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Natural Born Healers

Plainview market feeds healthy lifestyle 

Eating is more than just stuffing food into one’s gaping maw; and Dr. B Well Naturally is more than just a market. 


At the same location in Plainview since the early 1990s, but under new ownership since 2009, the natural foods and vitamin market offers hot prepared food, juices, smoothies, soups, groceries, produce, vitamins and even health counseling. 


And it is that counseling that sets Dr. B Well, 8 Washington Ave., apart from the rest. Owner, pharmacist and healthy lifestyle promoter John Azzarelli dispenses homeopathic knowledge on his loyal customers, some of whom actually bring in their blood work so that he can better understand their physiology. 


“I’ll spend a half hour with each patient going over their history and help them figure out what kinds of vitamins they should be taking and what they should be eating,” said Azzarelli, who has been practicing pharmacy for close to 30 years and nutrition for more than a decade, adding that he does not charge customers for his free health consultations. “I’ll spend as much time as needed with them to find the best way to help with their problem.”


Azzarelli owns another store, Natures Apothecary in Brooklyn, and has since 1986. In the summer of 2009, he was looking for another store to run when he heard about Dr. B Well in Plainview. He made his way to the mid-island neighborhood store and tasted the General Tso’s chicken, a salmon burger and sliced soy turkey – and immediately knew he had to own the place and keep the entire kitchen staff onboard. 


“I bought the store because of the chef,” Azzarelli said, referring to Chef Karen Bonfield, who has been conceiving the menu at Dr. B Well since 1991. “People say healthy food can’t taste good, and that’s just not true. Our chef is very into spices. And her seasoning makes up for all the garbage others put into food in the service industry.”


And while most eateries’ offerings consist mostly of meat-based protein and a small selection of vegetarian fare, Dr. B Well offers the exact opposite. The store’s huge selection of vegetarian meals ranges from more than 10 varieties of veggie burgers to full hot meals.


But for a plate of the full meal, be sure to get there early. Chef Bonfield puts unveils the meal at around 11 a.m. every day, but by 2 p.m. it is gone. A recent hot meal selection included gluten free dueling creole chicken, wild mushroom tempeh, green curry broccoli and tofu stew. 


Azzarelli said his chef arrives at the store to begin prepping food at around 2 or 3 a.m.


“She does a lot of work to get the food out tasting as good as it does,” he said, adding that he takes pride in giving residents the chance to not only eat well, but to eat healthy. “I want to help people stay away from processed food and the garbage that you really don’t want to eat. Genetically modified food is like science fiction food, you don’t want to eat it.”


And Azzarelli, who owns the store with his brother Anthony, said the more his customers learn about the food they eat, the more they choose to eat at Dr. B Well.


“A lot of people have food allergies and intolerances to gluten and dairy,” he said. “But even if you don’t have allergies, you can still make choices to avoid bloating, cramping and the general bad feeling you get when you eat garbage foods.”


The pharmacy, the healthy food with flavor, the groceries – it all boils down to helping people, according to Azzarelli. Growing up, Azzarelli’s spent a lot of time in his father’s shoe store. There, he learned the importance keeping customers loyal with impeccable service and a genuine concern for their well-being.  


“My father taught me that at the end of the day, you don’t want to have patients or customers – you want to have friends,” he said. “When you take time to help people, it is amazing how much they appreciate you. I go home a very happy person.”


As for the future of the store, Azzarelli hesitated to give too much away. But he did reveal that he hopes to add more seating, as well as table service, so that more people can benefit from unique food and precise care at Dr. B Well. 


“People need a place to sit and eat healthy food,” he said. “I love to see people eat well so that they feel well.”


Due to what appears to be a colossal error on the part of the Nassau County Assessor’s office, military veterans and Gold Star families will have to wait for their tax break until next year.

Plainview is one of several local school districts that recently approved resolutions extending an exemption to local veterans, even though budgets and Albany’s tax cap make it a tough choice. Last month, despite concerns about lack of confidence in the validity of eligibility information provided by the county assessor’s office, the Plainview trustees voted to provide a school tax exemption for veterans living in the Plainview-Old Bethpage School District, starting with the 2014-2015 school year.

The Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School business teams placed second and third in the Nassau County’s annual Comptroller’s Entrepreneurial Challenge. They competed against two hundred business students from high schools across Nassau County for scholarships and cash awards from various sponsors.  

On April 9, at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building, student teams had 10 minutes to convince a panel of expert judges that their plan for a business in the Plaza of the new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is feasible and would be successful.


Matzah Balls

Thursday, April 17

Craft Fair

Saturday, April 19


Friday, April 18


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