Nathalie Reid was a loyal shopper at Linda’s Organic Kitchen and Market on Lefferts Boulevard in Kew Gardens for a dozen years until she was laid off from her job as a corporate event planner after 9/11. That’s when she quickly morphed from customer to baker, helping Linda churn out pecan and chocolate mousse pies during the maddening Thanksgiving season. Buoyed by the experience, Reid enrolled at the Natural Gourmet Institute. By the time Linda was ready to sell, Reid was the ideal successor. And Thyme Natural Market was born.

“We want to show people how to use what they buy here.”

Since Reid took over, two years ago, the well-stocked market and cafe not only sports a different name but a newfound vibrancy. Locals refuel on freshly whipped smoothies, soups and organic dishes (many of them vegan and gluten-free), such as garlic and roasted red pepper hummus (“We soak and cook the chickpeas overnight”), Mediterranean tuna salad (“It has less mayo, more lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil”) and black bean burritos with raw milk cheese (“We make a vegan version with Daiya”).

For those who don’t have time to make their own potato salad to bring to this season’s bevy of BBQs, Reid’s Cajun-inspired recipe, a mélange of Yukon gold and sweet potatoes with hot sauce-spiked mayo comes to the rescue.

In-store demos, soon-to-launch intimate cooking classes and the addition of organic chicken, bison and grass-fed beef in time for barbecue season underscore Reid’s commitment to helping the community eat healthier.

“We want to show people how to use what they buy here,” Reid says.

Source: Edible Queens magazine, Summer 2012 issue, Alia Akkam

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