Three-week-old Yaba Bath & Body is
my new, favorite drugstore/cosmetics counter. Sure, there aren’t
many displays and the store is all bleak white walls and metal
shelves, but the products - and affordable prices - speak
Yaba carries every family’s must-have items, from household cleaners to shampoo.
"Everything is natural and organic here," explained co-owner Sam Husein, who runs the store with his brother, Shaher.
"It’s organic, natural, clean stuff. [These companies don’t do] animal testing. We operate our business as ethically and morally as possible."
Yaba offers products for men, women and children, plus yoga supplies, nutritional supplements, cosmetics, bathroom accessories and more. But if customers don’t see their favorite product, Husein says he’ll order it for them.
"We offer the high end to the low end," he said. "We don’t want to alienate anyone."
When GO Brooklyn popped into this Prospect Heights shop, we were astounded by the aisles of affordably priced - but popular - lines like Caswell Massey. A box of six olive oil and orange blossom guest soaps (pictured), hand-dipped to simulate picholine olives on a porcelain tray, was priced at $16.90. (It’s $26 on C-M’s Web site.)
"We’re ’Back to the Land meets Costco,’" Husein said.
The brothers pass on significant savings to their customers because they keep their overhead low. For example, they encourage customers to bring their own shopping bags, by offering them a five-cent discount. It keeps costs down, while conserving the earth’s resources, Husein explained.
Among the product lines Yaba sells are Weleda, Crabtree and Evelyn and Shikai. There are Medina products, such as essential oils and shea butter, as well as Beauty Without Cruelty cosmetics and Mrs. Meyers household cleaners, such as geranium-scented countertop spray.
"All over the store there is educational material about the ingredients in the products, so people understand. It’s not just to make money for us, but to educate and make the environment better," said Husein.
"Yaba" is the Arabic word for father, according to Husein, who named the store for his father, who died three years ago. Surely the environmentally friendly products these brothers are selling will benefit the next generation, too.
Yaba Bath & Body is located at 255 Flatbush Ave. at Sixth Avenue. The store is open every day. For information, call (917) 676-7098.