Local Limelight: Seeds of Change

During an age in which everyone is looking for a quick fix for whatever ails them, Mark Parsons, owner of Seeds of Change, stands behind methods and remedies, time-tested and still relevant today.

Walking into Seeds of Change is a bit like stepping back in time 60 years or so.  It’s not your run of the mill, giant chain, health food store.  It’s not brand new, high-tech, and glossy.  And you won’t find its shelves chock full of the latest trending health and weight loss fads.  No, Seeds of Change is your friendly corner market.  Humble, unassuming, warm and inviting, stocked with tried and true remedies and supplements.  And it’s owner may as well be your next door neighbor whom you’ve known for years.  Mark is a wealth of knowledge, and one who truly cares about the health and well-being of his customers.

Owner, Mark Parsons, at work behind the counter.

In the late 90’s, Mark Parsons found himself growing tired of a stressful 23 year sales career.  He was also keenly aware of his own health and the desire to improve it, as he has had numerous family members suffer with heart disease.  Those factors combined, led him to the decision to pursue his dream of owning a health foods store.   Seeds of Change, located in LaSalle, IL, officially opened its doors to the community in July of 1996.  Initially, Mark dreamed of growing his business to a 5,000 square foot building with a full grocery department.  But in a rural community such as ours, there unfortunately isn’t the support for it.  However, as other small natural foods stores came and went…a few years in, Seeds of Change found its feet and gained a strong customer base.

Mark’s customers come to him because he is not only knowledgeable, but he also puts his customers’  health above the bottom line.  His cousin, who is in the same business, has remarked to him, “Well, you talk more people out of stuff than you sell!”  But Mark replied, “No, when I know it’s not right for them, and it’s not gonna do what they’ve been told, I’m going to tell them that.   They’re gonna trust me because they know I’m not just there to take their money.  We have to make money to pay our bills, but we also want people to know they can trust us.”

And Mark’s customers do trust him.  So, in fact, do their doctors.  It is not an uncommon occurrence for local doctors to refer patients to Mark, when they are seeking to supplement their modern medical care with natural foods and supplements.  17 years in the business, and a common sense, educated approach to natural remedies has made Mark Parsons a dependable resource for doctors in the area.

One frustration for Mark, amongst the natural healing community, is the “best guess” approach, without proper diagnostics and testing.  In his words, “No one can look at you and say, oh I see there’s gallstones in there.”  If you want to use natural supplements and remedies in support of traditional medicine, Mark strongly suggests using your physician and your hospital for diagnostics.  Learn what’s really wrong, don’t guess at it.  If you are not dealing with anything potentially life-threatening, as Mark says “You have options, changes you can make to your diet, supplements you can try…I always tell people, you know, cholesterol doesn’t wake up one day and say, ‘I think I’ll kill you today’.  You have time with that sort of stuff.”

For people seeking to add natural foods and supplements to their lifestyle, it can be difficult to sift through the vast amount of conflicting information out there.  The internet, while a fantastic resource, is also full of bogus information.  Add to that, celebrity doctors, well-meaning relatives, and our own personal medical professionals all giving us contradicting information…well, it can be downright overwhelming and confusing.  When I asked Mark how this pertained to his business, and what products he chooses to stock and recommend to his customers, he replied, “I try to stick with the stuff that has stood the test of time. I’ve seen what comes and what goes.  I don’t get all excited about new products so much.  In this industry, it’s just trouble, trouble, trouble, with snake oil.”  Mark’s aim is to promote healthy living, not to sell you a quick fix.

Mark Parsons has a long-standing passion for his customers’ health, a strong working knowledge of the products he sells, the lifestyle he promotes, and a common sense attitude when it comes to balancing modern medicine and natural foods/supplements.  So the next time you’re at your big chain market or department store, and are thinking about how convenient it would be to just pick up a supplement there, consider stopping by Seeds of Change (or your own local natural foods store).  You won’t regret the extra few minutes it may take out of your day.

Seeds of Change 
2320 St Vincent Ave
La Salle, IL  61301

And remember, we not only benefit economically when we support small businesses, but we strengthen our communities as well.

Please click on the images below, for a small taste of Seeds of Change!