Photo by Conal Darcy / Brokelyn

Once, as a cashier at a popular gourmet grocery store in Brooklyn, I saw a fight almost break out over the last bottle of natural shampoo. It was a Sunday and the place was a madhouse. Our manager was able to keep the two customers from coming to blows, but it made me question why people would put themselves through such pain over health and beauty products. Even if you aren’t facing down a surly shopper with greasy hair, just moving through the wall-to-wall crowds made you feel angry and insignificant. But if you wanted all-natural feminine products, you didn’t have many options.

Our North Brooklyn brethren have avoided getting these mosh pits of commerce. But that means they’ll have to schlep it to Manhattan to fight through the impersonal crowds there for all-natural and organic drugstore goods. That is until about a year ago, when Nature’s Way Pharmacy opened in Ridgewood.

Brooklyn natives Michael Raizberg and Paul Volynsky opened this unique pharmacy last year, and it has since become a local institution. The reason is simple: Nature’s Way provides the products and personal service that you can’t get anywhere else in the neighborhood.

“We’re different than any other pharmacy in the area,” Raizberg says. “We carry stuff here that is really unique. We’re the first ones to bring them to this neighborhood.”

The store is jam-packed with whatever you’d need from a pharmacy, including home cleaning products, herbal teas, vitamins and probiotics, even children’s toys. And everything they stock is organic and all-natural. “We’re Whole Foods in a nutshell,” says Volynsky, who is also the store’s pharmacist. “We have everything, you name it.” That includes hard-to-find all-natural feminine care products and baby care, like Botanical Baby Care Products by Everyone, California Baby, and Babo. They’re also one of the only pharmacies in the Ridgewood area with a huge selection of local, organic honey.

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Photo by Conal Darcy / Brokelyn
Photo by Conal Darcy / Brokelyn

They also have a customer rewards program which gives you 10 percent back on each purchase. You can accumulate the rewards, saving them for big purchases later on.

Volynsky and Raizberg are doing something right. They’ve been open a year and have seen nothing but growth. But more customers doesn’t mean less personal service. Both men go out of their way to help customers understand what they’re buying or to research products when someone has a particular question.

“We recently were asked what cleaning soap was safe for birds!” Raizberg said. Sure enough, after some research they found out which one was, and the customer was thrilled.

They even publish frequent tips and tricks on the pharmacy’s Facebook page, such as recipe ideas and articles about products – even some they don’t sell! “It’s all about educating the community,” Volynsky says, ”not about pushing the product.”

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Photo by Conal Darcy / Brokelyn
Photo by Conal Darcy / Brokelyn

And community is the key word. Everything done at Nature’s Way is done in the spirit of making this a neighborhood pharmacy. They’ve built such strong relationships that some customers will even stop in just to say hi. When is the last time you thought about paying a social call on your local drugstore chain?

The reason for such a loyal following is simple: Raizberg and Volynsky are genuine in everything they do. “Me and Mike, we put our heart and souls into this and continue to do so. We live and breath this store.”

To celebrate their one-year anniversary, Nature’s Way Pharmacy is holding a month-long sale, with big discounts on everything they sell!

Stop by the store and say hi to Mike and Paul. You’ll soon make it your go-to for any organic and natural drug-store products you’ll need.

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