If you haven’t heard, health food store Rinzai’s Market was purchased by Sedona local Suzy Bean several months ago and is making it’s debut as Interdependence Natural Foods (INF) tomorrow, Saturday December 2, 2017. Suzy came up with the store name on the 4th of July a few years ago, when a customer of hers at the co-op where she was working told her, “Happy Interdependence Day,” which he followed with, “because we all need each other.” It has stuck with her ever since. As an individual, and as a new business owner working with other small businesses, she has certainly found that we are all interdependent with one another — not to mention with the basic food we eat and daily exchange of life we have with the planet.
INF offers locally grown produce, and local raw milk, eggs, honey, pollen, pecans, sprouts, flours, beans, dates, chicken, and beef. They have a variety of locally made breads and cookies, as well as local veggie burgers, kombucha, chocolate, medicinal tinctures, greeting cards, and body care products. They also carry specialty items such as herbal raw vinegars, fresh olive oil from Italy, and botija olives from Peru. What INF is most known for, however, is helping people find quality supplements for their particular needs. They have a knowledgeable staff available to help and put all of their resources to use. Located near Snap Fitness in the Harkins Theatre Plaza, They are open Monday-Saturday, 10am-7pm, and closed on Sundays.
New owner Suzy Bean (center) with her staff at Interdependence Natural Foods (INF) — formerly Rinzai’s Market
Come celebrate the opening of Interdependence Natural Foods on Saturday with Suzy and her staff, where they’ll be featuring local vendors throughout the day with samples of their products. Enjoy a chair massage, and a 10% discount on everything in the store, as well as giveaways at the register for purchases over $100. INF will also be rotating some talented local musicians from 12-5pm, all of which happen to also be customers.
TRUSTING THE FLOW
How did Suzy come to purchase Rinzai’s Market? In her own words: “I sat in bed one night and asked the Universe what my calling was. I was expecting the drawn out lack of clarity I had had every other time I’d asked the Universe what my calling was, honestly, but this time it took about 3 seconds and I felt like someone said, “duh—“ in my head. “You want your own little health food store.” And duh — of course I did! I had worked in two health food stores, organic farmed, cooked for people with special diets, and helped with a permaculture website. Since I was in 6th grade, I wanted to somehow help the sustainable agriculture movement, and since college I had eaten primarily from CSAs and Farmers Markets. And even though I’ve worked for some good people, I had always wanted to be my own boss.”
“I knew nothing about business, and didn’t have any savings, but started talking to people and drawing up a mock business plan. I thought it made sense to try for the Village of Oak Creek, since there wasn’t a health food store there, and there were three in West Sedona.”
“After about 6 months of talking to people, I felt like I was hiding the fact that I didn’t have the means or experience, and trying too hard. I told the Universe I would let things go — that if I were to own a health food store in the next 20 years, that would be wonderful, but that I needed to sink into my work that I was doing at the time. I asked that when the time was right, I feel clarity, support, and have the money to do it.”
“6 months later, I heard that Rinzai’s Market was for sale, although I didn’t yet have what I needed. Shopping there one day, I told Rinzai I had heard it was for sale. ‘You interested?’ he said.”
“I had learned I would be receiving an inheritance from my uncle at the end of the year, and kept talking to him. Turns out the down payment was the amount I would be receiving. As we talked, and as I processed over the coming days, weeks, and months, it was ridiculous how much things fell into place. I had clarity, support, and the funds I needed. Rinzai, Sabine, my dad, and the brokers all held my hand, and I felt like the red carpet had been rolled out in front of me. And with each progressive step, I continued to receive more and more support from every angle.”
Suzy’s story is a perfect example of manifestation, and getting out of the way so the Universe can orchestrate for you in ways you never imagined. What an inspiration! I asked Suzy to sit down with Conscious Sedona so we could find out a bit more about her and her journey to become a small business owner. May her story light the way for others with a dream, but who are not sure yet how to materialize it in the physical world.
