Whole Health Natural Foods — Now Located Near The Virginia Creeper Trail!

Whole Health Natural Foods
130 Pecan Street, SE
Abingdon, VA 24210

Whole Health Natural Foods

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(276) 628-3170

by Laura Blankenship

 

Chris In Doorway

Chris, long-time employee of Whole Health Natural Foods, welcomes customers to the new store.

 

NEW LOOK, NEW LOCATION, SAME INTENTION

This June Whole Health Natural Foods store (aka Whole Health Center) opened at its brand new location in the heart of Abingdon.  Conveniently situated between I-81 exits 17 and 19, the new location is nestled between neighboring restaurant 128 Pecan—a fun, casual spot with some vegetarian dishes and a vegan option or two—and the trailhead of the beautiful Virginia Creeper Trail.

 

Whole Health Natural Foods Exterior

Whole Health Natural Foods New Storefront

 

Walk in the door of the new pad and the first thing you’ll notice is the energy inside. It’s so bright and cheery, with fully stocked shelves of colorfully packaged snacks and energy bars, welcoming smiles from helpful employees, and a neat little sign above the entryway to the main grocery section that reads “Hopes and Dreams and the possibilities of it all.” This is somewhere I can plan to spend a lot of time. ☺

Whole Health Natural Foods-Hopes and dreams

Whole Health Natural Foods celebrated their move to the new location this June.

 

MAKING HEALTHY ACCESSIBLE FOR ALL

Sean Bossie, Whole Health Center’s owner, has been realizing his goals of a co-op-like grocery since he took over the Whole Health Center in 2011. He strives to make high quality foods and sustainable products affordable. “I want to break the myth that healthy equals expensive.” With more options than ever, and through fostering partnerships with community organizations like Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD), he is doing just that. Regular prices on many items are comparable and often even cheaper than you can find in the organic and heath foods section at the local grocery stores. Whole Health Natural Foods also runs some amazing monthly specials.

Whole Health Natural Foods:

So many items to choose from…

 

TOUR THE STORE

Let’s take a walk through. The big windows up front let in a lot of light into the room with the cash register. Here I find a large selection Endangered Species Organic chocolate bars on sale—2 for $5! This brand gives 10% of net profits to non-profits preserving the habitats of endangered species. (Animal lovers, rejoice!) There are new coolers stocked with a large selection of ready-to-drink juices, natural energy drinks, and all natural sodas.

Whole Health Natural Foods: Soda Cooler

All natural juices, sodas, waters, and herbal teas fill the front room coolers, perfect for grabbing a drink before hitting the trail.

 

The main grocery area beckons from behind the doorway. The aisles are centered around a giant tree of life strung with lights, crafted by Sean himself.

Sean Bossie, Owner of Whole Health Natural Foods next to his Tree of Life!

Sean Bossie, Owner of Whole Health Natural Foods next to his Tree of Life!

 

Tree of Life

Tree of Life

 

On the immediate left you’ll find a cooler full of fresh, local produce stocked by ASD from Wolf Farm, Abingdon Organics, and David King. Here you can get organic and naturally grown local fruits and veggies every day of the week, without having to wait for the farmer’s market,

Wolf Farm Fresh Potatoes

Wolf Farm Fresh Potatoes

 

Carrots and Green Tomatoes

Carrots and Green Tomatoes

 

The cooler is flanked with locally made breads: organic, vegan sourdoughs, rosemary olive oil boules, and Noah’s baguettes by Uncanny Kitchen.

 

Artisan Breads

Artisan Breads

 

Along the left wall, expanded dairy coolers feature a wide variety of vegan “cheeses” and plant-based spreads. A personal note of elation: they carry Chipotle Vegenaise!!! Here you’ll also find Roger’s hummus in multiple flavors (also by Uncanny Kitchen).   The frozen foods section features Ezekial breads, veggie burgers, and Field Roast plant-based sausages. (My favorite is Field Roast Chorizo, which sits in my freezer as I type this.)

