She is what she ate
I told Marlene I didn't believe her.
"Do you want to see my driver's license?" she asked.
I said no.
"Fifty one. Not seventy one."
"Nope," she insisted, "seventy one.
I stared at her and still didn't believe but decided not to press the point. After all, we had barged in on her to ask about a proposed federal law that would put Vitamin C and other such nostrums on the same level at Valium. In otherwords, you'd have to have a scrip to get it.
We could smell the greed of Big Pharma in the idea and wanted to get a point-of-view from someone who has been dealing in over-the-counter supplements and vitamins for about as long as the age of the average resident in our town.
Marlene Beadle, (who at least LOOKS much younger than she claims she is) has got to be one of Federal Way's true success stories. She started out in 1976 in the old Federal Shopping Way, at a time when the idea of selling vitamins and supplements would have gotten you labeled as a radical (she says she still is) and didn't seem like a very good idea for a business.
But Marlene had passion and knowledge and faith. And she grew her enterprise to two very successful stores, one in Tacoma and the big one here, housed in 22,000 square feet of open floor space where you can find an impressive selection of organic fruit and vegetables on display on one side of the ground level and opening up to an array of natural foods products from salad dressings to spices.
The east quadrant of the store is where you can find supplements, the things we went to see her about. The display is extensive and easy to decipher, even if you aren't a regular visitor to that department.
Upstairs is the 'deli' part of Marlene's, where almost all the tables were filled with diners at lunch time last Thursday. It is easy to understand why. In addition to an array of hot entrees (all natural), Marlene's has to have the best salad bar in town if variety is measure. All organic, or course and all fresh.
The old store, not far from the new one, had some of the amenities of this one. But the new place is much more commodious and inviting.
I used to have an idea that stores like this, 'health food stores' ,were populated by people who had too much beta-carotene in their diets because they all look a bit orange to me. And their skin made the moon look smooth.
I didn't see anybody like that at Marlene's and I suspect it is because a lot more is known about health than in the olden days of orange people. What I did see was a pleasant surprise: I saw very handsome men and women in apparently excellent physical condition, with robust character in their stride and beautiful skin like, well, like Marlene.