Pastured hen and duck eggs are just one of the fresh, local products offered at INF
CONSCIOUS SEDONA (CS): Thank you for being open to sharing some more of your background with us, Suzy. When did you move to Sedona, and why?
SUZY BEAN (SB): I moved to Sedona two years ago, in 2015. After graduating from Prescott College in 2010, I needed to travel and explore, but felt like Arizona was there and waiting for me to come back when I was ready. Five years later, I was ready, and I’m so happy to be back. I feel at home.
(CS): A lot of people have been asking — what happened to Rinzai and Sabine, are they still in town?
SB: Rinzai and Sabine have moved on to California, and are both doing well. Rinzai says it’s hard to not be doing well when you can walk the beach every day. We are in touch regularly.
(CS): That’s so nice that you still have that connection with him. That must help a lot while navigating this new territory of being a small business owner. Do you have any business partners in this venture or are you sole owner?
SB: I am the sole owner.
Specialty items line the shelves at Interdependence Natural Foods (INF)
(CS): There seems to be a good market in your area for lunch service. Do you serve any prepared meals at INF?
SB: We serve sandwiches for lunch – delicious turkey and tuna salad sandwiches, and a pita pocket with our homemade sunflower pate and salad greens for our vegan/vegetarian customers. We also just started carrying Vital Vegan prepared foods — they make a line of fresh vegan grab-n-go products including delicious soups, salads and pasta dishes. You can add fresh fruit from our produce area, organic chips, raw desserts, and other healthy snacks and drinks to round out your meal.
(CS): Do you have a bulk buying service — where customers can order larger quantities at a bigger discounted price?
SB: Yes. We can get most things by the case, which we offer to the customer at 10-15% off. You do not have to see it on the shelf for us to be able to get it. This goes for supplements as well, if you get 6 or more of the same thing. Let us know what you would like and we’d be happy to order it for you!
(CS): What are some things most people do not know about INF?
SB: Most people do not realize that we make custom herbal tinctures for our customers. You tell us what herbs you would like, and in what ratio, and we tell the folks at Herbal Vitality down the street. We can have it ready by the next business day. We can also order a variety of bulk herbs, of all kinds and quantities through Mountain Rose Herbs. We do mail orders every weekday, domestically and internationally.
(CS): Wow, that is an amazing service – custom made herbal tinctures! What are some new offerings coming down the pipeline?
SB: Produce from Whipstone Farm, wild caught fish, a bulk herbs section — we will continually be adding new vendors and items throughout the year so customers should definitely come in regularly to check out our new offerings!
(CS): I really look forward to that! Because your store is already known for a very high quality selection of specialty foods, including gluten free, paleo, raw and local items. It will be great to have a wider range of foods here. What criteria do you use to determine if a product meets your quality standards to sell in your store?
SB: Whenever appropriate, I, or one of the employees, will try the product ourselves first. I look for clean and fairly traded ingredients, grounded and happy vendors, and personal testimonials.
(CS): One thing I’ve loved about your market is that you really go out of your way to feature local food producers. We have so many amazing food entrepreneurs in the Verde Valley. What are some of the local artisans that you feature?
SB: In the realm of cookies, we often have Poka Poka, Lizzie’s Peanut Butter Cookies, Mama Grey’s, and No Glutes About It, and we regularly have Rawr, and Karen’s Gluten Free. Karen has even started covering her cookies in chocolate for us! Then there’s Danny’s sauerkrauts. There’s Wayfærs Härth, Karen’s, and Gluten Free Creations breads. There’s Gone Green CBD-infused nut butters and coconut cream. Communal Uprising, LuLu’s, and Gone Green chocolates. Olinka and Wild Tonic kombuchas. Get Amaranth puffed amaranth bars and cereal. We recently started carrying Vital Vegan locally prepared foods as well. We regularly sample snacks or new products we are excited about at the register. Come in and try them for yourself!
(CS): That is awesome! What are some of your favorite products in the store?
