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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Nature’s Harvest Opens in Poughkeepsie

Feb 26, 2021 05:09PM ● By Marilee Burrell

Omar De La Cruz meeting Bennet of Mitten Rock Farm

Under new ownership, beloved market expands bakery, deli and local food focus.

Poughkeepsie’s popular natural food market, Mother Earth’s Storehouse, has a new name and a new owner who is doubling down on the business’s community focus with more local products and expanded services.

Like its predecessor, Nature's Harvest is a natural and organic gourmet grocery store with a vegan and gluten-free bakery and deli and an extensive vitamin center. Since the store switched names and ownership on October 1, owner Omar De La Cruz and general manager David Barillaro have been focusing on integrating locally made items into their offerings.

“Raw honey from Clinton Corners and grass-fed beef from Lagrange, which is exclusive to us, are just the start,” Barillaro says.

One change to watch will be the expansion of the store’s prepared foods department. While the bakery and deli specialize in vegan and gluten-free items, Barillaro says they also prepare a wide range of conventional items for people who just want clean food.

“We make everything fresh in house, from soups to now our own ciabatta rolls for our sandwiches,” he says. “We will begin selling our own breads and are working on vegan and gluten-free bread recipes to provide alternatives to the packaged bread-aisle offerings we already stock.” 

In addition to its regular line of house-made vegan and gluten-free cakes and pastries, the bakery also does custom work.

“We love to prepare special orders to be a part of a memorable occasion,” Barillaro says. “There are examples of previous works on our Instagram.” 

The store’s juice and smoothie bar, which uses 100 percent organic fruits and vegetables, now has a juice and smoothie club with a punch card that members can use to work toward a free small juice of their choice. And anyone can stop by Nature’s Harvest for a free cup of organic fair-trade coffee or tea—no purchase necessary.

Men on a Mission

Nature’s Harvest is just the latest collaboration between Barillaro and De La Cruz, who have known each other and worked together in various capacities for a number of years.

“We met in the coffee industry, and I have worked with Omar in some other ventures,” Barillaro says. “When he let me know his intentions and offered me a role working with him, I jumped at the chance. Omar is an extremely hard-working, dedicated and focused individual. Bettering this store and continuing to serve this community is his mission.”

The pandemic has been an opportunity for them to show that commitment. Under their leadership, Nature’s Harvest is continuing to offer curbside pickup to keep customers safe. It also makes deliveries to Lagrange, Hopewell, Fishkill, Wappingers and Poughkeepsie—the only natural and organic store in the area that does, Barillaro says.

“We hope to carry on the tradition of being a beacon of clean food to the area and to serve this community, which we are fortunate enough to be a part of,” he says.

Location: Nature's Harvest, 1955 South Rd., Poughkeepsie, NY. Store hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Info: 845.296.1069 and