Mike Wiechmann developed chronic digestive problems early in life and faced other health issues, including the autoimmune disease fibromyalgia. With his health deteriorating, the native Houston resident began a quest to become healthy.
“My health continued to spiral downward to a point of disability,” Wiechmann said. “It would be a challenge for me just to get up and get a drink of water. The doctors didn’t know what to do for me.”
After exhausting all conventional medical options, Wiechmann said he became more open to making lifestyle changes and investing in strategic supplemental support. That lifestyle change was the catalyst that led Wiechmann to open Nature’s Garden Market & Café in 2000. The owner now works with clients who are looking for nutritional and health counseling.
Nature’s Garden Market and Café started at its original location on the corner of Bay Area Boulevard and FM 528 in Friendswood 15 years ago. The business moved temporarily to a location along FM 528 in 2006 that included an expanded cafe area before relocating to its present location in August 2008.
The cafe specializes in natural health foods, selling whole food supplements, vitamins and some groceries with an emphasis on organic and natural products. It offers smoothies, salads, sandwiches and gluten-free food.
In addition to selling health foods, the business offers lab testing for bone health, thyroid and gastrointestinal health and specialized nutritional programs focusing on sleep, energy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other conditions. Nature’s Garden also offers educational workshops on children’s health, weight management and other healthy lifestyle topics.
Wiechmann, a certified herbalist, said clients can also make appointments with him for nutritional consultations where they learn about educational therapies and advice based on the latest nutrition-related research.
General Manager Mary Kester met Wiechmann in 2004 as a customer of the store. Putting her experience in the business world and retail to use, she befriended the owner and helped grow the business. Kester said they both realized the importance of healthy eating alternatives in the Friendswood community.
“My original goal was to help him run the back end of the store, but it has evolved into a full partnership,” Kester said. “The most rewarding part of being involved is helping people. The challenges are the same of any retail establishment, [such as]having the right products for the right amounts. Most people say they are happy with the supplements and the quality of products.”
Kester said the shop and cafe offer a cozy family atmosphere, with an art decor inspired by locales she found aesthetically appealing.
“I was trying for a cross between Dublin and New York’s Central Library,” Kester said.
In addition to serving the Friendswood community, Nature’s Garden Market and Café is involved in giving back to the community by participating in food fairs, school functions and fundraisers for bands and soccer leagues. Kester said the store’s policy is to help out the local community while also hiring graduates from area high schools.
Source: impact news