THERE’S a new healthy player in town, with selections from France and right at home, and it’s all in Glorietta 4.
During the grand opening of Heyday on Jan. 30, BusinessWorld went around the new store and marveled at bars of Marseille soap for P195 (which would cost a bit more online), organic vegetables (some of them at below-supermarket prices), and some meatless options that aren’t present in other stores yet (though some deli meats and dairy are also in stock).
In one corner of the store stand huge apothecary jars of tea (we got rosebuds, blue butterfly pea, and other treats for about P300 for 100 grams), and there are jars and jars of spices (we scored a jar of garam masala for less than P100). There are also scores of health supplements, imported or made by Heyday. Other sections in the store include healthy snacks, a grain and nut refilling station, an organic wine selection, and a beauty section.
REASONABLE PRICES“We’re reasonable within the average price in the market,” said Eric Poiret, Co-Founder and President of Heyday, when we pointed out the relatively affordable selection. As for the organic produce, he said, “That’s a different process.” They buy mostly rescue crops directly from small farms, thus eliminating price inflation by middlemen. “The idea is that fruits and vegetables need to be affordable.”
Mr. Poiret had been an executive of French store chain Carrefour when it expanded into the Middle East, so he knows about setting up supermarkets.
One of his business partners in the Philippines, Ryan Tan, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Heyday, headed the company that distributes Garmin in the Philippines (which explains the prominent Garmin display in the store, showcasing their health watches and weighing scales).
A HEALTHY OUTLOOK“We did not start naturally becoming health and wellness-oriented people, but we found our way towards health and wellness independently,” said Mr. Tan. While both profess to living a healthy lifestyle (Mr. Poiret is a fan of preventive medicine and exercise, while Mr. Tan limits his carb intake and practices eating One Meal a Day), Mr. Tan said that the idea for the healthy superstore began during the pandemic. “The spotlight was all over health. There was a global pandemic, and a lot of people were conscious about immunity, about health.
“When we talked, we both knew that we were both passionate about health and wellness. It’s a gap in the market that exists, and it seems like a need for a lot of Filipinos,” said Mr. Tan. “Heyday exists because of the clamor of a lot of Filipino middle-class who decide to be healthy but lack the knowledge how (to start).”
It seems to be another step forward for mainstreaming healthy living — of course, health food stores and the like have existed for quite some time, but only one or two would be found in malls; other small players would be found in more obscure neighborhoods and weekend markets.
On establishing their store in the capital’s financial district in Makati, he pointed to the number of busy people living and working in the city. “They put health and wellness as a lower priority. We’re here to remind them that if you put health and wellness first, it would be easier for them to achieve their goals.
“We didn’t want to be destination once a month, or once a quarter when you need to refill your vitamins, minerals, and supplements. We wanted people to come every day for the fresh (products) and to be able to have a complete shopping experience,” said Mr. Poiret. He then made examples of some loyal customers who wait for the store to open at 10 a.m. “This is happening.”
While there’s only one store so far, the founders are looking into opening two more branches soon. “We want to perfect this. We’re giving ourselves three to six months to perfect this every day,” said Mr. Poiret, and then, “We’re looking at key locations in key malls in Metro Manila.”
BRING YOUR OWN CONTAINERSDuring the store tour, we were encouraged to buy jars so that we could return and refill them when our stores ran out, but one can bring their own containers to save money and to help the environment.
One can do the same for items such as olive oil, liquid detergent, fabric conditioner, and all-purpose cleaner (all those pump bottles of soap acquired then saved during the pandemic would finally find some use).
The bags in which our purchases were placed were also made of biodegradable cassava.
Asked about the thrust towards sustainability (an idea that would go hand-in-hand with healthy living), Mr. Tan said, “Wellness is not just wellness for us. We want it to be a kind of wellness that starts with you and extends to the world.”
Heyday is now open in G/F Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Makati City. Heyday products are also available on Lazada and Shopee. — Joseph L. Garcia