February 17, 2013
LIMA — She learned from her grandmother, and it's paid off.
Collette Johnson sells 20 to 22 pounds of homemade candy every week at her booth at Gallery 309, a fleamarket across from the Allen County Fairgrounds. (Do not pass up the tropical white chocolate-coconut fudge.)
Johnson said her grandmother was adamant about good candy. Do it right, Johnson remembers her saying, teaching her to not take shortcuts. Johnson has continued to perfect her recipes as she has, over time, changed her lifestyle toward consuming more natural foods.
The West Virginia native explained she had a serious health scare with appendix trouble at age 11.
"I wanted to do everything. You might go anytime," Johnson said.
By the time she was in her 30s, she had completely embraced natural foods. She believes God supplied the plants on this earth to be used as medicines.
"I don’t believe in giving people pills when we’ve got foods that heal," she said.
Johnson promotes knowing where your food comes from. If you can't grow it, buy it locally — and have a conversation with who raised it to know if any chemicals were used. She recommends doing research for yourself at the library or online.
She has also branched out into making natural beauty and skin care products. She encouraged people to pursue what they're passionate about.
"Honey, when you quit dreaming, you might as well die," Johnson said with a smile.
Check out Gallery 309 and Collette's Naturals on Facebook.
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