SB: I love Communal Uprising’s carob chocolates — they are delicious and leave me feeling great. I am also very happy about the quality of frozen fruit we are getting from Northwest Wild Foods. It is fragrant, and flavorful. I am in love with about every locally grown or raised product — produce, meat, eggs — just because they are so nourishing. Produce is grown in nearby soil, and recently ripe-harvested. On a nutritional level, we receive more phytonutrients from foods the week that they are harvested, and they are full of life force.
(CS): What are some of the hidden gems — high quality items people don’t necessarily know about yet?
SB: If you are a veggie burger fan, check out these three products: Tepa (locally made from tepary beans, blue corn, and vegetables), Life Foods (made from sprouted and fermented mung beans, superfoods, and vegetables), and Taro Burgers (made with taro, a Hawaiian root vegetable). Have a Tepa “meatball” with Karen’s Beet Marinara, or a burger with her Beet Cranberry Ketchup. If you are at all intrigued by medicinal mushrooms or nettles, we carry Awildian Herbs – Daniel and Onaia’s new line of wildcrafted and consciously harvested tinctures. They are potent, healing, and of quality.
(CS): You’ve recently brought back farm-fresh produce to the store. What are the farms that supply you with produce, and what is their delivery schedule?
SB: The fresh produce has been my biggest learning curve, but is also my biggest passion. We had a few months of sporadic produce and just started offering fresh produce from Whipstone Farm regularly. Whipstone is currently being delivered every other Thursday. In the future, we hope we can have new items in each week, supplied by other farms as well. I have been looking for growers that do not sell at the farmer’s market, and who have or are willing to get their GHP/GAP certification to be sold retail. And once I gather a few more local folks that would like to take a GHP/GAP class, I can host another one, free of charge.
(CS): Thank you for your devotion to this cause, it is truly a huge service to those of us committed to eating local and healthy, and your produce prices have been amazing!
SB: We don’t make a large profit on produce — but getting more people eating locally grown vegetables, and supporting local farmers is my biggest passion.
(CS): How is your lifestyle aligned with owning a health food store?
SB: Part of why I am so grateful to be in this position is it really is an extension of myself. My passions are natural, relational, and spiritual, all of which I see reflected in the store. Since I was a kid, I have put most of my energy and resources towards things that I believe in, thinking it would help create a world I wanted, and a goodwill that would somehow come back to me. Being a foodie, a lot of that went to farmers markets, CSAs, and small food businesses, which, by their nature have directly nourished me. Beyond food, I shop for second hand clothing, and get my cat food from The Golden Bone rather than online. I compost, re-use water, ride my bike, take care of myself and loved ones, and help teach my 10 year old housemate.
(CS): How nice. How do you balance your lifestyle now that you are a business owner? I imagine it might be tempting to work too many hours and too many days, and there must be a lot of new stressors connected to running a new business.
SB: I love going to Sedona Hot Yoga, and I make sure I also get outside. And honestly, I am still working on the art of stress management. I feel replenished after attending Unity, and often lay outside for a few minutes each night before coming in for bed. It’s the moments of pause that keep me sane, and this all in perspective — even 20 seconds before I get out of my car.
(CS): What do you love about Sedona?
SB: I feel a connection to this part of Arizona that is different than anywhere else I have lived. I really come home to myself here.
(CS): What advice do you have for anyone with a dream — how to manifest into reality?
SB: Put love into your dream, and whatever actions feel grounded and right, but also release it to the bigger picture we may not always see.
(CS): What impact do you hope to have on the Sedona community?
SB: The simple reminder that we are all in this together, and that life is more meaningful and successful when we bring our values into everything that we do.
(CS): Is there anything you would like from the Sedona Community?
SB: Should it ever become available, there is a desire in the community for raw butter and raw goat’s milk, and so we would love to find local vendors.
CS: Thank you so much for your time, Suzy, and congratulations on the renaming and grand opening of Interdependence Natural Foods! We are excited to see the new life you breathe into this beloved Sedona health food market.
shop on the website: InterdependenceFoods.com