At first glance, one might question whether he or she is reading the sign on a business at the corner of Tulane Avenue and South Broad correctly. Wonder no more. You are. It’s Best Life, and it is a pharmacy and a restaurant—the brain child of a pharmacist, nutritionist, and adjunct university instructor Chris Sylvain.
Of course, the pharmacy dispenses the various medications people are prescribed by their doctors to treat illness or pain. The restaurant side is the real magic, with a menu features whole grain foods from the grits to the pizza dough to the spaghetti. There are no sodas or pork and nothing is fried. Even the chicken wings are baked.
“If you eat more of this,” Sylvain says as he points to the restaurant side, “you’ll need less of this,” pointing to the pharmacy side.
Althought taught nutrition for over 25 years, it still was not easy for Sylvain to combine a restaurant that featured delicious, nutritious Southern style food with his pharmacy.
“I was a pharmacy and store manager with Walgreens for over 30 years.” he says. “I opened a lot of Walgreen’s but the restaurant was a bigger challenge. I teach nutrition but not cooking—big difference.”
Luckily his wife’s family had the restaurant experience he needed to create his concept—a business where medicine and nutrition meet. He is dedicated to alleviating the health problems and decreasing the mortality rate in the Black community caused by poor eating habits.
With one business basically competing to make the other less needed, Sylvain says business has been going well,
“Small business is tough, but it has been good over the last few years and we have really big plans.”
Best Life provides every service and medication you would expect from your big box pharmacies. The business also delivers both prescriptions and meals, providing access to medication and healthy food options to customers with mobility issues. Educating people about Best Life’s prescription, restaurant, and educational services is how Sylvain earns new business.
A teacher at heart, Sylvain’s approach is to sit and talk to people. That is how he built his business and he is looking forward to building a sales team that will deliver that message to the community.
“We’re fighting against culture. People go to restaurants and order what their parents ordered,” he says. “We must get them to eat (healthier options) once or twice, and their taste will change. Their food choices will change.”
Best Life Pharmacy is located at 2657 Tulane Ave. While you are there, try the food.
The pharmacy is open Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. and closed on Sunday. The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. and from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Sundays.
For more information call (504) 264-5100 or visit http://www.bestlifepharmacyandrestaurant.com.