About us

The Haelan Centre first opened in October 1971, the shop was officially acquired by the partnership of Nino Booth and Peter Woodhead. The partners set out to establish a wholefood shop based on the ideas of clean, organic food that is sustainably produced. The early days were difficult and challenging, as few people understood what was meant by organic wholefoods. Throughout the 1970s the business grew steadily and the first major growth in the market began as other stores began to open around London. In 1981, Nino acquired the sole rights to the business.


From the beginning, Nino saw the potential of the wholefood movement and was convinced that one day such ideas would be accepted widely enough so that the shop would be successful as a High Street store. In 1986 he was able to realise this conviction by the move to our present location in the very heart of Crouch End. Nino was a visionary, a man with a dream that we will all, one day, have a healthy diet. “I believe that the specialist shops of the future will be Junk Food Shops and the supermarkets will stock only healthy foods.” He was one of the few people in the trade to feel no threat from the supermarkets, he actively welcomed them branching out into organics and encroaching on the health food sector. He viewed them as helping him to realise his dream of bringing wholesome food into the mainstream.

In 1989, Nino was able to expand the business by opening The Haelan Clinic, offering the local community easy access to professional alternative and complementary health treatments. The Clinic started with only a couple of practitioners (both of whom are still with us!) and today has expanded to include over 30 practitioners and 20 teachers, offering treatments such as massage, osteopathy, acupuncture & nutritional therapy and classes for yoga, Pilates and Feldenkrais. Check out www.haelanclinic.co.uk to find out more.

The Haelan Centre

The Haelan Centre has undergone many transformations over the past half century, with refitting work – both inside and out – being undertaken in 2002, 2011 & 2020. All the earlier work done to the Centre was planned and commissioned by Nino before his death in 2001.  At this time, ownership of the Centre passed down to Nino’s daughter, Amabel, who has since expanded ownership with the help of John & David Krahn.  The three of us carry on Nino’s good work and continue to make improvements so that we may offer a pleasant and comfortable environment for all who come to the Haelan Centre. Check out our About Us page to find out more about our management team.

The Haelan Centre’s online store – Organic To Your Door first launched in 2012 and has now been revamped and relaunched to bring you our full store range delivered to your door (chilled & frozen products limited to local postcodes for now).

Our Team

Amabel is the daughter of the Haelan Centre’s founder Nino Booth. With her earliest memory being in the shop, she has been involved in some way or other for her entire life. We have customers that remember Amabel as a baby in a sling on her father’s chest when he would work the tills in the ‘80s. Starting on Sunday shifts at 14 years old, Amabel has worked in every aspect of the business from till work to shelf stacking, orders and deliveries to accounts. When she inherited the business in 2001, she relied heavily on John to keep the shop going and is very grateful to him for his loyalty and dedication. She is in the final year of a BSc in Human Nutrition at the University of Westminster, and once qualified, will be an Associate Nutritionist registered with the Association for Nutrition and will be running a nutrition practice in our complementary health clinic.

John joined our team in 1997 as Store Manager. With a history of working in the industry and working as a rep for Brewhurst he already had many years of experience in health food so was able to bring this knowledge to us.  When Nino passed away in 2001 we were very lucky to have John to run the store, as without him, Amabel would have been at a loss! John worked seven days a week for nearly three years straight to keep the Haelan Centre up and running!  Amabel then gave John a half share in the business to reward his hard work and dedication. John has been like a big brother to Amabel since her father passed away and even gave her away at her wedding.

John’s brother David was invited to join our team in 2004 to manage our finances as John was so busy focussing on the running of the store.  With prior experience of running a business, David is a whizz with figures and accounting. His skills have allowed the Haelan to grow and expand to a second store, and our online presence. With little knowledge of health food in the beginning, the past 16 years have expanded his horizons remarkably in the areas of healthy eating and fitness. A history of refurbishment and building properties has helped him in our rebranding and refurbishment of both our stores and our complementary health clinic.

John & David’s brother Tony joined our team in 2011 as General Manager to allow John more time to focus on orders & buying.  Originally trained in butchery, Tony has always had a passion for good food. His managerial expertise has been essential in building and maintaining our shop floor team – he is now training his daughter Rachel to be our assistant manager. His customer service is excellent – many of our customers have young children that get very excited when they see Tony’s smiling face!

Elena joined our team in 2014 straight out of school. Starting as a sales assistant, she has gone from strength to strength and was promoted first to supervisor, then assistant manager, and finally her customer relations and organisational genius landed her our Clinic Manager position. She coordinates our booking system, juggling over 30 practitioners and studio teachers and is wonderful at keeping them all happy. With new practitioners requesting to join our clinic every week, she really has her work cut out for her!

Ewelina is the most recent addition to our team, having joined us in 2015. Manager of our secondary store in Park Road, and assistant buyer to John, she is invaluable in easing the pressure off John & Tony and all the work they have to do!


41 The Broadway, Crouch End,
London N8 8DT


020 8340 4258


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