Get to Know Jacobus Hallowijn – Creator and Host of Gesundheit! With Jacobus!
Jacobus was born and raised in The Netherlands. After finishing college-prep high school, and attending university, he and his high school sweetheart got involved in the different health food movements of the time; this took them to Amsterdam. They even got interested in trying a more spiritual life approach. These choices became pertinent in their future.
They visited the United States in 1981-1982 and spent most of their time in California and Texas. They also got married during that time. This traveling experience affected them so much that they decided to move to this amazing country in 1985, with their almost two year old son. Two more daughters would be born to complete the family.
Having been to French Chef-School in The Netherlands, Jacobus worked in several nice restaurants, before the family decided to leave California late 1986, and move to Jackson Hole, WY. Again he found work in the restaurant business, and even won a Blue Ribbon in the Jenny Lake Lodge Culinary Art Show in 1988.
For a combination of reasons the family decided to move to Bozeman, MT in May of 1988, and has resided there ever since. The restaurant business was tougher financially than expected, and Jacobus tried his luck in painting, sales and window cleaning, before finally settling in the health foods retail industry in January 1994.
Because of his passion for teaching others, he started 1-minute radio infomercials that would change every week, in order to keep the info fresh. He called them Health Pearls (little Pearls of Wisdom). And even though they had been interrupted for several years, they’re playing on this radio station again today. Number 400 (weeks) has been reached.
In July of 2000, Jacobus got the opportunity to take these Health Pearls to a complete new level, by starting his own weekly health talk show on this radio station. He called it “Gesundheit! With Jacobus”; Gesundheit literally means “health” or “good health”. This program started as a 2-hour Sunday morning show, then changed to 3 hours in February 2004. In 2008 and 2009 it was voted Most Popular by regional listeners (among 14 radio stations) in its specific Sunday morning time-slot.
Since mid-November 2009, the program has moved to Saturday mornings 8-11am MST, and is hoping for continued success. Its format is interview-style discussions with experts (both local and nationally known) in the field of health, healing and healthy lifestyles. Phone-lines are open for listeners to participate in the specific topic of that week. Once-a-month Jacobus will host an Open-Line format, highlighting different health aspects in the news, also allowing listeners to add-to or change the topic.
His information and recognizable voice has landed him several public speaking engagements, and he was even a keynote speaker at the 2006 Montana Area Agency on Aging’s Annual Conference in Big Sky, MT.
In April 2007, Jacobus and his wife Marielle were fortunate to open their own store, focusing primarily on nutritional supplements and expert advice. Continuing on the success of the radio program it is called Gesundheit! Nutrition Center. His goal was not to compete with other local health food stores, who offer a full range of (organic and wholesome) food and products, but rather focus on what people got to know him for, which was advice and dietary supplements.
The combination of store, radio show, and family is working very well these days, and is a far cry from the struggling start experienced back in 1985. Thanks to several key people in his life, Jacobus has discovered a passion he didn’t know he had, and now he is able to spend all his time focusing on it!