ of life. In my free time, I read books on astronomy and cosmology. I find the intricate structure of the anatomy and human health to be as vast and as mysterious as the universe, as well as how they are interconnected. You can’t begin to ask the ‘big questions’ of life without including the big questions concerning human health and our relationship to nature and the atmosphere. Sometimes, in my search, I discover just as many questions as I do answers, but the journey and at times conclusions, are fascinating!”

Hal’s Favorite Products…and Books! 

Hal enjoys reading the works of renowned Integrative Functional Medicine MDs and authors such as Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. David Williams, as well as Ayurvedic Practitioner Dr. John Douillard.

If you are looking for a few good reads, Hal recommends Jeffery Bland’s The Disease Delusion as well as Healing Sound by Johnathan Goodman discussing the healing effects of music and vibrational medicine.

Hal’s new favorite product is Shilajit – used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to support energy, cognitive function, memory, absorption of nutrients, blood sugar balance, cellular protection, and detoxification. It’s also known to be rich in mineral-dense fulvic acid and humid acid and synergize Co-Q10 production.

Hal’s Go-To Health Remedy:

Hal is a personal believer in New Chapter‘s Rhodila – an adaptogenic herb that supports energy, spirit uplifting, and protects the body from physical or emotional stressors.

Why Hal Loves NFE:

It is true pleasure to come to work every day to help make a positive difference and impact in people’s lives and health. 

Why Working In A Non-GMO Store is Meaningful: 

GMOs breaks open more of those ‘big questions’ for me. Once you begin to question and understand how GMOs work, you then begin to ask yourself and learn: how cells works, how genes work, how DNA works, and how will our bodies and nature adapt to such genetic alteration? This is a ‘big question’ that should provide more answers and safety measures before being released rampantly across our food supply.

Allison - Grocery Manager

Area of Expertise: grocery, nutrition

About Allison:

I am 24 years old. I have completed a BS in Communication Disorders but feel more passionate about health and nutrition and am considering one of the two fields for a masters degree in the next few years. I worked at NFE while in college and am so happy to be back now that I have graduated! In my free time i like to hike, travel, and go to concerts.

Why Allison Is Passionate About Health and Wellness:

Although I don’t have formal training in nutrition it is something I love to learn about through reading articles and as well as taking online courses. I am also very fortunate to be able to learn every day working at NFE both from the staff and customers too! 

Allison’s Favorite Product: 

There is so much to share but one of my favorites is all of our fresh organic non-GMO eggs and meats from local farms in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Allison’s Go-To Health Remedy:

I love Bach Rescue Remedies and Megafood Suppelements.

Why Allison Loves NFE:

NFE is such a welcoming and supportive place for everyone. The team is so passionate about supporting customers health needs and is really there to take the time to connect and help you. I love being able to work in an environment that is so focused on helping others.

Why Working For a 100% Non-GMO Health Store Is Meaningful:

I think it is important to provide high quality products for customer health needs. Being 100% Non-GMO ensures that we are providing great quality products and keeping high standards for what we carry.

Fun Fact:

Allison loves hiking, the outdoors, and supporting local CSAs like The Food Project.

Email: grocery@naturalfoodexchange.com

Maryanne - Heath & Beauty Care Manager

Area of Expertise: Organic Non-GMO Skin Care

About Maryanne:

Happily married and proud mother of 2, Ricky and Sabrina. Health and Beauty Care Manager at NFE.

*Maryanne is about to celebrate her 6th anniversery working for the Natural Food Exchange!

Why Maryanne Is Passionate About Health and Wellness:

I was always passionate about health and fitness, but once I became a mom I realized how important wellness was. I began to learn about the connection between the foods we eat and the beauty products we use and the impact it has on our overall health.

Maryannes Favorite Product:

There are so many to choose from but my absolutely favorite product is the Chamomile and Rosehip Night Nectar from Laughing Tree Organics. This cream packs a punch, its full of Vitamins and Essential Fatty acids. It keeps my skin hydrated and really has given my skin that GLOW!!!

Maryannes Go-To Health Remedy:

Again, so many to choose from!  One item I do make sure to take year round for myself and my family is a probiotic.   I feel that when you lose good bacteria in your body (i.e. after taking antibiotics, for example), probiotics can help replace them. They can help balance your good and bad bacteria to keep your body working like it should.

