Sporting Barbados interviews Dr Nick Kelly, owner of the many Nature’s Discount Health food stores on island to see how he got started and what advice he has for a healthier lifestyle! 
You have the biggest and most extensive range of vitamins and heath products on island and also in some other Caribbean islands and ten stores spanning Barbados- How did this all start? 
I grew up in the Caribbean. I was born in Trinidad but we moved to Antigua when I was 1 and lived there until I was 4. Then my father joined the foreign service and we came to Barbados. Apart from a year back in Trinidad when I was 13 we stayed in Barbados until I was 18. At that point my father was posted to Algeria and I started working in banking in London. I started all sorts of businesses while there, along with my jobs and when I was 26 and told by the bank that I was not going to be posted back home I quit my job and went back to Barbados on my own! To my horror I discovered that I had no right to live there as my father was a diplomat and he never filed for any status for me or my brother! 
Luckily I had deep connections who knew me from when I was a little boy and I got my residency/Citizenship sorted. While all that was going on I had to come and go so I travelled to the USA weekly and brought in watches, key rings, ear rings, purses and other general merchandise and sold it to the stores around the island. I met everybody in retail! I quickly realized that New York hotels and cabs from JFK were going to bankrupt me so I rented an apartment in Miami and flew up Monday to Miami, took the first flight to La Guardia and went back the same day, and flew back to Barbados the next day. The apartment with a room mate cost me the same as one night in the NYC hotel and the cab ride was half. Even better, I got a free car in Miami for 3 days by flying Pan Am and renting with Alamo!! 
After a year I got short paid by a customer and was stuck in Miami with no car and no money. My room mate was Brazilian and he sold jeans in the flea market on Sunrise which was a mile away from where we lived. That Saturday he paid me $20 to help him sell jeans and I bought a small juice extractor for $7 and something to eat and then he took me to the airport to fly home on Sunday night empty handed...except with the juice extractor!! 
Monday morning I bought a case of oranges and bought a few empty gallon glass rum bottles form my Barbadian room mate and squeezed myself 3 gallons of orange juice. I could not drink that much so I took some to a hotel and asked if they would like to buy some. 
To my surprise they ordered 2 gallons a day! I got a few other hotels to buy it too and I officially started The Juice Factory and stopped traveling immediately!! Of course by then I had status so didn’t need to travel anyway. Why do I give you all this information? When I was in Miami I would buy myself the vitamins that I wanted and they were much cheaper than buying in Barbados. 
When I ran out and was not traveling I wrote to the company and asked them if I could buy directly from them. In 1990 there was no internet so no online purchasing was possible!! They wrote back and gave me an export price that was so low I could ship it, pay the 70% duty, mark it up 50% and sell to the stores in Barbados, who then marked it up 40% and the retail price was still cheaper than in the USA!!! I could not resist so I ordered a ton of product and went about selling it to the supermarkets, pharmacies and health food stores around the island. Things were going OK but after 8 years I was not being paid by a few large customers in Bridgetown so I decided to open my own retail store. I had no money so this was a huge gamble for me. I had to compete with Jenn who had been there for 10 years so I had to do deals with many suppliers to get good prices so that I could offer discounted prices in Barbados with the club membership. The store took off almost immediately thank God!! Then someone form Aruba came in and said “I want one of these in Aruba!!”
I also added another store on the West Coast and then another in Hastings and so it began. 
I did not plan any of it. I just wanted to get my vitamins cheaper!! God had other ideas for me. Over the years to help educate the public I was educated myself by Medical and Naturopathic doctors and eventually wound up a Naturopathic Doctor. 
Your mantra - Get Healthy - is a good one as a large portion of the population in Barbados is known to suffer with obesity and related health problems - what advise would you give these people to try and get them on the right track? 
Getting and remaining healthy is more than taking a pill. You have to eat real food, not processed foods. You have
to move and sweat! You have to think positive happy thoughts. And you have to drink plenty of water all the time. With the right supplements and all the above you will get on that right track. Focus on keeping your gut healthy because that goes most of the way to keeping your whole body in good shape. 
Are you as an organization involved in any community sporting or get healthy projects? 
We are trying to get together a bunch of sporting groups under the Nature’s Discount banner. The ND Road Tennis club, ND Running Club, ND Walking Club, ND Swimming Club etc. Covid got in the way right when we planned this so it’s soon time to roll them out. We just need leaders in each sport to step up and help us. The plan is to have members join these clubs. We will give them branded T shirts and arrange regular meetings. Then we will partner with other people who are putting on events in those categories. 
What can you offer visitors to the island? 
Our general prices are a bit higher than in their own countries due to the fact that we have such high freight charges and duty but we still have some products that travelers can’t buy at home, like Melatonin, and we have a large range of healthy foods so they can cook and eat healthy whilst here. Some of our English supplements are similar prices as those in England so all I can say is come and have a look!! 
Sometimes the cost of vitamins etc can be an issue especially now with everything increasing in price. Often you listen to your promotions and it seems like you should take lots of things to be really healthy. If you could tell someone ONE thing that they should take to improve their health, what would that be? 
Oh don’t get me started on price rises! We are faced with almost monthly increases by almost all our suppliers, especially those in the USA. I even had a minister accuse me of price gouging recently but invited him to come and inspect our records to see that these increases are beyond our control. Not only that, the freight costs are now three times what they were before Covid! Anyway, my advice is to take 2 things! A good probiotic and a good multi vitamin. With that foundation you will be on the right path!