Proprietor says goodbyes A Touch of Nature gets new owners

March 25, 1993|By Maureen Rice | Maureen Rice,Contributing Writer

Goodbye, Peggy Taylor. Someone else will be operating the store now.

On Tuesday, some of the customers who dropped in for Ms. Taylor's last day at A Touch of Nature, her health food store in Carrolltowne Mall, fought back tears as they said goodbye.

Ms. Taylor did, too.

Betty Roberts of Mount Airy hugged the proprietor and wished her well. "We've been coming here for 12 years, since the store opened," she said.

Ms. Taylor asked how the Roberts' house was (They built it themselves, complete with a passive solar heating system), and how their eight cats liked the snow.

Her last day at the store was hard, Ms. Taylor said. "I think I must have spent the whole day in tears. It seems like everybody came in to say goodbye.

"Look at this card -- it's signed by just about everybody in the mall. And this one, it's from a customer. I get teary-eyed just looking at them."

Ms. Taylor, 56, a Roland Park native who now lives in Westminster, bought the store on a whim and turned it into a thriving business. Now she wants to retire to the Florida Keys, where she bought a house about a year and a half ago.

Ms. Taylor compared leaving the store to getting a divorce: "You know you want to do it, but it's so sad. I don't think I'll miss the

store, but I will miss all my customers. I've made so many friends here."

Shawn Salafia, the new owner, was on hand to greet Ms. Taylor's customers. He and his family now own three health food stores.

"We'll have the things people are used to buying, and a lot of new stuff," he said. "The store will be a lot more crowded."

Old customers floated in and hugged Ms. Taylor. "I'll still be teaching my [exercise] classes," she assured them. "We're not going to the Keys until after Christmas."

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