Secrets of Nature


Bellvue business highlight

In business since1980, owner Duston  Coy’s Secrets of Nature (SON) also known as the best kept secret, east of the river, sprang up in Southwest Washington, DC as a result of the devastating news of his mother’s cancer diagnosis. While the initial goal in establishing Secrets of Nature was to find a way to assist his mother with her medical condition, Coy’s business has now expanded to include those individuals disproportionally affected by preventable diseases as well. SON is a one-stop full service health food center serving all of your senses: spirit, mind and body. Their menu includes a full range of natural foods, vegetarian meals, sandwiches,  fresh pressed fruit and vegetable juices. The mission of SON is to assist those looking for alternative ways to address preventable diseases.

While Secrets of Nature has enjoyed great success, Mr. Coy has encountered his fair share of challenges. One of the business’ challenges has stemmed from securing the start-up capital.  He went on to say that having a good plan is not enough. You have to sell the plan and that can be difficult without the staff and resources needed to see it through. While admitting the difficulty of overcoming undercapitalization, his business is a testament to new and future business owners; keep working hard towards your business and it can work! Fortunately for Mr. Coy, this challenge has refocused his energy for the business.  He decided to join a company with the educational plan and the quality products he needed to succeed. After some measure of success, Mr. Coy then reinvested the proceeds into his business and the rest is history!

What he learned from confronting this particular challenge was to accept the things that he could not readily change without being discouraged from continuing on his original mission.

In an effort to paint a realistic picture for aspiring entrepreneurs, Mr. Coy had four things to say:

  1. Expect to spend twice as much time as you would work for someone else.
  2. Expect to do a large amount of business activities, such as, record keeping, shopping, speaking engagements, and planning, outside of business hours.
  3. While running your own business may be harder than you think, it is also much more rewarding as well.
  4. Make sure your financial plan is order, capitalize up front & GO FOR IT!

A large portion of Secrets of Nature’s success revolves around the business’ ability to retain loyal customers. Mr. Coy clearly recognizes that loyal customers anchor the business and give some assurance of surviving.  He also noted the importance of maintaining courteous and polite service along with customer satisfaction.

One of the ways Secrets of Nature is hoping to better serve its customer base is through the launching of the business’ website:

In addition to securing the financial well being of his business, Mr. Coy and Secrets of Nature is committed to giving back to the local community. This commitment is shown through a variety of avenues such as: offering church services on Sunday and contributing to neighborhood youth groups, ANC’s and schools.

So, despite the business name and reputation of being Washington, DC’s best kept secret,  if you find yourself yearning to invest in better health and a better community, this is one secret that we cannot afford to continue to keep.


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