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Tragedy fuels E. Hampton mom to follow dream

Sarah Malone, of East Hampton, hold a picture

Sarah Malone, of East Hampton, hold a picture of her son Django, whose death inspired her to open a health food store in his name. (March 1, 2011) Photo Credit: Erin Geismar

Sarah Malone was happy working as a clerk at a local health food store. At least, that’s what she told her son Django Brevard back in August, when he told her he was concerned about her future.

She told him that she was going to learn as much as she could while working at Provisions, a store in Sag Harbor, and one day she would open her own store.

“He said, ‘Mom, just do it,’” recalled Malone, who lives in Springs, a hamlet of East Hampton.

On Sept. 12, a few weeks after that conversation, Malone was working at Provisions when two of her children came to get her. Brevard, 29, had been found dead after he crashed his motorcycle early that morning.

Malone, 59, who has nine other children, always remembers her son’s passionate spirit and his drive to get things done. And she has always wanted to make him proud of her.

Now, she hopes he is, as she prepares this week to open Django’s Organics, a health food store in the Maidstone Commons in Springs.

She and her fiance, Jerry Desmond, found the space for rent in January and quickly snatched it up.

“The first thing we did was hang his picture,” she said, pointing to a picture of Brevard from his high school wrestling days. “That’s where this began, with a desire to honor my son, my children’s brother, all our our friends’ friend.”

Malone said she plans a soft opening for the store on Friday and a grand opening in the spring. Django’s Organics will sell natural supplements and beauty products, as well as packaged organic, vegan and gluten-free foods. But the big draw, she said, will be the green juice and smoothie bar.

Because there’s nothing else like it in the area, Malone is confident the store will do well in the Maidstone Commons, which is located deep into Springs on Three Mile Harbor Road.

Tara Berkoski, who works across the street from the store and is a vegan, said she’s excited for the green smoothies, and to have a place nearby work to grab something quick to eat.

“There aren’t many places around here that are vegan,” she said.

Malone said with rising interest in natural and organic foods, she believes that the store will be a big asset to the community. She hopes that by bringing her own dream to fruition, she’s also saying thank you to a community that showed her so much support.

“I never really had the opportunity to thank the community,” she said, adding that everyone from the detectives at the scene of the accident to Brevard’s friends and his various employers did everything possible to take care of her and her family in their time of need.

Malone’s oldest child, Serena Creary, 43, of Sag Harbor, said the pain of her brother’s death is still fresh for their family and she doubts they will ever fully recover. But his influence is all around, she said, right down to the fact that her mother is finally pursuing a lifelong dream.

“Django didn’t believe in hesitating or wasting time,” she said. “This whole concept of her opening the store with Django’s blessing is healing.”

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