More than 30 years ago, For Goodness Sake opened its doors as one of the first tenants of the Market Station retail centers in downtown Leesburg. On Friday, it will celebrate its grand re-opening under new ownership.
Ally Blaine has taken the reins of the health food shop from Valley Bennett, marking the first time the store has been run by someone outside of the Bennett family. Sue Bennett, Valley’s mom, opened the shop in the mid-1980s.
Blaine is a familiar face to For Goodness Sake devotees. She has been an employee of the store since 2012, landing her first job there, and working part time through college. After working full time in the shop for a bit, she left for Washington, DC, not long after graduating college to pursue her event planning career. Blaine is a Loudoun native and graduated from Loudoun Valley High School in 2009.
It was the summer of 2017, on a weekend when she was helping cover a shift, that the idea of her taking ownership of the store was first floated. Then-owner Valley Bennett was considering her next adventure, Blaine recalls her saying.
“I said, ‘what if I bought it?’ Kind of kidding, but the more I thought about it the more it seemed perfect,” she said.
The wheels began turning in earnest last spring, and Blaine quit her Washington, DC, job to move back home and work at the shop, while also working for a time at nearby King Street Coffee over the summer months. The sale of the shop to Blaine closed in October.
Although she’s excited about owning the business, taking over For Goodness Sake means more than just a name on the business license for Blaine.
“I love the store; it’s been a huge part of my early adulthood. It’s a place where I could heal when I was going through a lot personally. It’s where my journey into healing and recovery started,” she said. “I feel really connected to it.”
Blaine said she is hoping raise awareness about all the products For Goodness Sake offers, and to debunk the myth of what the public may think a health food store is.
“It’s not just a bunch of herbs and crystals,” she jokes.
As an example, she notes that For Goodness Sake offers a wide selection of grab-and-go food and drinks. She’s put in a new coffee bar and is hoping to stock new products, perhaps bulk food and bulk household products.
Blaine is also looking to bring her event planning prowess to benefit her store, hosting a regular assortment of community events. The first, scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Jan. 16, will focus on gut health and feature local wellness expert Allison Tepper.
For Goodness Sake will host its grand re-opening celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, Jan. 4, beginning at 6 p.m. For Goodness Sake is located at 108 South St., Suite D, in Market Station.
For more information about the store, go to fgsleesburg.com.