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Q&A with Elizabeth Burns, Victory Haven Caf wellness group member
Elizabeth Burns Photo provided
Elizabeth Burns - photo by Photo provided.

Q: What is your name and current job title?
A: Elizabeth Burns, art and elementary after-care teacher at First Christian Academy of Richmond Hill.

Q: How long have you known Naomi Havens of Victory Haven Café?
A: I have been acquainted with Naomi for several years, mostly through seeing her at the Richmond Hill Farmers Market, where she sells Usborne Books. Throughout the years, I have spoken with her on occasion at the grocery store. We also both attend Savannah Christian Church as well.

Q: When did you first come into contact with her and the café?
A: I saw the article in Bryan County newspaper about the opening of Victory Haven Café, and I was excited for her. I came into the café to congratulate her and find out more about the café.

Q: How have you benefited from Victory Haven Cafe?
A: I have enjoyed trying new things that I wouldn’t have tried on my own or would have even known about. I have begun implementing the knowledge I’ve learned from Naomi in my diet and life and am enjoying the way I feel and look as a result.

Q: Are you currently involved in a wellness group?
A: Yes, I attend the wellness group which Naomi runs on Thursday nights from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Victory Haven Café in (Georgia) Game Changers.

Q: What has the wellness group taught you? How has it increased your wellness knowledge?
A: I have learned that changing habits and being more aware of my choices with regards to my health and wellness is a process. Naomi’s husband, Tim, has invited me to regard food not as “good” or “bad” foods, but to focus more on the consequences of the choices I make. I eat a certain way, I will feel a certain way. ... It’s up to me which way I wish to feel. I had never considered that before. Through Naomi’s story as well as other members of the group, I have learned that food is the most powerful medicine we have. It is exciting to see and feel the differences in my health and spirit as I enjoy this most delicious medicine of plant-based meals.

Q: For those who have not tried Victory Haven Café or attempted to get involved in a wellness group ... why would you recommend they try it?
A: I would encourage folks to come visit Victory Haven Café and enjoy getting to know Naomi. She openly welcomes everyone and is far from being the “food police.” She is nonjudgmental of people. While she does have a great passion for sharing her story and knowledge, she accepts people for where they are in the process of regaining health and wellness. She gently and simply presents a different way of looking at food. I enjoy the food and smoothies she makes, and I immediately feel good when I eat at the café. Naomi has a wealth of information about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle available at the café for anyone who is on a journey to wellness or who may have any questions about a more plant-based diet. Even if one is simply curious about the benefits of a certain food, she is more than happy to share her treasure trove of knowledge and information with everyone. The group she runs is friendly and informal. I greatly appreciate the information and encouragement I find there. Anyone interested in attending the group would be warmly welcomed and would walk away the first night with new information and a new circle of friends.

Q: What are the benefits that Victory Haven Café brings to the community of Richmond Hill?
A: Victory Haven Café offers not only delicious smoothies and food, but a lot of information as well. It is unique in our town because she focuses on the health and wellness benefits of a plant-based diet, which are countless. Even if someone is not interested in going full-on vegan or vegetarian, everyone can benefit from finding new and tasty ways to enjoy fruits and vegetables. It is a little oasis of a gentle way of eating.

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