 

Frozen Foods Section

Frozen Foods Section

 

THE JUICERY

The back left corner of the store is designated for the juice bar, opening soon! Starting next year, Whole Health Natural foods will provide many of the fruits, vegetables, and herbs for the Juicery, grown in their very own garden out back!   THE READING ROOM In the back right of the store, sunlight from the window streams into the reading area, where customers can relax, absorb the nutrients from their freshly squeezed juices, and pore over the wealth of information found in the library. You can browse through dozens of books like “Best Ideas for Organic Vegetable Gardening”, “Bodywise”, “Boosting Immunity”, and “Stalking the Healthful Herbs”.

Reading Room

Reading Room

 

HOUSEHOLD ITEMS

Sean has greatly expanded the variety of cleaning, kitchen, and toiletry items available. Here you can find Champion brand juicers, a variety of eco-friendly cleaning supplies, food containers, water filters, water bottles, baby bottles, and even disposable paper products. (That’s right, you can even buy your toilet paper here!)

OLDIES BUT GOODIES

In this new space, Whole Health has been able to expand the selections of a ton of previously offered items. There is a larger variety of legumes, nut butters—including locally made Mehl’s brand–and honeys available for the health-conscious cook.

 

Nut butters, sweeteners, condiments, juices - Lots of items to choose from.

Nut butters, sweeteners, condiments, juices – Lots of items to choose from.

 

Grains in Bulk

Grains in Bulk

 

Next to the future juicery, check out the new and improved bulk foods and spices section! There are a variety of bulk spices, herbs, teas, and several vegan snacks including trail mix and dried fruits.

 

Bulk foods available in bins

Bulk foods available in bins

 

The tea and coffee selection is larger; there is a whole section dedicated to essential oils, tons of gluten free pastas, breads, and flours available for those with gluten intolerances, plus lots of vegan pasta options. The vitamins and supplements section has expanded greatly as well; many of these are completely vegan friendly. I’ve found that the staff is very knowledgeable about herbs and supplements, so don’t hesitate to ask!

 

Extensive Selection of Herbal and Traditional Teas

Extensive Selection of Herbal and Traditional Teas

 

As you make your way back out to the cash register with all your delicious grocery items, don’t forget to stop in the Trailside Gifts room.

 

Trailside Gift Shop

Trailside Gift Shop

 

It features witty bumper stickers and magnets (including pro-veg pride gear), Virginia Creeper Trail accessories, incense, and handmade jewelry, dresses, shirts, and paintings by Donna Bossie. Tree of life jewelry by another local artist is available as well.

Virginia Creeper Trail Map

Virginia Creeper Trail Map

 

The saddest part of this tour is leaving. (Though I admit there is some excitement as I notice clearance items by the door.) The friendly cashier Cindy checks me out and greets old friends and customers by name as I gather my goodies and head out, the fresh zinnias bidding me farewell from this little healthy haven of a food store.

 

Cindy at register

Cindy at register

 

Sean and Donna started planning themove to this location 1.5 years ago. Now the dream of a new store has been realized! The cool part is that the business is ever-evolving and changing. (Even within the last month since its opening I’ve noticed differences, things moved around, new items, evidence of “settling in” to the new space in the handful of times I’ve been in.) “This isn’t just our store”, says Sean. “It’s the community’s. We provide what our shoppers ask for.” (So, plant-based purchasers, keep asking for vegan options, and thou just might receive!)

 

Megan holding fresh local blueberries

Megan holding fresh local blueberries

 

 

Laura Marie Blankenship has a BS in Psychology from The College of William and Mary. She has worked as an editor, ghostwriter, and graphic designer and has spent over 8 years in the food service industry. Tinkering in the kitchen, experimenting with various cuisines, and creating meals out of whatever’s available are some of her favorite pastimes. Laura now resides in her small hometown of Abingdon, VA, where she works at a coffeehouse part-time and also sells her artwork.
After borrowing The China Study from Veggin’ Out and About! cofounder, Danielle Bussone, Laura has slowly transitioned most animal-based foods out of her diet. Contact Laura with your questions, comments, and suggestions or just to tell her what a good job she is doing to help others live long and healthy lives!

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