I'm curious about the big aloe plant in the window.

The regal aloe vera plant that presides over the Mastel's Health Foods' storefront has been a fixture here for 40 years. It has not only earned a prominent place in our window but privileged status as our company logo.

 

  Paolo the Aloe 40th Birthday

 Above: Paolo the Aloe celebrates it's 40th Birthday in November of 2017

Owner John Mastel won the then far smaller plant in Las Vegas at the 1977 National Nutritional Foods Association show. As John tells it, there was a treasure chest at the expo where attendees were invited to choose a key from a bucket of hundreds. He walked up to the display and pointed to one key in particular and said: "That's the key that will open the chest." Lo and behold, that was the key that unlocked the treasure chest and the aloe plant was his. After the expo, John carried his Grand Prize home on his lap during the plane ride and placed it in the same window where it resides today. Our aloe has thrived thanks in part to a hand-mixed sand and potting soil blend, passive sun baths, a diet of fish meal, and attentive watering. Today the magnificent specimen erupts out of a 10-gallon pot. It's so happy here it issues a striking white flower every four months.

Over the decades, that original aloe vera has generated countless clones, one of which has surpassed its parent in size (this behemoth is on display in our second store window). But you don't have to take our word for it--swing by any day of the week to gaze upon our majestic and much-beloved aloe vera!