Greenpoint has lost another longtime business with the closure of family-owned and operated Natural Vitamins at 671 Manhattan Avenue.

For 50 years, the vitamin and supplement shop sold vitamins, herbs, homeopathic remedies, and beyond — with a special focus on the body-building community — at competitive prices. While the current owner Serge Zavala (son of Ecuadorian immigrants Irma and Antonio Zavala, the original founders) posted about the impending closure back in August, the store remained open for months before ultimately closing its doors last week.

According to a bio posted by the shop in 2011, Natural Vitamins was a manifestation of both the couple’s determination and Antonio’s burgeoning interest in nutrition and iridology (an alternative medicine technique focused on characteristics of the iris as determinants to health and health conditions). The business bounced around between two prior spaces (one on Nassau, and one right next door at 669 Manhattan Avenue, which is now Euro Chemist Pharmacy) before settling in at 671 Manhattan Avenue, where the Zavalas continued to carve out a space for Natural Vitamins in the holistic wellness space.

The shop also fostered a close relationship with the body-building circuit, including sponsoring professional body-builders and hosting events and expos with members of the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness Professional League. Upon taking over the business, Serge Zavala also pursued studies in holistic medicine while continuing to strengthen the business’s connections to body-building and the appropriate supplements and vitamins.

But the body-building connection isn’t the only one Natural Vitamins had — they also worked closely with other businesses in the area like Baya Bar, MADabolic Brooklyn, the former UFC FIT Greenpoint gym (which closed its doors permanently this past May), and more for pop-ups and demos.

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Plus BKLYN, a boutique specializing in pre-loved and vintage plus-sized clothing and accessories currently at 490 Metropolitan Avenue, has taken over the lease, though no opening date has been announced. According to a post from the shop written by its founder Alexis Hope Krase, while the space has been secured, they’ve hit permitting snags which have caused additional financial hardship, and have shared a GoFundMe to assist with expansion costs.

While it’s always sad to lose a long-standing local business, we can at least rejoice in the fact that it’s not being replaced by a Chase Bank or somehow more condos.

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  1. That is sad to read. My family have been friends with the Zavala family for a very long time my father was close friends with Antonio Zavala back in Ecuador and remained friends till my father passed. We also lived in Greenpoint since 70’s till 1997. I hope all the best for the new business and the Zavala family.

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