Jason Cruz was a plumber when he asked the universe for a change.
A week after his request, he was in a car accident that left him with severe health problems, and doctors told him he had a year or less to live due to coarctation of the aorta.
But just days before his life-risking surgery, he opted out.
“I wanted to find a holistic way to heal,” Cruz said. “I met a holistic healer and started following his methods. I became an alkaline vegan, and right away my blood pressure lowered and I was no longer at stroke risk.”
Now three years later, the Bay Shore native is determined to bring his healthy lifestyle, spiritual healing, and “peace and love” to his community.
“When I met with advisors, they told me I’d have a better shot if I opened up in Queens,” Cruz, 30, said. “But I love Long Island and I love this community.”
He opened The Fruit Mandala in March at 60 West Main Street, the place that last held pet boutique Ruff.
Cruz said the grand opening was packed and he’s gotten “nothing but love” from the community since.
The Fruit Mandala carries a variety of crystals and jewelry which Cruz mostly makes himself. The shop also offers herbal cleanses, like an anxiety relief cleanse, weight loss cleanse, full revitalization cleanse, and intercellular cleanse.
The shop has a wide range of alkaline teas as well, including elderberry, raspberry, mullein, ginger, chamomile, lemon verbena, blue lotus, and more.
Cruz says he always tells his customers he is not a doctor and encourages them to consult with one if they are having a medical issue. He simply shares his personal experience and promotes natural remedies as a tool.
The walls of The Fruit Mandala are covered in art and apparel from local artists, and Cruz says he enjoys doing painting events at the shop.
He adds that he plans to do more events once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, including yoga classes, tarot readings, poetry readings, and DJ nights.
People can stay updated on these events by following The Fruit Mandala on Instagram.
“A lot of times the outside world can be so harsh,” Cruz said. “But when you come here, it’s like an escape and a place where you can feel calm and at peace and not have to worry about what’s going on out there.”
Check out photos of The Fruit Mandala below.
Top: Jason Cruz outside of The Fruit Mandala.