New Harvest Moon owners look to continue local business's legacy
The health and nutrition store offers a variety of products for customers.
By Garrett Hemmerich WEST MILFORD – Health and nutrition store Harvest Moon, located at 22 Marshall Hill Road, hopes to continue its long legacy under new owners Fred Shafer and his daughter Sierra. “There’s a whole community in this town that loves this store and has been supported by this store,” said Sierra Shafer during a recent visit. “It would have been a loss to the community.” That’s why, when original owners John and Sally Malatros decided to retire this past April, longtime West Milford residents Sierra, and father, Fred Shafer, were happy to shift its operations to a new location, continuing the Harvest Moon legacy. Fred Shafer has been in the natural foods business for more than 41 years, having opened Taste of Dawn Natural Foods in Butler back in 1976. While the Shafer’s share a general philosophy on natural foods with Harvest Moon’s previous owners, they said they have already made efforts to expand on the store’s offerings. For instance, in addition to the supplements, herbs and organic foods, they’ve added more aroma therapy and holistic skin care products. “We have expanded on that from the previous owners,” Sierra Shafer said. “That’s something we’d like to drum up more interest for.” Natural body care is not the only area the new owners are trying to expand on, though. They’re also now offering select local foods, like grass-fed meat straight from the Hudson Valley, as well as additional niche supplements, such as CBD oil. “The whole point of this approach to health is to do no harm and to use the natural world to heal yourself,” said Fred Shafer. “The products we sell are the least adulterated we can find. Let nature do the work.” The Shafer’s don’t just apply that philosophy to foods, either, to them, it’s a way of life. “The lifestyle includes an alignment with nature,” Fred Shafer said. “Letting nature be your example more.” So far so good as, according to the new owners, they’ve been warmly received by the existing customer base and community. “We try to make it a friendly environment for people, make people feel welcome, said Fred Shafer. “We share a lot of information, not always about the business. Sometimes it’s just personal stuff. It’s that old type of old fashioned brick and mortar store.” It’s also very much a family-run business, as in addition to Fred and daughter Sierra Shafer, Fred’s wife also works at the store and one of his sons did so previously. Previous customers will also be happy to learn that one store tradition the new owners will be carrying on is the discount on their main supplement lines. To learn more about Harvest Moon and its new owners, you can visit their website at www.harvestmoonnj.com, check them out on Facebook, or stop by and peruse their holiday gift ideas.