Why Maryanne Loves NFE:

I love the Natural Food Exchange because we have a great team. Our skills, experience and interests here cover a wide range, but we are all committed to the same thing, providing the best organic / Non-GMO products and making sure our customers leave happy.  Being the Health and Beauty Manager gives me the opportunity to bring in great body care products.  Every time I bring in a new product I know I am helping our customers live healthier cleaner lives.

Why Working For A 100% Non-GMO Store Is Meaningful:

I had been aware of GMOs but it wasn’t until working at the Natural Food Exchange that I realized the implications they had on our food supply and more specifically, on our health. It is nice to be able to offer people a place where they can go and shop for themselves and their families and not have to worry about every ingredient!

Fun Fact:

Maryanne is our skin care expert! Ask her anything, she has the answer! She is also a darn good boxer and cyclist!

Email: hba@naturalfoodexchange.com

Ivy - Grocery Specialist

Area of Expertise: local food, gluten-free baking, non-gmo

About Ivy:

Ivy grew up in Long Island, New York. She attended college at the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science degree in Math/Computer Science. After college, she settled in Massachusetts due to the advisement of friends. She then met and married her husband, Steve, the boy next door from Stoneham, MA. They have been married 25 years and now live in Wakefield, MA. They are the proud parents of their daughter, Charnele, 24 years old.

Ivy ‘retired’ from Verizon after 27 years after working in many different departments and fulfilling multiple roles for the company.

Ivy was a regular customer at the Natural Food Exchange for many years before joining the team. She was overjoyed when she was asked to work at the store!!! It has been 20 happy years of nourishing employment!

Why Ivy Is Passionate About Health and Wellness:

Ivy became passionate and aware of the importance of health and a clean food diet when her daughter Charnele, was diagnosed with Celiac Disease at age 4 (over 20 years now). Since then she has studied and  gained hands on experience of how to manage gluten intolerance for her family and has a sincere passion for helping the community and families to obtain healthy solutions and make the best dietary choices for dealing with celiac disease. She has become an expert in Gluten-Free baking, cooking, desserts, meals…you name it! Ask Ivy for tips and recipe ideas!

Since working for the Natural Food Exchange, Ivy’s passion for healthy food and healing supplements exploded due to the constant sharing of knowledge and experiences from Valerie, colleagues, and customers. She loves being able to share the sheer love of discussing supplements and clean food for improving health lifestyles with her colleagues.

She is grateful for the Natural Food Exchange moving to a 100% Non-GMO approach to improve the integrity of the health food store industry.

Ivy’s Favorite Products:

  • Bittersweet Bakery locally made desserts, sandwiches, and salads
  • Luce’s Gluten-Free Bread Mixes
  • All of our local farm products from Brookford Farm and White Gates Farm and Walden Local Meats!

For body care, Ivy loves Himalaya Hydrating Shampoo and Amla/Holy Basil Conditioner

Ivy’s favorite supplement is Host Defense Mycro Shield Spray for keeping her immunity strong!

Why Ivy Loves NFE:

The customers! I learn so much from customers interactions – from their questions, their experiences; their likes and dislikes. I especially love hearing their feedback on regarding our grocery items as i’m the “foodie” in the store and in life. I also love hearing their experiences in regards to their success with our supplements and personal care items. 

Valerie is such as wonderful owner, boss, and person! I greatly appreciate and admire her temperament, her calm disposition, her knowledge, her heart, and her deeply thoughtful and caring approach to customers.

My colleagues make me humble and i continuously learn from them. They always “have my back” and appreciate their support and our team effort everyday. 

One of the most rewarding parts of my job is  supporting and working with local vendors, suppliers, and business owners/representatives. They help me cater to our customers and provide the best in local healthy food!

Why Working For A 100% Non-GMO Store Is Meaningful:

I am grateful that the Natural Food Exchange has taken the 100% Non-GMO approach as it has also changed my own lifestyle and that of my family.

All of us at NFE worked very hard to ensure that our products are 100% Non-GMO. It is so rewarding helping to educate customers on this important health issue and to feel their appreciation of our knowledge. It just makes my day!

Fun Fact: 

Ivy often brings her delicious fresh gluten-free baking creations for sample in the store! She offers new tastings and samplings daily. Stop in to see she has cookn’! Ivy has also been a champion for local food vendors and often gives local food start-ups their first official wholesale!

Personal Message: 

I would like to thank my customer for sharing their lives with me, bringing me new food product ideas (and samples – yum!) and even sharing health articles. We are a true connected community health resource!

