Papamoa’s Plum Organics offers an oasis of calm from the busy world we live in, serving its customers and community with a truly holistic approach to health and wellbeing.
Over the past three years, Plum Organics has gone through a metamorphosis, with owner Linda Macnamara guiding the business through the impact of personal and professional changes and challenges.
Originally part of a franchise brand, Plum Organics now stands proudly on its own.
“Evolving from a franchise to Plum Organics meant a change in the vibe of the store – we became the community health store,” Linda says. “We have a whole new entity here now. We took everything back to scratch and had a good look at what would work best for us and our customers. Now we’re a cohesive, all-female team, running the store and learning together.”
Under its new identity, Plum Organics offers a wide range of products, including an extensive selection of supplements, skincare and makeup, fresh produce, dried products, and gifts. Customers are regularly treated to in-store tastings and special event nights, along with competitions and specials also found on the Plum Organics Facebook page. There is an in-store wellness clinic, with appointments offering advice and services such as hair analysis.
Linda says the customers are as proud of the store as she and her team are, demonstrating how the store’s ethos of being part of the community really holds true. Customers with some time to spare will often come into the store and spend a while browsing, listening to the music and enjoying the serenity as they wander amongst the aisles.
“Plum is the only Plum,” she says. “People feel like it’s their own unique store. We have customers who come in with family and friends visiting the area, and they’re virtually showing off ‘their’ health store!”
The Plum Organics shopping experience is the perfect antidote to impersonal online shopping and quick-fix supermarket purchases. The store is also the foundation for building relationships with customers which are based on loyalty and trust.
“We know most of the customers by name,” Linda says. “People come in and feel comfortable, not pressured, and that’s how we like it to be. It’s not always about them having to make a purchase then and there – often it’s a case of showing them a few products, they’ll go home to think about it, and then come back in a few days.”
She understands customers often do their own research online, coming into the store seeking a specific product to resolve their aliment or when they need more specialist advice.
“Customers will come in with some weird and wonderful thing written down, and we’ll ask them why they want to take it,” she says. “It’s really important to find out what else is going on in their lives.”
Linda says a conversation often leads to a customer realising the changes they really need to make in their life in order to feel better.
“For example, a lack of sleep is often the end result of a whole range of other contributing health issues. It might be stress, the type of food they are eating, or when they are eating it. Customers are thinking seriously, sometimes for the first time, about what it is in their life that actually needs sorting out.”
Those who need further advice can make an appointment with the in-store health consultant.
“Consultation with our health consultant means we can get to the heart of the issue, removing the need to try all different types of products to find a solution,” Linda says.
It’s this type of proactive approach to health which Linda and her team recognise as a stable trend.
“People are looking after themselves a lot better than in the past,” she says. “They are coming in to look for ways to look after their health, and cope with the stresses of life.”
The team are also always looking for ways to improve the products they offer, constantly seeking new-to-market finds and researching and reviewing current and potential product lines.
“We believe quality is more important than how many supplements you get in a bottle!” Linda says. “We keep tweaking our stock as new products come onto the market, and it’s often the case, especially with supplements, that results come from products which require a little bit more investment.”
The next generation’s health
Plum Organics caters for all, and Linda has noticed the store is becoming a shopping haven for a second generation of health-conscious consumers.
“The habits of looking after yourself, knowing what’s in your food and eating better are being handed down to the next generation,” she says. “Those teenagers and young adults are now going to university and flatting, and are still coming into the store to buy the products they grew up with.”
Linda’s quick to point out that there is no typical customer profile at Plum Organics – it’s for everyone. With the team’s expansive knowledge and expertise, focusmagazine asked them for one piece of advice to pass on…
“Understand where you are now in your journey. While the big picture is often daunting, ask for advice, take steps to make incremental changes in the things you do, and don’t try and do everything at once!”
Which sounds like sage advice no matter what your challenge is!
Plum Organics all-female team
Karina Silvester: Qualified Beauty Therapist. Karina enjoys helping customers with skin products that complement their beauty routines.
Marion Olsen: Store Manager, Certified Health Consultant. One of Plum Organic’s original staff members. With a pharmacy background and the completion of a three-year diploma, Marion brings a wealth of experience to the store.
Linda Macnamara: Store Owner. Qualified Massage Therapist and Aromatherapist. Linda has been in the natural health industry for almost 20 years, having part-owned four Hardy’s Health stores in the Bay of Plenty and Taupōregions. She’s now exclusively focused on Plum Organics.
Anne Darley: Certified Health Consultant and previous Manager of a busy Auckland Pharmacy. Anne is another original member of the team and loves to help customers achieve the best results for their needs.
Niki Mikkelsen: Qualified Medical Herbalist and Certified Health Consultant. Niki has been with Plum Organics for five years and enjoys using her skills and knowledge to find practical, workable health solutions for customers.