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Before you were famous...

Alan McGrath
National Organiser, Health Stores Ireland

Hey there Mr Probiotic, we knew you before you became a global star. In fact, we knew you when you were pre biotic. We even knew your predecessors from the extended soluble fibre family. We saw them in their raw state, naked and unafraid. We sent them back out to the biosphere from where they originated, and we handled them with care and love and ensured that their goals were achieved.

When you, Mr Probiotic, came along with all your fancy titles and declared attributes, we embraced you fully. We ensured that you were put to your full use, we sang your praises from the roof-tops, and we made sure that your place in the world of immune support, gut health and much more was heard and put to good use.

You’ve got many esteemed friends now and we are delighted that you’ve become a global superstar, but never forget your humble roots, pulled from organic soil and a light cleaning of a dirty carrot.

Hey Kombucha – remember when you were happily packaged in a heavy brown bottle and very few people knew what you were trying to achieve? Not quite sweet enough for mass appeal, from a tea but not a tea. Adult soft drinks not yet a thing, you were a cult star in the 70s, there in your old flagon bottle and obscure claims. We loved you then. We still love you now, even though you’ve embraced mainstream culture and the heady “grab and go” lifestyle. We see you now, hanging around trendy cafes and upmarket groceries in your hipster ring-pulls and Kilner bottles with the coolest of labels.

With all those herbs and spices that used to hang somewhat grimly from our peg boards – who would have thought that a liquorice root stick and a cinnamon quill would one day get together and spawn a dapper family of loquacious teas, all neatly dressed and driven towards greatness? We delight in your success. We feel pride in your accomplishments, not least because we know the quiet and often unspoken role we had in helping you to your place of greatness. We too have profited from your journey and, for some, the rewards from your success keep flowing.

Hey plant milks – some of your ancestors were hard to manage, at times often dry, insipid and underwhelming. To be honest, when it came to some basic functionality, they were practically useless. We stuck with them through thick and thin, even when they split and disappointed when paired with hot beverages. We delight at your new lodgings in the brightly lit aisles of grocery. We applaud your refinement and newfound mass appeal.

We look at some budding mega stars that joined us as a proven academy for talented newcomers. Yes, you CBD and your many friends, liposomal C and your nutrient family, potato milk and aronia juice, we are happy to nurture you and share our experience and insight.

We only ask that you don’t leave us feeling all used and useless when you reach your desired greatness.

Health Stores Ireland is the professional trade association representing more than 110 independent health stores in Ireland. Visit, Facebook @HealthStoresIreland

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