Julie - NFE Team Educator

Area of Expertise: low-glycemic diet, gluten-free, children's health

About Julie:

Julie is very friendly and personable and finds joy in helping people. She loves to share her knowledge about NFE’s products!

Why Julie Is Are Passionate About Health and Wellness:

I am a type 1 diabetic and have spent the last 20 years learning about nutrition and how it affects your life. I like to share my experiences with others regarding the specific diet choices for those requiring low-glycemic and to teach them how to watch what they eat and make the healthiest choices.

Julie’s Favorite Products:

Derma-e Scalp Relief Shampoo and Conditioner. I also love the Terrasil line for healing skin conditions.

Julie’s Go-To Health Remedy:

Megafood Turmeric for any inflammation issue.  I also love Manuka Honey and Umcka Coldcare Lemon Drink for any cold or bronchial issue.

Why Julie Loves NFE:

I love the Natural Food Exchange because it’s like working with one big family. Everyone is always there for one another not as just a colleague, but also as a friend!

Why Working For a 100% Non-GMO Store Is Meaningful:

It’s meaningful to me because, after working at the store and learning all about GMOs and how they may adversely affect your health, it completely opened my eyes to what’s being put into my food.

Alora - NFE Team Educator

Area of Expertise: gut health, food allergies, diet transitions

About Alora:

Alora fell in love with holistic and alternative modalities of healing when she was 19 and this led her to studying at the Kushi Institute of Macrobiotic Nutrition. Working to heal her own health struggles, she has experimented with many different diets types including vegetarian, vegan for 2 ½ years, the paleo diet, and currently the “listen to your body!” diet. She firmly believes that each individual has a unique and specific path to healing and to maintaining a healthy, happy body and mind. Alora loves supporting and helping people with their pursuit of discovering their ideal individual health.

Alora is currently studying to complete Bachelor of Science in Nutrition. She also holds a Level I Certification in Macrobiotic Nutrition.

Why Alora Is Passionate About Health and Wellness:

Learning about the vast ways one can heal their body naturally is both fascinating and inspiring. Having choices is always empowering, and I’d like to learn as much as possible in order to help others feel empowered as well.

Alora’s Favorite Product:

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides!

Alora’s Go-To Health Remedy:

 A warm cup of Natural Vitality’s Calm Magnesium powder.

Why Alora Loves NFE:

I love the NFE because of its unique warmth and charm. My compassionate and cheerful co-workers make it a wonderful place to work, and I feel privileged to interact with and to be of help the lovely individuals that stop by the store.

Why Working For A 100% Non-GMO Store Is Meaningful:

It brings a heightened level of integrity to the store, and further proves that our mission is to truly support and nurture our community, and the people in it.

Fun Fact:

Alora is semi-professional dancer practicing ballet, contemporary dance, as well as salsa and swing dance!

Eileen - NFE Team Educator

Area of Expertise: Registered Nurse, Polarity Therapist, Nutrition

About Eileen:

Eileen has enjoyed a long and versatile career within healthcare. She worked for many years as a Registered Nurse as well as a Lamage Certified Childbirth Educator.

In addition to working for the Natural Food Exchange, Eileen is also a Board Certified Polarity Practitioner, holding a private practice locally in Stoneham, MA.

Why Eileen Is Passionate About Health and Wellness:

It is so exciting when an individual takes responsibility for their own health and wellness because it improves not only their life, but inspires the lives of their family members, friends, and co-workers. When one person takes a step towards positive change, it can influence an energetic chain of greater wellness.

Eileen’s Favorite Product:

 Everything! Truly too many to list!

Eileen’s Go-To Health Remedy:

Essential Oils!

Why Eileen Loves NFE:

 The Natural Food Exchange is a store staffed with knowledgeable and caring individuals who aim to assist customers in any way they can. The store is such a pleasant and nurturing environment to work in. It feels great to be selling products that I believe in!

Why Working For A 100% Non-GMO Health Store Is Meaningful: 

The store’s Non-GMO policy is right in line with my own personal beliefs. It feels fantastic to be a trusted health store for the community.

