People of Etowah – Jim Smith


Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Albertville and raised in Gadsden, where my dad had come to work at Goodyear.

What is your occupation? 
I am a nutritionist and herbalist and my wife and I own Apple A Day, the local health food store in Gadsden.

What made you decide to work in your field?
Dr. Norman Walker, the “Juice Doctor,” was my inspiration.

Tell us about your family and pets.
I am married to Vicki, we have two daughters Victorie and Valerie, two sons-in-law, Patrick and Tyler, three grandchildren, Eli, Rylie, and Aubrey, all of whom are dearly loved. Our pet of 14 years recently passed.

Describe an average day in your life.
A typical day in our store is busy. I counsel people on their nutrition choices, though I have trained our staff to do that also. I am the primary buyer for the store, so I am in daily contact with our suppliers and spend time studying new products and companies. For example, the new hemp industry has sprung dozens of new companies with no track record, so I investigate any company and/or product fully be-fore considering selling it to our customers.

What school or schools have you attended?
J.L. Wagner Elementary, Litchfield Middle, Gads-den High, Gadsden State, and Auburn University.

What do you like to do in your free time?
We enjoy traveling and spending time with our children and grandchildren. I read daily, I also write. I serve with a local food mi-nistry and we serve in our church.

What would you say is your greatest accomplishment?
I would say my children. I am also proud to have helped get the Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1992. As Alabama state co-ordinator for Citizens for Health, I went with the constituents of eight Alabama Congressmen to speak to them about DSHEA. Seven of them became co-sponsors, including Tom Bevill, which opened the door for more senior leadership in congress to come on as sponsors of DHSEA.

Name the one person that has been the most influential in your life. Why?
I’ll name four. My mother and dad, my wife, and my father-in-law. Though I’ve had a unique opportunity being his son-in-law, I’ve appreciated my talks with Peter Gregerson, Sr., who has a great mind and vast knowledge of life. His thoughts on “The Golden Rule” are particularly reso-nant.

To what do you credit your success?
The gifts God has given me like my memory; my appreciation for how the Lord designed the body to heal itself and all the things he gave us to advance healing; my lifelong quest to grow in understanding of that; my desire to help others achieve optimal health; and also my wife Vicki.

Are you involved in any service organizations?
Over the years, I have served with several. Many people know me as a long time board member of the Mental Health Association, now Mental Health America, where I also served as Executive Director. Now I serve with the Father’s Love Ministry, which helps distribute food every third Saturday at the Tabernacle Church on South 11th Street in Gadsden.

What is your favorite thing about this community?
It is a beautiful place. I love the colorful people and our natural resources. I love serving the nutritional needs of the folks here.

What would you like to see change in the community?
I would love to see people have more appreciation for their lives. It is a dynamic time to be alive. I’d also love to see people take more pride in the community and to keep it clean.

What are three words that describe you?
Husband, grandparent and patriot.

What is something surprising that many do not know about you?
My dual degree from Auburn was in economics and transportation.

What is your favorite quote?
“Tu ne cede malis” – Ludwig Von Mises, which means “Do not give in to evil.”

What is on your bucket list?
I would like to see the countries of South America: Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, and Venezuela.

What is your hidden talent?
I have been trained in several alternative healing modalities, one of my favorites as a massage therapist.

What advice would you give yourself as a child?
Don’t fear, have peace; move forward and trust God!

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