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Hallelujah Acres is on a mission to make people healthy by offering advice that’s not overwhelming, food that tastes good and recipes that make eating better a little easier.

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The Christian health and wellness company re-located its headquarters to Gastonia, bringing 55 jobs, a health food store in the front and training and other operations in the back of the 13,000-square-foot building at 916 Cox Road.

Hallelujah Acres CEO Paul Malkmus said he chose Gastonia because it’s a metropolitan area with a thriving health care industry. The company relocated from Tennessee to Shelby in 1997 and held its Gastonia grand opening Friday.

“And as we all know, people are getting sicker and sicker. They’re overweight, unhealthy,” Malkmus said. “And with the attitude now of the country, it’s really focusing more of prevention, people taking more responsibility for their health.”

People want to be healthy, but they get lost on how to start.

Hallelujah Acres aims to help people start taking control of their health, then offer them more ways to maintain their health once they’re on the right track, Malkmus said.

Gaston County isn’t the healthiest place in North Carolina. The state isn’t considered one of the healthiest states, either.

But Malkmus said the challenges residents face here are the same ones he hears across the country: it’s hard to be healthy when people eat so poorly.

“I don’t think that Gastonia has any worse conditions,” Malkmus said. “I think it’s just the whole country is really sick.”

The retail store in Gastonia has a range of products ranging from juices to beauty products. The company has narrowed down its products to what it believes are the best available based on testing and analysis.

Toxicity and deficiency are the two things that make people sick, Malkmus said. The company wants to help people get rid of as many toxins as possible and support the body with nutrition, vitamins and minerals to super charge the body. The company focuses on a raw, plant-based, vegan lifestyle.

Hallelujah Acres will offer classes at the Gastonia location for those just getting started and people who want to maintain their healthy lifestyle.

“What we do is we try to come in and look at the causes of disease,” Malkmus said. “And so a lot of times what happens when you go to the traditional medical route, they look at a symptom and they receive something to alleviate the symptom, but it doesn’t actually get down to what causes the disease. And what we do is try to get down to what the cause is. And if you remove the cause, the body starts to heal itself.”

A customer walking into Hallelujah Acres in Gastonia should find a friendly employee ready to offer advice on getting healthy without overwhelming, Malkmus said. Employees can offer suggestions that will help people be healthier in a short amount of time. People who start to see significant improvement come back to see what else they can do to be healthy.

Barley juice powder is Hallelujah Acres’ signature product, which is designed to heal the body quickly by flooding it with nutrients. The company focuses on vegetable juice rather than fruit juice. Customers will also find “foods on the go” like snack bars for those who need a healthy snack on the run.  All of the products offered in the store have to hold up the company’s standards. That means if it says it on the label, the product actually contains it.

Since health and wellness products aren’t regulated, some products don’t contain the ingredients listed on the label. Malkmus said his company self-polices to make sure that everything meets standards and gives better results than anything else on the market.

“Our bottom line is we want people to get results,” Malkmus said. “We only have the products because that’s what helps people get results.”