Michelle - NFE Team Educator

Area of Expertise: vegan lifestyle, plant-based

Why Michelle Is Passionate About Healthand Wellness:

I grew up and have lived in MA since I was born. All my life I have been particular about my eating but I would never have called myself a healthy eater. In early 2011 I started  having digestive problems and at the suggestion of my mother decided to go gluten free. I started to see major improvements in my digestive health and it totally blew my mind that what I ate affected how I felt! After that I started delving more into the health food movement, went vegan and changed my entire lifestyle. I began living for my health and cutting out bad habits. I researched as much as I could about everything we put on, in and around our bodies and how they affect us. I had been working in the childcare field for almost five years when I decided that my work environment wasn’t matching with my lifestyle. I quit and began working at the Natural Food Exchange! I have also been practicing Bikram yoga for almost five years and went to teacher training out in Los Angles in the spring of 2014. I do my best to bring all of my experience with health and yoga each time I work at the store so as to give customers the best advice I can.

Michelle’s Favorite Product:

Edison Electrolytes! I would not have made it through my yoga teacher training without them! It is a staple that I always keep on hand, hydration solves so many common ailments, I believe everyone could benefit from added electrolytes.

Go-To Health Remedy:


Why Michelle Loves NFE:

The staff is so wonderful and knowledgeable, I learn something new from every one of them!

Why Working For a 100% Non-GMO Health Store Is Meaningful:

It’s meaningful to me because NFE has taken a stand on something we believe has not had enough research done on the side effects and could be potentially dangerous to the general public.

Fun Fact:

Michelle studied health and wellness in college. She is also a Certified Bikram Yoga teacher, and is NFE’s resident yogi!

Maddy - NFE Team Educator

Area of Expertise: vegetarian diet, plant-based

About Maddy:
I work in the grocery department of the store. I’m a high school student and a vegetarian, and I’m very passionate about food and the environment. I also love to cook and draw.

Why Maddy Is Passionate About Health and Wellness:

I’m passionate about health and wellness because I believe that the quality of your food and your overall health can strongly influence your happiness and quality of life. Food is also fascinating to study because of its societal influences over time. It reflects culture and is truly unique to everyone who works with it. I’d like to become a nutritionist to help people find a better lifestyle by changing their diet.

Maddy’s Favorite Product:

One of my favorite products that we sell at the Natural Food Exchange is the paleo granola varities , which I’ll be eating constantly by April, when my family celebrates the Jewish holiday of Passover. Most grains can’t be eaten on this holiday, which makes paleo granola a delicious substitute!

Maddy’s Go-To Health Remedy: 

My go-to health remedy would be aloe gel for almost anything. I have pretty fair skin that tends to burn occasionally, and I get many small burns from cooking. Pure aloe gel is wonderful for those and any other skin irritations.

Why Maddy Loves NFE:

I love the Natural Food Exchange because I’ve been visiting the store since I was very young and I never once had a question that wasn’t answered. The staff was and is wonderfully helpful and always friendly. I never considered working anywhere else for my first job!

Why Working For A 100% Non-GMO Health Food Store Is Meaningful:

It’s really meaningful for me to work in a 100% Non-GMO store because I care so much about our planet and our environmental impact as a human race. GMOs are very harmful for the environment; their pollen can contaminate other crops, and they can be deadly to beneficial insects. People should understand more about where their food comes from and how it is made, and then they will realize its impact.

Anne Marie - NFE Team Educator

Area of Expertise: Registered Nurse, Health Remedies, Supplements

Why Anne Marie Is Passionate About Health and Wellness:

Annie Marie worked for many years as Registered Nurse in local Boston hospitals. Now, a retired RN, she has focused her passion for health and wellness toward helping people find their personal health solutions through natural and holistic approaches.

*Anne Marie is about to celebrate her 25th anniversery working for the Natural Food Exchange!

Anne Marie’s Favorite Products:

Anne Marie is big believer in digestive enzymes and probiotics for maintaining gut health.

She also recommends olive leaf extract to help rev up a weakened immune system, as well as a quality magnesium supplement for whole body nourishment (aiding everything from digestive function to musco-skeletal health!).

Anne Marie’s Go-To Healthy Remedy:

Many customers come in searching for a natural solution to help treat a UTI infection. I recommend D-Mannose Powder in this instance. 

Why Anne Marie Loves NFE:

I love working for the Natural Food Exchange because of the great leadership and working with compassionate and knowledgeable co-workers. It is a joy to have our customers return, begin to feel better, and to see their progress from using our quality products and services that I believe in. 

Why Working For A 100% Non-GMO Health Store Is Meaningful: 

There is not yet enough evidence to prove or suggest that GMOs are safe to consume. Until GMOs are proven undeniably safe through independent research and exhibit no seen or unseen health impairing effects, I fully support the Natural Food Exchange’s position to not stock any products that potentially utilize GMOs in their ingredients.