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'Health is wealth'

Nutrition and froyo spot in Valley Springs offers some sweet alternatives

  • Updated
  • 2 min to read

On a hot day in Valley Springs, there’s nothing much better than a tall spiral of frozen yogurt with generous toppings. Health Habit, “Your neighborhood health food store,” has filled a popular niche among residents by combining cold treats and nutritional alternatives to keep the family both happy and healthy this summer.

During a grand reopening in March, the family-run store unveiled an expanded array of bulk herbs, essential oils, gift items and Keto Diet options to cater to a growing interest in Valley Springs. Health Habit also hosts a farmers market on Tuesdays, collaborating with CalaverasGROWN and Calaveras High School to bring self-sustaining produce back to the community.

“This is a beautiful valley, and we want to have the food that doesn’t need to travel 3,000 miles to get on your dinner plate,” said Anne Petrovich, manager at Health Habit and an enthusiastic advocate for holistic nutrition and health care.

“When you’re a mom, it’s ‘Dr. Mom,” she said. “You’ve got to try to fix or help or kiss that boo boo goodbye, and I want to do it as naturally and as easily as possible. And I’ve just had some incredible things work with natural healing.”

Petrovich brings a degree in chemistry and her experiences as a mother of four into her interactions with customers, serving up froyo and smoothies with a smile and fielding inquiries regarding an extensive range of products.

Health and froyo spot in Valley Springs offers some sweet alternatives

“A lot of times, people have an idea of what they want to do because the body is so unique that what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for the next person. So you have to kind of try different things and be willing and open, and you have to kind of educate yourself,” Petrovich said. “That’s where I’m trying to work with them – on that education and knowledge-building.”

Petrovich often encourages customers to keep a diary of the food they eat and supplements they take in order to find the right balance.

“If you don’t see exactly what you need here on the shelf, we’re happy to special order for you and look for the quality product that you need,” she said.

For those with dietary restrictions such as dairy-free, gluten-free or even coffee-free, Health Habit carries alternative options that are often hard to find in rural counties.

Health and froyo spot in Valley Springs offers some sweet alternatives

Manny Uchida, 12, and Madison Cho, 8, enjoy frozen yogurt prepared by Anne Petrovich, manager at the Health Habit in Valley Springs on Monday. The health food store offers a variety of products, but finds many patrons come in for the froyo and smoothies.

Purchased by Christian and Sandra Nelson in November of last year, the store continues to expand and evolve with the community, serving residents with a naturalistic approach for more than 30 years.

“It has been really interesting to purchase a business that has a history in the town,” said Sandra Nelson, a teacher by profession who lives on a small farm in Wilton with her husband and three sons. The family is firmly rooted in their own health habits, following a primarily plant-based diet at home. “We’re excited to have a place where we can share health with other people.”

In describing her family’s approach to running the store, Nelson said their focus is on “the basics.”

“Health has a way of swinging all over the place,” Nelson said regarding the ever-changing fads of nutrition. “Supplements are necessary, but we definitely want to have good, wholesome food. Bodies are created to help themselves.”

The family hopes to further help customers help themselves by offering a range of classes in the near future, from kids’ cooking classes to workshops teaching naturalistic strategies for fighting depression.

In today’s world, “Things are fast,” Nelson said. Now more than ever, people should prioritize mental and physical wellness. “Health is wealth.”

For more information on Health Habit, visit


Dakota graduated from Bret Harte in 2013 and went to Davidson College, NC where she earned a bachelor's degree in Arab studies. After spending time studying in the Middle East and Europe, she is happy to be home, writing about the community she loves.

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